Archive for commercials

Nerd Lunch Episode 167: Drilldown on Infomercials

Posted in advertising, nostalgia, podcast, pop culture, TV, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by frequent guest Tim Lybarger from the Neighborhood Archive to talk all about infomercials.

Flowbee

We discuss some of our favorite products, some of our favorite pitchmen and then we spend a moment discussing some of the more ridiculous products we remember seeing info ads for. Also find out if any of us actually bought any of this crap. You’ll be surprised.

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online here.

A collection of vintage milk PSAs

Posted in 80s, commercials, nostalgia, pop culture, TV with tags , , , , on August 26, 2011 by Paxton


I loved milk commercials when I was growing up. There were tons of them and they were shown all the time.  And there were so many versions of the ads that it was endlessly interesting.

So on this Friday, I’m going to show you a bunch of my favorites.

Let’s start with one of the most iconic. The one directed by Michael Bay. The “Aaron Burr” commercial.

Next up are the “Milk it Does a Body Good” commercials. These are the ones I generally think of when I think of milk commercials. There were two versions of these. The first was a series of musical numbers featuring kids and random images of things flying all over the place. Things like animals (cows, penguins and kangaroos).

Check out the awesome 80s randomness of this ad featuring a lot of kangaroos. Seriously, kangaroos on pogo sticks and tap dancing kangaroos.

Here’s the “cow on the moon” musical PSA.

…and here’s the penguin version.

The other version of the “Milk it Does a Body Good” PSA involved kids talking to someone about the benefits of drinking milk. As they talk, they transform into an older, taller, better looking version of themselves. There were even two versions of this ad, one in which the kids were talking to someone else and one where the kids were looking in the mirror talking to their future selves. All of these commercials are filmed in front of a gray backdrop that looks like a crinkled up curtain.

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Cola Wars: Awesome Vintage Coke commercials

Posted in 80s, Coca Cola, New Coke, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Yesterday I was reminiscing about the Coke/Pepsi “Cola Wars” back in the ’80s and ’90s. I took a look back at a bunch of Pepsi’s most famous commercials from that era. If you missed it, I urge you to check it out.

Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, Coca-Cola. They have come up with some pretty famous commercials of their own. Let’s take a look back in time at some of Coke’s most famous TV ads.


Coke’s 1971 Teach the World to Sing commercial (video above) is undoubtedly their most famous advertisement.  It is so famous that it received two official sequels.  First, during the 1971 holiday season, Coke released a Christmas version of the commercial that ended in darkness with all the candles the people were holding in the shape of a Christmas tree. Then, in 2005, Coke inexplicably allowed singer/songwriter G Love to create a horrible douchebag hipster alternative rock version called Teach the World to Chill.  Might have been a worse idea than New Coke.


If the “hilltop” commercial above isn’t Coke’s most famous, then this 1979 Mean Joe Greene commercial is.  It’s still today a fantastic commercial.  Of course, in 2009, Coke filmed a sequel to the Mean Joe Greene commercial with Troy Polamalu.


The 11:30 Diet Coke break from 1996 is another popular Coke commercial.  I remember it airing what felt like every 5 minutes.  And, wait, I’m shocked to say this, but, in 2007 Coke filmed a sequel to the 11:30 commercial.  Talk about milking a concept dry.  I wonder if any of Coke’s commercials haven’t had a sequel.

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Cola Wars: Awesome Vintage Pepsi commercials

Posted in 80s, advertising, commercials, Michael Jackson, Pepsi, pop culture, soda, TV with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Pepsi and The Hoff

Shawn Robare over at Branded in the ’80s is reviewing his trip to the World of Coke in Atlanta and it got me thinking about the Cola Wars of the ’80s.  More specifically, soda commercials I loved during the Cola Wars.

I love the battle between Coke and Pepsi during the end of the last century.  So much awesome merchandising and memorabilia come out of that time period it’s mind boggling. Both Coke and Pepsi unleashed on our consciousness oodles of celebrities, pop songs, commercials and advertising that sculpted our current pop culture consciousness and is still remembered today.

Let’s take a look back at some of Pepsi’s best soda commercials.


Just this past weekend I watched Michael Jackson’s This Is It on Blu-Ray and loved it. The man new how to perform and he had SO MANY good songs. In the ’80s Michael was a pretty big spokesman for Pepsi and made several commercials (one in which he famously caught on fire). For me, one of the best, if not THE best, Pepsi commercial ever made was Jackson Street (clip above), which premiered on the 1983 Motown 25 TV Special. I still get goosebumps when I watch it. This commercial featured an unbelievably catchy jingle-version of Billie Jean. It also starred a young Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).  See another Pepsi commercial MJ made called The Chase.


Ray Charles’ “Uh-Huh” commercials were all over the place in the early ’90s. They had 6 or 7 versions of them including Ray in a courtroom and playing his twin brother, Irv. My favorite version came in 1993 which showed other celebrities (Charo, Tiny Tim, Bo Jackson, Jerry Lewis) auditioning for Ray’s singing part.


Around the time Michael Jackson was a Pepsi spokesman, another Michael (J. Fox) was also signed on.  Fox starred in several commercials, mainly for Diet Pepsi, that are considered classics.  The commercial above is one of his first featuring him in the library trying to be quiet while buying a Pepsi from a vending machine.  See another Pepsi classic called My New Neighbor here in which Fox tries desperately to find his hot, new neighbor a Diet Pepsi.

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ABC’s Awesome Saturday Morning Cartoon PSAs

Posted in cartoons, commercials, pop culture, TV with tags , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Paxton

Saturdays_on_ABC_smallMost of us remember waking up as kids on Saturday morning around 6am just to watch cartoons.  It was a ritual.  I did it, and I loved it.  There were so many good cartoons when I was a kid.  But it wasn’t just cartoons shows I remember from my early Saturday morning viewings, I remember fun and musical public service announcements that would air during commercial breaks.  We’ve all seen them.  They have colorful characters, clever songs and wind up teaching us about our government, good eating habits or proper hygeine.  The most remembered and visible of these public service announcements were the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. Airing on the ABC network, Schoolhouse Rock taught kids the Preamble to the Constitution, how your nervous system works and how a bill becomes a law. But ABC produced more than just the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. ABC produced scores of other cartoon PSAs with catchy tunes and fun mascots that taught kids about healthy eating and how to get a job. Many times these PSAs are lumped into Schoolhouse Rock when we think back on them, but they were separately produced with different voice actors.

Let’s look at some of the other awesome cartoon PSAs produced by ABC in the ’70s and ’80s.  You will probably remember most of these, if not, your welcome for putting songs about nutty snack mix into your head for the next 12 hours.

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Time for Timer – ABC starting producing these “Timer” commercials in the early ’70s. These are probably the most remembered shorts next to Schoolhouse Rock as they played well into the 1990s.  I actually didn’t realize this little guy’s name was Timer, even though I’ve seen the clips a thousand times and at the beginning of every one he says, “Time for Timer!”.  I’m not even sure I knew what that meant.  Now, I get it.  Timer was supposed to represent a person’s “biological clock”.  He carried around a giant stopwatch that went off whenever something was about to happen in the body (hunger, sleepiness, etc).  None of the Timer shorts have titles, they are known by their catchy songs.  His most famous is probably “Hanker for a Hunka Cheese!”.  Another favorite of mine is “Sunshine on a Stick” where Timer teaches us how to make ice pops using orange juice. I remember actually doing this several times.  I also love the “Eat Breakfast” short because the song is catchy (it actually reminds me of the songs in a Rankin-Bass Christmas Special).  There’s also “U Are What U Eat” which features cool animation of the “factory” in your body. Timer was so popular that he actually made an appearance on Family Guy.

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The Grocery Aisle of long forgotten breakfast cereals Pt II

Posted in advertising, Batman, breakfast cereal, movies, pop culture, Star Wars with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by Paxton

Allrighty, here’s Part II of the discontinued cereals article.  If you missed Part I, click here, my friends, otherwise, let’s walk back down Aisle 7c (Nostalgia) and take a look at some more forgotten cereals from our childhood.

Burgen, flurgen, murgen…BORK BORK BORK!! The cereal with the nonsense name. Swedish Chef was one of the more popular Muppets, so it’s not surprising he got his own cereal. This was released in the late ’80s and the commercials for it were produced by Jim Henson, right before he died. Here is one of the commercials.

Croonchy Stars

What if you want a breakfast food that looks like other food? I mean, why eat donuts for breakfast when you can have cereal…shaped like donuts? Or waffles? Or ice cream? These cereals remind me of that Jim Belushi skit on SNL where he’s an Olympic athlete that eats “Little Chocolate Donuts” for breakfast. See that skit here. Here are cereals based on donuts, including a Dunkin Donuts branded cereal. I actually remember each of these.

DonutzDinky DonutsDunkin Donuts

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Some of my favorite Budweiser commercials

Posted in Budweiser, commercials, humor, pop culture, reviews, TV with tags , , , on July 18, 2008 by Paxton

In a move that furthers my theory that eventually, all companies will be owned by two or three giant corporations, Belgian beer makers, InBev, announced that they had purchased American owned Anheiser-Busch this week for $70 a share (or about $50 billion…yes, billion with a ‘B’).  Anheiser-Busch had scoffed at a previous offer, only to back pedal and fall all over themselves when the Belgians threw even more money at them.  In order to stifle concerns about a foreign company owning a traditionally American company, spokesman said the headquarters will remain in St. Louis, no American breweries should be closed and 2 seats on the Board at InBev are reserved for Anheiser-Busch executives.

Should be interesting to see how the Belgians handle the Budweiser brand.  Will working class Americans still drink Bud now that it’s technically a Belgian import like Stella Artois or Beck’s?  Will Europeans drink the lighter, watery Bud beers despite traditionally enjoying the darker, heavier brands?  It’s a risk all around for InBev, which will now be called Anheiser-Busch InBev.  Nice name.  More importantly, however, will the Belgians be able to continue Budweiser’s tradition of their always classic and hilarious TV advertisements?  I’m concerned because the Belgians’ sense of humor is not exactly world reknowned.

In preparation for the immediate stoppage of funny Budweiser commercials, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite Budweiser commercials from years past.  It’s funny, doing research for this I realized there were several commercials that I thought were Bud commercials, but weren’t.  There was also one I couldn’t find.  It involved a guy on a date in a Chinese restaurant and he spots a hottie at another table.  He proceeds to order his food loudly by entree number (because most Chinese places number their dishes) so as to spell out his phone number, “I’ll have a FIVE and another FIVE and a TWO and one of the THREE….”  It was pretty funny, however I couldn’t find it.

So here are some of my favorite Bud commercials.  Click the commercial titles and/or images to see them on YouTube.

Swear Jar – This is one of the more recent commercials.  I think it aired two years ago during the Super Bowl.  Watching people in an office cursing at every opportunity just makes me laugh.  Also, watching the boss’ tirade in the meeting had me on the floor.  Great commercial.

Brazilian Fighting Cockatoo – I love this commercial.  I think this aired three or four years ago. It stars a fighting cockatoo bird that acts like Al Pacino in Scarface.  The cockatoo actually first appeared in this commercial, where he was protecting his master’s Bud Light.  I think I like the one in the bar where he’s protecting a lady from an unwanted suitor.  “Step Back? I step all the way back to Hackensack, my friend!” I wonder who is doing the Al Pacino impression?

Cut the Cheese – This commercial was supposed to air during the last Super Bowl, I think, but it was cut at the last minute.  I’m not sure why they didn’t show it.  I think it aired the next week a few times but hasn’t been seen since.  It’s actually really funny how they work in several different euphemisms throughout the commercial and I love that it takes place in a deli somewhere in New York or New Jersey.  This could be a lost episode of the Sopranos.

Jackie Moon TV Spots – Earlier this year Will Ferrell did some TV spots for Bud Light in character as Jackie Moon from his movie Semi-Pro.  The movie was only so-so, but this commercial spot was HILARIOUS.  Here’s another one here.  Semi-Pro just came out on DVD, so I may give it another chance because I didn’t think Anchorman was funny the first time but now I love it. I bet most of these tv spots were improvised.  “Bud Light, Suck One”.  “Bud Light.  I’m horny”.

Dude – This is a simple one, but it plays on the versatility of the word ‘dude’.  Very simple, yet very funny.

Apology-bot 3000 – There were a few of these Apology-bot commercials but I like this one with the guy apologizing to his girlfriend the best.  I love the little balloon at the end that says “My Bad!” on it.  LOL.  Here’s another one set in a Japanese restaurant.

Bud Ice Penguins – Allright, I’ll end with this one.  A classic from the mid-’90s, the Bud Ice Penguins.  Doo-Be-Do-Be-Doooooooooo!  Here’s another one.  These penguins were creepy yet funny at the same time.

I found many more that I thought were hilarious but I didn’t want to go on and on.  Some honorable mentions?  How about Magic Fridge?  Or this one featuring a mother telling her soon to be married daughter how to make her marriage last?  There’s also the “WHAAAAAASUUUUUUUP” (“What Are YOU Doing!?“) series of commercials and the Real Men of Genius ads that I get so much enjoyment from (Mr Over the Top Carb Counter).  Maybe I can even do a followup to this article.  We’ll see.

Have a good weekend everyone.  I’m off to Atlanta to join my wife at one of her friend’s wedding.