Here's an old Burger King ad campaign, created by New York firm J Walter Thompson, that was a legendary flop. 30 years ago Burger King failed to get the whole country asking: Where's Herb? He was supposedly the only person in the country not to have had a burger from their chain. They offered food discounts, but only to people who weren't Herb (weird cameo at the end of that one). They even talked to Herb's parents. Eventually Herb did have a burger and visited a BK in every state as part of a contest. The sites Go Retro and Burgatory have articles about the non-phenomenon (with an interview with Jon Menick, who played Herb). It was all an attempt to duplicate Wendy's success the year before with Where's The Beef? [more inside]
Here's Dinosaur Dracula, a pop culture retro nostalgia site from the guys who formerly brought us X-Entertainment (currently "down for repairs"), the subject of many many MeFi posts. Some pages of interest:
- TV Guide listings for Halloween 1990
- Excerpts from the 1989, 1992, 1998 and 1999 Sears Wish Books.
- Comic Book Ads.
- The Masters of the Universe Slime Pit, which had great instructions, and the sliming of Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart. There's more....
Here's The Adventures of Milkman, How To Be Swell, The Lost Brady, Phoebe, Classic TV Rewinds, and the "Guy Series" (which has a couple of unexpected cameos), as well as three collections of commercials, all callbacks from 80s-90s Nick At Nite, and that age when MTV's success inspired channels to put more personality into their promotion. [more inside]
Anyone who watches late-night TV in the Puget Sound region is likely familiar with the commercials for local high-risk insurer Vern Fonk Insurance (previously). For twenty years Robert Thielke, a longtime employee who was named president of the company in 2013, has been the face of Vern Fonk in all of its advertising. He passed away Sunday after a long struggle with cancer. [more inside]
Still mourning the loss of walmart.horse? Well, the hot new whimsical mix of corporate identity and new TLDs is mcdonalds.hiphop, which serves up a YouTube playlist of hiphop/rap-themed McDonalds commercials going back 30 years and including non-U.S. content from the UK, Israel, France, Czech Republic, India, Russia and South Africa. From the same merry prankster who brought us nytimes.cat, which got C&D'd in record time, this one has survived a whole week so far (and with some publicity; thanks Mental Floss). But then, Mickey D's has a hiphop history that goes beyond commercials.
The Magnum ice cream company has launched the Be True To Your Pleasure campaign, featuring gender-nonconforming individuals (referred to in marketing materials as "drag queens") as glamorous spokesmodels. [more inside]
Remember the '80s and '90s commercials for the Nickelodeon Super Toy Run? The A.V. Club talks to two past winners.
Cable TV is speeding up its shows slightly to show you more ads. The Wall Street Journal has more including a side-by-side comparison video a sharp eyed viewer made of a "Seinfeld" episode.
"With Christmas not far away, you may start seeing ads for video games that try to marry the VCR with traditional board games. Unhappily, that marriage more often resembles the bickering Lockhorns than the mild-mannered Nelsons. Here's a look at three of the games now
out in 1986." But that's only a snapshot of the dynamic world of VCR board games, which peaked in the early 1990s with the Atmosfear series, known as Nightmare in Australia, where the game series was a huge cross-media empire, bigger than "Crocodile" Dundee. Another significant game was Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game, if for no other reason that it is canon and expands the story of the second Death Star. There are less than 100 VCR board games, and the videos for many of them are currently online, with more game documents and details on Board Game Geeks. By the end of the 1990s, the VCR was on the way out, replaced by DVD board games. Let's browse the isles of toy stores past, thanks to the crowd-sourced nostalgia that is the internet. [more inside]
In the past, when Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have done commercials for actual companies, they were considerate enough to offer audiences two distinct flavors: "Uniquely Odd", as in the case of the bizzare-yet-polished Old Spice series of ads and "Downright Uncomfortable" as in the case of Absolut Vodka (previously). Recently, they have produced another pair of ads for your viewing pleasure: General Electric for the former category and Totinos for the later.
This is not a think piece about how "problematic" the terrible fuckin puppets are in DirecTV's new series of ads currently running over and over during every commercial break of every TV show. It's A FACT PIECE. And the facts are in: Fuck these puppets. (Gawker)
Friday video fun: A new subreddit Commercial Cuts is devoted to television commercials that have had small edits made to them that, um, really change the message and tone. Highlights include Lunchables, J.G. Wentworth, Bagel Bites, Febreze, and Swiffer.
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]
On January 2, 1971, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act went into effect. In addition to adding a stronger health warning to cigarette packs, it banned cigarette advertising on radio and TV in the United States. (MLYT) [more inside]
Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino of Savannah, GA really went all out with his Metal as ___ Super Bowl ad (SLYT).
Some of you will be watching football, some of you will be watching the commercials (I suppose some of you will be watching both, and, let me acknowledge that some of you will not watch a damn thing and get that out of the way..).. For you commercial fans...here's a preview of many of the 2014 Superbowl Commercials... And, going back, here's HuffPo's list of the 50 best all time Superbowl Commercials. Warning
Two very different commercials about mothers.
1. Old Spice "Momsong"
2. P&G "Pick Them Back Up"
Bring your tissues for that second one.
1. Old Spice "Momsong"
2. P&G "Pick Them Back Up"
Bring your tissues for that second one.
The Cinco Family/Corporation is a fictional corporation which spans the television and internet works of comedian Bob Odenkirk. From 2007 to 2010, the comedy television program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, served as an outlet for Cinco Products skits. The commercials and infomercials use green screen and special effects with the intent of mimicking the standard format of infomercials from the late 1980s and early 1990s, often lampooning technology from the same era (such as the Cinco MIDI Organizer). Generally, the goods and services sold by Cinco companies are a bizarre assortment of useless, pointless and/or physically harmful products, at least three of which require the removal of all of the user's teeth. [NSFW] [more inside]
By now, the story is well known. A man sits in the backseat of a cab, sketching on a notepad as night falls over a crumbling city. He scribbles the letter I. He draws a heart. And then an N, and then a Y. Right away he knows he’s got something. This is it, he thinks. This is the campaign. The man was a designer named Milton Glaser. The city was New York. The year was 1977. [more inside]
Nowadays, fortified wines are the butt of jokes. (previously) However, there was a time when they were considered mainstream and there were even a few commercials made. Of course, we can't leave out the best commercial for fortified wine ever made.
The greatest car commercial ever !! Old Spock (Nimoy) and New Spock (Quinto) come together (and battle it out) in what is likely the best car commercial that you ever saw (or will see). Chock full of Star Trek references there's even a scene with Nimoy humming along to "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" . Awesomeness follows ...
In the late '80s, documentarians Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker spent six months in Tokyo looking at how symbols and imagery familiar to Americans had been appropriated and given new significance in Japan. Though more than 20 years old, the resulting video remains popular in undergraduate courses across the social sciences and humanities in part because it's so entertaining. [more inside]
A series of GIFs captures the difficult lives of people in infomercials.
Digging up long forgotten memories for a generation who spent their formative years glued to the boob tube, Memorex is a veritable nostalgia nuke for children of the 80s. Endless beach parties, Saturday morning cartoons, claymation everything, sleek cars, sexy babes, toys you forgot existed, station idents, primitive computer animation, all your favorite sugary cereal mascots, and so much more. An ode to the hyper consumerism and sleek veneer of a simpler time. (previously)
It's no secret that eleven-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte has given some less than stellar interviews, but did you know that he's also terrible at commercials? [MLYT] [more inside]
Mia Gentile covers the Stanley Steemer jingle again (goth) and again (50s girl band) and again (a la Avril Lavigne) and...
How would you feel if somebody was out there using your name for purposes of their own—without your knowledge?
Anthony Bourdain is "fighting mad" at the Travel Channel for editing him into a commercial without his permission. He expressed his rage on twitter first, and then in a long post on his tumblr blog: "All of us on the show would have preferred to go out on a high note—and we tried to do that as best we could, turning in a strong, final season that we are very proud of. We wanted to go leaving a lot of great shows—and nothing but good memories and good will behind...But things just didn’t turn out that way." [more inside]
Just in time for election season, royalty-free music site firstcom has released a playlist of music for attack ads. You can choose the dramatic "Negative Vibes," the dual-mood "Compared to What's His Name," the dark "He's a Sneaky One" or the anthemic "Better Days Ahead." Firstcom also has playlists for pirates, extreme weather and science and technology.
Dear Jay Leno ... "First off, my intention is not to fight you on this. You have more cars than I have dollars, and so I know I don’t stand a chance legally ..." - "An Open Letter to Jay Leno About Stealing My Video and Then Getting It Removed From YouTube" [more inside]
Ding! Furniture stripping. Rock drills. Herbs. Die casting. Dumbwaiters. Conductive shoes. Vanity cases. Civil engineers. If it's out there, it's in here. [MLYT] [more inside]
In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
Drag star Varla Jean Merman is the new spokesmodel for Fleet enemas. Her commercials: Part 1, Part 2, cabaret version. Previously: Varla's Schoolhouse Rock.
"Warren G, what are you doing here?!"... "What does it look like I'm doing?!" ... Legendary recording artist, Warren G, offers a little help to a man struggling to satisfy his woman. "Are you my waiter?" ... "Nah, I'm the Regulator." (MLYT) (via)
4 photogenic youngsters travel to beautiful cities, to Paris, Barcelona, Beijing & London. Short, upbeat commercials by Gustav Johansson & Albin Holmqvist for a French language school
Behind the scenes of a McDonaldland commercial in the 1970s McDonaldland outtakes The fake McDonald's restaurant in City of Industry, CA used to film commercials
If you lived in Canada in the 80s and 90s, then the holiday season meant one thing: Give like Santa, save like Scrooge.
Symantec’s “Hack Is Wack,” And Cybersecurity’s Most Embarassing Marketing Campaigns: Hack is Wack previously Jackie Chan - Kaspersky 2010 Antivirus Commercial. Ex Gang member turns Computer Hacker. Don't Copy That Floppy. & Don't Copy That Floppy 2.0.
About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
Looking for literary superheroes? Behold the awesome powers of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne! (SLYT)
Don't like those commercials that run before the movies in the theaters? Well, this weekend, Kraft Foods is introducing something new to screens across the U.S., "two- to three-minute branded-entertainment vignettes" that promise NOT to "knock you over the head with a bat as a brand commercial", but instead they... well... here's an example: Lunchables kids' meals present: Alien Field Trip* (Warning: more artificially cheesy than Cheez Whiz). Kraft and other big advertisers are betting that long-form ads will be "the Wave of the Future", and the perfect audience for them will be the folks who have already paid to see "Iron Man 2", "Sex and the City 2" or "Toy Story 3". What could possibly go wrong? [more inside]
Bad credit or no credit? No Problem! Are you on welfare? Social Security? No Problem! You have to see the Special Man
Bad credit or no credit? No Problem! Are you on welfare? Social Security? No Problem! You have to see the Special Man!
Rhett and Link love local commercials, and, with a sponsorship by MicroBilt, they want to visit your town to make one! Don't worry [NSFW], they've had experience doing this kind of thing in the past. • Rhett and Link's website and YouTube channel are chock full of fun stuff besides commercials--why, they even helped me learn all about regional variations of southern BBQ! • [ many previous appearances ]
Ever made fun of a commercial, a TV show, or a romantic comedy? Of course you have. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. But even shooting fish in a barrel can be done with style. Check out Info Mania’s Sarah Haskins’ Target Women spots in which Haskins dissects how the media types depicts we women types, especially when it comes to those matters so dear to the lady brain, like Botox, birth control, chick flicks, female political candidates, number two, cleaning, jewelry, diets, aging, skin care, the Oscars, Disney Princesses, vampires, The View, Michelle Obama’s arms, Lifetime programming, chocolate, lady parts, laundry, security, weddings, and of course that official food of women, yogurt. You can find a complete listing of Target Women spots here.
The 27 Best (Non-Super Bowl) Commercials of the 2000s: Balls [Bravia] - Birthday [Got Milk?] - Bubble Boy [Volkswagen] - Bus Station [Starburst] - Carousel [Phillips] - Cog [Honda] - Dangerously Low [Levi's] - Diorama [Halo 3] - Evolution [Dove] - Freestyle [Nike] - Gorilla [Cadbury] - Grrr [Honda] - Hello Tomorrow [Adidas] - Lamp [IKEA] - Like [Volkswagen] - Mountain [Playstation] - Noitulove [Guinness] - Odyssey [Levi's] - Rabbit [Comcast] - Sheet Metal [Saturn] - Stork [Monster] - Swear Jar [Bud Light] - Tag [Nike] - Tea Partay [Smirnoff] - Touch [Skittles] - Wedding Toast [Budweiser] - Yes We Can [Dipdive]. Part of Adweek's "Best of the 2000s" competition, which also includes rundowns of the 22 Best Super Bowl Spots and the 15 Best Print Campaigns of the last decade, among many other voting categories.