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Carrier Access Codes and cultural detritus, featuring Alf and friends

Carrier Access Codes are a largely dated*, though still functional service to select your long-distance telephone carrier per phone call. In the United States, these "dial-around codes" reached a (commercial) peak in the late 1990s, as seen with ads featuring such semi-notables as Marla Gibbs, Christine Taylor and Reginald VelJohnson, Harry Anderson, John Lithgow, Tony Danza, Doug Flutie, and even Alf and some well-known friends. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 29, 2014 - 73 comments

Gelatin, from calf's hoof jelly to Jell-O, "America's Favorite Dessert"

Gelatin foodstuffs have a long culinary history. The ancient Egyptians made a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials that they used in their cuisine. It wasn't until the 17th century invention of pressure cooking devices that the process of creating gelatin became significantly less labor and time intensive. The process was refined in the following decades, with the US inventor Peter Cooper filing the patent for Improvement in the preparation of portable gelatine in 1845. He never made much of the patent, and sold it to Pearle B. Wait, who's wife, May Davis Wait, helped turn the gelatin into Jell-O, both naming the product and turning it into a sweet, fruit-flavored dessert. They, too, had no luck selling Jell-O, and sold the patent for $450 to Orator Francis Woodward, who struggled for a period, before turning to marketing to increase interest in the dessert (NYT). By 1902, Jell-O was "America's Favorite Dessert," at least according to the advertisements. And now you know the history of gelatin and Jello. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 2, 2014 - 31 comments

Old print ads

This Livejournal contains many vintage advertisements.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 6, 2013 - 10 comments

Abercrombie & Fitch & Zizek

In 2003, Abercrombie and Fitch approached Slovene philosopher and culture critic Slavoj Žižek to write ad copy. The results were odd. (And NSFW.)
posted by Rinku on Mar 17, 2013 - 66 comments

“Don't be …”

Google has removed Ad Blocking apps from their Play Store. AdAway is available on the open source Android repository F-Droid. AdBlock+ remains available from their own site.
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 14, 2013 - 129 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

Alofa mai Vailima, fa'amolemole!

Vailima, a German-style lager, has been brewed just outside the capital of Independent Samoa since 1978. There are two versions to choose from, the normal 4.9% strength and the the export-only 6.7%. But, unless you're somewhere near Samoa, you probably won't be able to find it. So, enjoy the commercials, instead! [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Aug 7, 2012 - 9 comments

Ye Olde Advertisements

Old-timey ads. Sexist vintage ads. Some other, different old advertisements.
posted by curious nu on Jun 13, 2012 - 32 comments

Just like Mom used to make.

Aspic and other delights showcases the absolute horrors of good, old-fashioned home cooking. Or, at least the advertisements for it. Aspic, in case you were wondering, is food, often meat or seafood encased in gelatin or cooled meat stock.
posted by converge on Aug 17, 2011 - 84 comments

f p p

Minimal Movie Posters [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 1, 2011 - 38 comments

PEZ Advertising

Sex sells PEZ. A visual survey of the "PEZgirl," as used in PEZ advertising. Slightly NSFW, as one image at the bottom of the page shows bare breasts. That's right, PEZ ran topless advertisements. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 10, 2009 - 28 comments

Public(YOUR AD HERE)Transportation

Clever ads on the sides of city busses. That is all.
posted by maryh on Mar 9, 2009 - 44 comments

Here's the Beef

Joe Sedelmaier showed us where the beef is, and in doing so, revolutionized television advertising (aside from spawning a Clara Peller 7" and influencing the 1984 US elections). Here are some of Sedelmaier's greatest moments: Wendy's: Soviet Fashion Show | "Parts is Parts" • FedEx: "You can't count on anything these days!" | The Classic Speed Talker (John Moschitta, previously) • Pearson's Salted Nut Roll (with Godwin effect) • Fibreglas Pink (Canada) • Kaypro ComputersAlaska Airlines • Clara Peller in Jartran Truck RentalHayworth Furniture SystemsGMAC FinancingAnd for those missing individually, Youtuber jerry7242 has posted a reel of 30 minutes' worth of Joe Sedelmaier's commercials in four parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 (#4 includes an interview with Joe Sedelmaier) Enjoy! [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Feb 9, 2009 - 8 comments

Hey, kids! Comics!

Just imagine! Coming Super-Attractions features vintage DC comics in-house advertisements spanning the decades. Enjoy!
posted by kimota on Jan 13, 2009 - 4 comments

No Coffee for Old Men in Black

In a series of sixteen advertisements screened in Japan, Tommy Lee Jones plays extraterrestrial 'Alien Jones', who has taken the form of a man to check on the world of humans, all the while drinking a Japanese brand of coffee named BOSS. I have no idea how Tommy Lee Jones got talked into doing these advertisements, or why. And after watching them for yourself (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16), you probably won't either.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 23, 2008 - 85 comments

Ad Blast from the Past

Duke University has three image collections of old U.S. and Canadian advertisements. Ad*Access a database of over 7000 print ads from 1911 to 1956. Emergence of Advertising in America has 9000 images of ads from 1850-1920. Medicine and Madison Avenue has 600 medical ads and documents from 1911 to 1958. You can browse the collections by product, company, subject, year and categories or you can use the search function. Here are some of my favorites: Miss Clairol, They're Both in the Swim Today, Fancy Goods and Toy Bazaar, Sky Blue Pink, SAS Makes Airline History, A Montgomery Ward Hat that Becomes Nearly Every Woman, Radiant Peony and Hitler's Death Warrant.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 14, 2008 - 11 comments

Poor Lois, See How Old She's Growing

“Poor Lois, See How Old She's Growing! Too bad she’s doesn't try to remain the girl her husband fell in love with. The change is so gradual you never see it but your friends do."

Vintage Beauty Adverts at Duke University's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection.
posted by sourbrew on Jan 30, 2006 - 43 comments

Print Ads archive

adflip - "world's largest archive of classic print ads"
posted by Gyan on Apr 15, 2005 - 15 comments

The Evolution of Manufacturing

The Evolution of Manufacturing is a collection of New York Times articles, providing a historical perspective on manufacturing operations in the U.S. The collection consists of 12 articles published between 1909 and 2000. It includes an article by Henry Ford himself, and an article by Thomas Edison based on his interview of Henry Ford. Interestingly, the collection is an advertisement for Peoplesoft.
posted by tuxster on Dec 21, 2004 - 6 comments

Rate spec spots!

Specs spots are commericals shot by people who hope that they'll be considered for shooting real commercials. Because they are vying for attention, some of them can be pretty outrageous. This site allows you to rank them ala hotornot mode.

My personal favorite pertains to that "make a wish" ritual around blowing out birthday candles.
What are your favorites? (Spots themselves are Quicktime links)
posted by jasper411 on Aug 10, 2004 - 10 comments

Why do political ads stink?

Joshua Green wrote an interesting and insightful piece regarding the current state of political advertisements. Here is an example of an ad by a media consultant he refers to, based in Pittsburgh. Another spin here. I've often wondered why they're so predictable. The Atlantic gives us a glimpse into poly. ad history and, quite possibly, its future.
posted by BlueTrain on Jul 6, 2004 - 8 comments

Do Be Evil

Google To Start Selling Banner Adverts From the that-didn't-take-too-long-department, Google's ad sales VP Tim Armstrong says Google will now start selling graphical banner adverts. One concession to their old mores is that, for now, the banner adverts will only appear on affiliated websites running their AdSense referral program (as does MeFi), and there is an opt-out. However... "We have no plans to show images on Google.com", said Mr. Armstrong "but we are not opposed to it".
posted by meehawl on May 12, 2004 - 27 comments

Things I Wanted for Christmas in '78

Toy Ads. Nostalgic for that old Hot Wheels tune up tower you never received as child? Can't recall the name of that one eyed doll your weird aunt gave you for your birthday? Toyadz.com has all the ads that made you drool when you were nine.
posted by Joey Michaels on Jan 1, 2004 - 8 comments

Dumping on Clay Aiken

A great PETA ad...for me to poop on! Amusing recent campaign featuring Triumph the Insult Dog to promote spaying/neutering that is catching heat for a subtle Clay Aiken jab.
posted by mathowie on Nov 20, 2003 - 37 comments

Euro and Dollar Get It On!

Sex for Money, Money having Sex? Ban on Russian ads depicting euro having sex with dollar. Immoral or are they just dancing?
posted by kodas on Sep 24, 2003 - 14 comments

the118118experience

Channel 118. The 118118 experience. [possibly nsfw]
posted by ginz on Aug 6, 2003 - 14 comments

We don't care. We don't have to.

Bell System Memorial. State approved, centrally planned and controlled: no, not this, the old Bell System. Don't miss the photos (including the first car phone!) and ads (sometimes ironic). Offsite: the affiliated Telephone Tribute, a few old Bell ads from the Prelinger archives, and an entertaining US telephony history from Bruce Sterling's famous Hacker Crackdown.
posted by tss on Mar 30, 2003 - 4 comments

Get me a ticket for an aeroplane...

Graphic Design from the 1920s and 1930s in Travel Ephemera. Amazing collection of posters, road maps, steamship and airline timetables, (more timetables here), post cards, luggage labels (more labels here and here), brochures and more. Seeing this stuff makes me wish I had been born seventy-five years earlier (and with an obscene amount of money.) (Warning: the site is seriously painful to look at, but the content's good. Link via Coudal.)
posted by Vidiot on Mar 19, 2003 - 10 comments

Nokia phone video ad

There's more than one way to skin swing a cat: Add the new Puma ads and upstanding PETA feminists have their work cut out for them. [vid.avi download thing; via Boing Boing.].
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Mar 11, 2003 - 39 comments

Dude, You're Under Arrest

Dude, You're Under Arrest Ben "Dell Dude" Curtis, was arrested in New York last night on charges of criminal possession of marijuana. Thanks to The Smoking Gun we now have something to make us laugh on a Monday.
posted by mkelley on Feb 10, 2003 - 34 comments

Selling Freedom

Freedomads.org is sponsoring a contest that challenges visitors to create video, print, or audio ads that "inspire people with an advertisement for freedom." How would you sell freedom?
posted by pjdoland on Jan 28, 2003 - 22 comments

bp's environmental makeover

Beyond petroleum? British Petroleum’s recent $200-million makeover into sunny-logoed bp seems to respond to mounting concerns over pollution, global warming, and wars for oil. By advocating alternatives to the very product that has made it the world’s seventh-largest company, it also seems like economic suicide. In accordance with their environmental goals, they've helped release bald eagles in Manhattan and bring solar power to rural Tibet, but many remain unconvinced. Each bp ad ended with the same tagline: “It’s a start.” Is it?
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 19, 2002 - 31 comments

French McDonald's ads: Don't 'abuse fast food'

French McDonald's ads: Don't 'abuse fast food' - McDonald's France runs ads suggesting that children not eat its food more than once a week.
posted by stevengarrity on Oct 31, 2002 - 32 comments

So Exactly Why Doesn't Nicole Kidman Want This Commercial To Be Shown In The U.S.?

So Exactly Why Doesn't Nicole Kidman Want This Commercial To Be Shown In The U.S.? Here in Portugal, for instance, you can't blink without seeing the ruddy thing. Movie stars increasingly have a very profitable but extremely embarrassing advertising life which they're understandbly keen to keep secret from the American market. Wonderful websites like Japander (do check out Jodie Foster's endorsements of the Honda Civic Ferio and Keri Cosmetics, won't you?) conspire to keep them deservedly humble. So why does this double standard exist? Do these movie stars really think that globalization (not to mention the Internet) is just a myth?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 5, 2002 - 31 comments

Few Advertisers Use Pop-Ups (or do they?)

Few Advertisers Use Pop-Ups (or do they?) "Though they seem to be everywhere on the Internet, pop-up advertisements are used by less than 10 percent of all companies that advertise online, according to a report from Nielsen//NetRatings." Do you buy this? Is this industry propaganda or a true description of what is out there? The sites I visit regularly all seem to have pop-ups (e.g. nytimes, espn, slate, theatlantic.com). For the last 1 month or so, ESPN seems to launch two pop-ups when I first visit them, in fact. What has your experience been?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Sep 16, 2002 - 28 comments

Steven.

Steven. Steven. Steven. I can't get enough of this incredibly-cute-but-I-don't-normally-go-for-such-obvious-twinkiness pitchperson for Dell Computers. Apparently, neither can anyone else, as Steven (or more properly, actor Ben Curtis) has been Dell's most successful advertising, uh, tool ever. Why do we love him? His Bill'n'Ted vocabulary? His toothy grin? Whatever the reason, at least now I no longer have to glue myself to the television to watch his latest commercial overandoverandoverand Dude, I'll get a Dell if you deliver it to me personally. So to speak. Is it wrong to love a fictional character so much? Is there a support group? Any other MeFites have a strange attraction going on here? I can't be the only one, can I?
posted by WolfDaddy on Jul 9, 2002 - 66 comments

I've been using Kazaa for about a year, but yesterday it spewed out a 30 second audio advertisement for a casino that you couldn't stop, and couldn't get rid of. Quite apart from getting me in deep piles of poo with my boss, surely this is going too far? Audio adverts you can't do anything about - maybe it is time to move on...
posted by wibbler on May 14, 2002 - 35 comments

More on the bad ads

More on the bad ads that seem to be going around the web. This time, I went to see what was on tv, and a Six Feet Under ad took over the entire screen. Talk about not being able to use the website.
posted by thebwit on Mar 3, 2002 - 18 comments

Yahoo! Explorer ads the wave of the future? (via RRE) Taking over your browsing in the name of advertising.
posted by bison on Jul 30, 2001 - 12 comments

Has anyone else seen this product advertised on TV lately

Has anyone else seen this product advertised on TV lately and thought they were watching a fake SNL ad? Then comes that sinking feeling when you realize that it is real. It just started running on TV here in Virginia. Perhaps our median IQ finally reached a suitable level. Don't even get me started on the domain name!
posted by machaus on Apr 1, 2001 - 9 comments

A Chicago Trib reporter logged all of the ads she saw in one day. It makes for an interesting and kind of scary read. [via obscurestore]
posted by hijinx on Mar 22, 2001 - 33 comments

CBS pulled this ad from the Superbowl.

CBS pulled this ad from the Superbowl. Which is a shame because I think it deserves a place on the Ad Critic Superbowl Top 10.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Jan 30, 2001 - 6 comments

Mastercard Wants to Silence Nader

Mastercard Wants to Silence Nader If you thought Ralph Nader's views on too much corporate power were too far out -- click this one. The corporate thugs are trying to shut him down.
posted by snakey on Aug 23, 2000 - 6 comments

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