Archive for the advertising Category

A Crystal Pepsi Retrospective on its 20th birthday

Posted in advertising, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Today is the 20th birthday of Crystal Pepsi. So in honor of our see through friend, I thought I’d take a look back at one of the more maligned soda drinks of our time.

In the ’90s there was a movement within America that equated clarity with purity. Pepsi decided to jump on this trend and create a colorless decaffeinated soda. Pepsi hoped that people would notice a colorless soda above other darker sodas and think that it’s more pure due to it’s colorless appearance and assume it would have less artificial coloring. Pepsi dubbed their new soda Crystal Pepsi and released it and a diet version to 9 test markets in early 1992.

After the drink faired well in test markets, a huge marketing campaign was developed and Crystal Pepsi was released nationwide in April 1992 to huge fanfare. The commercials were shown during Super Bowl XXVII. The Van Halen single “Right Now” was used on the commercials and the tagline for the soda was, “You’ve never seen a taste like this!”

Many people don’t remember, but Crystal Pepsi did well the first year grabbing almost 1% of the soda market. It did well enough to cause Coca-Cola to develop and release Tab Clear in December 1992. In 1993, however, the interest waned. Crystal Pepsi didn’t taste any different than regular dark Pepsi, which confused people because clear colas usually have a citrus taste. Sales dropped off and Pepsi pulled it off shelves. It was quickly reformulated into Crystal by Pepsi which was still colorless, but had a citrus taste like everyone expected.

By then, though, the damage was done and Pepsi canceled the soda in America in late 1993 – 1994. Crystal Pepsi continued to sell well in Europe for another year or so but was eventually canceled there also. The Crystal Clear concept quickly became a joke and was mocked on late night talk shows and eventually in a classic Saturday Night Live commercial, Crystal Gravy (via Redux).

PepsiCo quickly moved on and Crystal Pepsi eventually became a shameful footnote in the company’s history (a la New Coke).  As a special promotion, however, Pepsi did release a Pepsi Clear in Mexico in 2005. Presumably, it used the same Crystal Pepsi formula.  I’m unsure if it had a citrus flavor or not.

More soda history:
1. Misunderstood: The Saga of New Coke
2. The Story of OK Soda
3. Pepsi Patio: The Secret Origin of Diet Pepsi

AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Vintage vampire movie posters and ads

Posted in advertising, Dracula, monsters, movies, pop culture, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

This is the end of vampire TV week. Next week begins movie week. In celebration, I’m forgoing looking at a TV show today and I’m just going to present you with a potpourri of scary vintage movie ads featuring vampires. You can see more of these ads on my other blog Held Over.

First lets see some newspaper ads.

Dracula ad
This is a 1952 ad for a revival of the Dracula stage play. This was an adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel that originally ran in 1927 and starred Bela Lugosi. It was this adaptation that Universal remade for the 1931 film in which Bela reprized his stage role as the Count.

Bram Stoker's Dracula
This is a 1992 ad for Francis Ford Coppola’s rather indulgent adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel.

Love at First Bite
This ad is for Love at First Bite starring George Hamilton. It’s a 1979 spoof of Dracula that has the Count getting kicked out of his Transylvanian castle and having to move to America and blend in with the people of 70s New York.

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7 Got Milk? ads featuring movie versions of comic book super heroes

Posted in advertising, Batman, comic books, movies, pop culture, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by Paxton

I love the various advertising campaigns for milk.  From as far back as the 80s, they’ve had some of the more consistently entertaining commercial and print ads ever. There’s just something about them I enjoy.

Everyone remembers Michael Bay’s “Aaron Burr”.  Or the fun “Milk it Does a Body Good” commercials.  Or the ubiquitous “Got Milk?” print ads.  Classic advertising.  I especially like the ones I’m going to show you today. They are all print ads for the “Got Milk?” or “Body by Milk” campaigns and they all feature movie versions of comic book super heroes.  I love explosions of pop geeky culture like this.  I found many of these while thumbing through old magazines I had in my garage.

Please to enjoy.

Batman Begins The Dark Knight
Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) – Two of the greatest Batman movies we probably will ever see.  The Dark Knight is great, however, for re-watchability, I pick Batman Begins every time.  I love the sequel, I really do, but when I want to watch a Batman movie I put on Batman Begins.

Superman Returns
Superman Returns (2006) – I love Brandon Routh.  However, this movie sucked.  One giant missed opportunity.  The lead was great and the effects were awesome.  But everything else was wrong.

Green Lantern
Green Lantern (2010) – This movie ended up exactly like Superman Returns.  The lead was great and the effects were awesome, but everything else was a fumbled missed opportunity.  Kudos for a great looking ad, though.

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A Cavalcade of Collector Cups

Posted in advertising, fast food, McDonald's, movies, pop culture, Star Wars, Tron with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2011 by Paxton

I’ve talked about fast food collector glasses before. But that article covered collector glasses made of actual GLASS.  There are also a plethora of plastic collector cups.  A few weeks ago Nerd Lunch talked about super hero cups.   So, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and talk about a few of my favorite collector cups that have been given away at movie theaters and fast food chains.

I have each of these cups in my collection right now.

Capt America Tri-Cup
This is the Capt America The First Avenger Tri-Color Coolatta Cup.  My boy CT from Nerd Lunch discussed this back in July.  There are three sides/sections.  Each section holds the red (cherry), white (vanilla) and blue (raspberry) flavors of Dunkin Donuts Coolattas.  You can see the second side here and the third side is here.  The cup is sitting next to the stars and stripes donut that also promoted the Capt America movie.  They were both good, but I won’t lie, after consuming both for breakfast it felt like Cap and the Howling Commandos were fighting World War II in my colon.

X-Men 2000 cup
This was the collector cup given out at movie theaters in 2000 to promote the first Singer X-Men movie. I like the tapered base of this cup so it fits in your cup holder. Many cups now don’t do that.  And check out the web address of the movie with all of those dashes.  http://www.x-men-the-movie.com.  Hello late ’90s.

SW original cup toppers Stormtrooper topper
Everyone remembers the Star Wars cup toppers from 1999 during the whole Episode I merchandising frenzy. There were 12 cups and figure toppers you could collect from KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Well, those toppers were based on an earlier promotion for the Star Wars Special Edition in 1996-97.  It was a set of 4 and featured C3PO, R2D2, Vader and a Stormtrooper.  There were two versions of this set.  Above left you can see the set that came from the Las Vegas FAO Schwartz store.  They had setup their own version of the Mos Eisley Cantina including themed ICEE drinks (like Jabba Juice).  I had visited Vegas in 1998 and was able to buy these at the store.  Click the image to see it bigger and to see the commemortive FAO Cantina cup.  The other version of this set on the right came from Pizza Hut and Taco Bell stores overseas (I don’t believe they were offered in the US).  The toppers were exactly the same but instead of the FAO cup it had a blue cup with a picture of the character on it (see the Stormtrooper above). You can see how these influenced the Episode I cup toppers. For obvious reasons, only the R2D2 was reused in the 1999 Episode I promotion.

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Vincentennial: 10 Vintage Vincent Price movie ads

Posted in advertising, movies, pop culture, Vincent Price with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by Paxton


Cavalcade Gazette

It’s the Vincentennial! Vincent Price would be 100 years old this year, so people all over the net are celebrating the films of the godfather of horror. Strange Kids Club has been having Price-centric articles all week. I wrote one about Vincent Price and the origin of the Michael Jackson song Thriller.  Today, I thought I’d continue the celebration with a look at some awesome and vintage movie ads for some of Vincent Price’s films.

Some of these movies are his most popular (The Fly, Masque of the Red Death) and some may surprise you (Beach Party?).  Regardless, they are an awesome bit of marketing and movie history.  So without further ado, here are 10 vintage ads for movies starring Vincent Price.  I’ve put them in chronological order.

The Fly
The Fly (1958) – One of his most famous. And a suitably creepy movie on its own.

Return of the Fly
Return of the Fly (1959) – Rushed sequel that can’t really live up.

The Bat
The Bat (1959) – A serial killer called The Bat terrorizes the residents of a creepy mansion.

Beach Party
Beach Party (1963) – Yes, Vincent Price played Big Daddy in this Annette Funicello-Frankie Avalon beach comedy. I love the art and how busy this ad looks. The ad itself is huge, so click the image to see it FULL SIZE.

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