Archive for advertising

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

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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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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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Looking at some movie branded food stuffs

Posted in advertising, Ghostbusters, movies, pop culture, Twilight with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2011 by Paxton

If you read this blog you know I love both movies and promotional food stuffs like new soda flavors and candies. I love it even more when they are combined.

Here are some candies, pastries, etc that were re-branded to promote a movie. I’m going to exclude the Star Wars saga from this article because, honestly, I could do a series of articles on Star Wars and food branding.  Images are from my own Flickr stream unless otherwise noted.  See all images BIGGER by clicking on them.

King Kong Twinkies King Kong muffins
King Kong Hostess pastries – Back in 2005, Hostess did a big promotion for Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake. They added banana to several of their products. In the pics you can see Banana Twinkies as well as Banana Walnut mini muffins. Interestingly enough, Twinkies’ original flavor was, in fact, banana.

Hulk Life Savers(Via Jason Liebig)
Hulk Sour Lime Life-Savers – A Hulk branded Sour Lime flavor promoting the 2003 Ang Lee Hulk movie. I don’t actually remember these at all, I just saw the wrapper pop up on my buddy Jason Liebig’s Flickr stream. Jason states that it may have been a Canadian only product.  I like this much better than I liked Ang Lee’s movie, and I haven’t even tried these.


Hostess Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies – From 1991. This was sort of a dual promotion. The packaging used artwork from the cartoon, but it was released around the time of the second live-action movie. You can even see a movie promotion on the packaging.  Matt from X-Entertainment did a great write up of this product.  The pies were green and filled with vanilla pudding.  There were four package designs each featuring a different Ninja Turtle.

Incredible Hulk cup cakes(Via Jason Liebig)
Hostess Hulk Cakes – From 2008 to promote the Incredible Hulk reboot with Edward Norton.  These were a Scary Cakes promotion for Halloween that featured green frosting and sprinkles on top.  Hostess also added the Hulk to their regular cup cakes, donuts and Twinkies products, but left the actual cakes unchanged. There was also an Incredible Hulk branded Air Heads candy.

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14 vintage ads for video games based on movies

Posted in Activision, advertising, Atari, Back to the Future, Batman, movies, Star Wars, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

I love movies. I love video games. So, obviously, I love video games based on movies. Well, I love the idea of video games based on movies. And this type of corporate synergy has been going on for years. Ever since the enormous popularity of the Atari 2600, both video game companies and Hollywood have tried to capitalize on popular movie brands to boost sales. And it makes for awesome pop culture ephemera.

So here are 14 awesomely vintage ads for video games based on popular movie franchises.

Atari 2600 ET
ET (Atari 2600 – 1982) – This is it. The game that felled the house of Atari. Yes, I owned this game and hated every second I played it. I know a lot of people now retroactively say they enjoyed it, but I HATED it.  You can only fall into an empty pit so many times before you throw the controller through the TV screen.  Surprisingly, this game was designed by the same guy that did Yars’ Revenge, the highest selling original Atari game (and one of my all time favorites).  Talk about Jekyll and Hyde.  Seanbaby rated ET #1 on his list of 20 worst video games OF ALL TIME.

Atari 2600 Raiders
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600 – 1982) – Around the same time ET was released, Atari also released this game based on the first Indiana Jones movie.  And it’s starring YOU!

NES Total Recall
Total Recall (NES – 1990) – Video game based on the popular Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Total Recall.  Seanbaby rated this game #15 on his list of 20 worst video games OF ALL TIME.

NES Bill and Ted
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES – 1991) – Bill & Ted.  It is amazing this movie was as popular as it was.  I mean, the movie spawned a sequel, a cereal, a cartoon show and a live action show at Universal Studios.  And Keanu is even talking about making another one.  Most excellent.  I never played this game but I loved the first movie.

NES Rambo
Rambo (NES – 1988) – A side scrolling shoot ’em up adventure game that very closely resembled the Zelda sequel, The Adventures of Link.

Atari Star Wars Arcade(via oldmanwinters)
Star Wars Arcade (Atari – 1983) – The original vector based Star Wars game by Atari was extremely popular with fans.  So, of course Atari was going to port it to their home consoles.  Here’s an ad for the Atari port of the Star Wars arcade game for the 2600 and 5200.

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Held Over! A new blog showcasing vintage movie print advertisements

Posted in 80s, advertising, movies, pop culture with tags , , , on December 20, 2010 by Paxton

Held Over

I’ve been planning this for a year or so, and now I can finally get it out there.  I’m starting a new blog called Held Over! As you can see from the banner above, it will showcase old movie advertisements.  Many of the ads will be from newspapers (hence the Held Over! catchphrase), but I’ll also include other print media like magazines and comic books.  I’ve been stockpiling movie adverts since the mid 80s, and I finally am getting my s**t together and starting to share them online.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue posting movie anniversary articles on this blog.  The new blog will mainly showcase the scanned movie ads as well as a little commentary (historical context, relevance, interesting trivia, etc) from me.  I’ll even aggregate some of the scans on the new blog into articles on this blog.  When I do that, you’ll see the above banner and the article will be tagged with Held Over.

So, where did this come from?  Well, when I was growing up I loved going to the movies.  I loved them so much, that I would cut out advertisements for my favorite movies from newspapers and magazines.  I also spent a good amount of my time in college at the Auburn University library combing through old newspapers on micro phish looking at movie advertisement sections.  Well, I was also looking up old 80s NBA box scores featuring Larry Bird and John Stockton, not just movie adverts. Wow, could that confession have sounded any dorkier?  No, probably not.

Anyway, throughout the 80s and early 90s, newspapers contained a wealth of awesome movie ads in their movie sections.  Movie sections could take up two or three full pages advertising what movies are currently playing.

For instance, here’s a movie section from the day I was born, May 9, 1974.  Click it to see it bigger on Flickr.

Toledo Blade 5/9/1974

Nearly two full pages are taken up with movies of the day. And there are some good ones like The Sting, Blazing Saddles and The Exorcist. There are also some stinkers like Zardoz and Great Gatsby. Hmm, actually, I just this moment noticed there are three movies playing starring Robert Redford; The Candidate, The Sting and The Great Gatsby.  You don’t see that too often these days.

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