Oh, the days when commercials advertised goods, instead of those promoting the goods. Will Drew Brees and One Direction make me drink more Pepsi? Only Diet Pepsi will make me drink more Pepsi. But it’s a memorable commercial. Insurance giant Geico realized years ago that memorable commercials sell more products, even when using B-listers like Michael Winslow, R. Lee Ermey, and Gallagher to sell it. British insurance website GoCompare did a little celebrity branding of their own, with one of the smartest men in the world. And while it doesn’t necessarily make him look smarter, he wins for erasing that fucking aggravating opera singer who usually pops into these commercials.
No stranger to TV, Hawking has appeared in The Big Bang Theory, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and multiple appearances on The Simpsons and Futurama, but he’s found much more often in British documentaries and science television. Because he is in fact British. Thus the accent. (Joke.)
Hawking, stretching his acting talents appearing as himself in a professor role, gets the last digitized laugh on the aforementioned opera singer pitchman, generating a supermassive black hole in the middle of a city street that stops him from bothering yet another couple on the side of the road. Is the commercial as genius as its star? Not in the least, but it’s in the same good nature that Hawking usually brings to his public appearances. He’s already taken some flak for it, but I’m not sure a theoretical physicist can actually “sell out.” And if one can, it probably happened when he released “A Briefer History of Time” for all of us reg’lar folk.