by Maria Schulz
I was watching TV the other night, and thoroughly enjoying the fact that I can use my remote control to zoom right past all of the annoying commercials when this ad came on:
Get in. Get Happy
I realize that this ad caused quite a bruhaha because some people felt it was racist. I just thought it was ridiculous and meant to make you laugh. After watching it, it had me walking around saying things like, “Don’t be no cloud on a sunny day,” and “Turn your frown…the other way around!”
It got me thinking about all of the ads I used to watch when I was a kid. You know, back in the dark ages, when you didn’t have VCRs or DVDs or DVRs. If you were lucky, you had a remote control (we had to get up and change the channel well into the 80s). The result was that I saw lots of commercials that I loved and can recite—word for word—a million years later. Here are some of my favorites.
Ancient Chinese Secret
Yes, this was back in the day when we did not speak in politically correct terms or worry that we would offend an entire ethnic (and very large consumer) group. Did it make me run out and buy Calgon? No. But I know lots of people who did.
“Once upon a time there was an engineer./Choo-Choo Charlie was his name we hear./He had an engine and he sure had fun/He used Good-n-Plenty candy, to make his train run.”
I’m still singing this one decades later. Good-n-Plenty, Good-n-Plenty, Good-n-Plenty!
I don’t remember if my dogs ate this. They probably did, if it was on sale and my mother had enough coupons to justify it. But the central message stuck: my dog’s better than your dog and deserves the best. Oh yeah.
Toys R Us
“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid. They’ve got the best for so much less, you’ll really flip your lid!” I used to see this commercial every year, while watching The March of the Wooden Soldiers. It signaled that Christmas was coming, and I was about to get toys. Who wouldn’t want to be a Toys R Us kid?
Hey, this is one of those golden rules of life. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.
Yes, Calgon again! “The traffic! The boss! The baby! Calgon, take me away!”
My baloney had a first name too!!! I haven’t touched baloney in decades, but I still have this song in my head.
This 1974 commercial was delusional enough to encourage us to believe that counter girls don’t mind if you come in with 500 different requests about your burger. After all, you HAVE TO HAVE IT YOUR WAY! Trust me, I worked as a counter girl, and while we may have said, “Sure,” we secretly hoped you choked on it.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. What’s so hard about that? I can recite it in my sleep and often do. By the way, really dig the hair and duds in this commercial. Groovy!
Where’s the beef? Clara Peller gave my grandmother hope that she, too, could be cast as an old lady who asks annoying questions and gets paid lots of money. In between doing the chicken dance and going to Atlantic City, my grandmother would say, “Where’s the beef?” at least a dozen times a day.
“Cause they hold on tight in the bathtub and they cling in soapy suds.” ‘Nuff said.
If Mikey likes it, who wouldn’t? Yes, this staple of my childhood got me to eat Life cereal and say, “he likes it! He likes it! Hey, Mikey!” for years, until I heard of his unfortunate (and not in the least bit true) demise thanks to mixing Pop Rocks and Coke. His head blew up!!! His last words: “I like it! I like it!”
Keep America Beautiful Ad
I remember seeing this ad as a little kid, and feeling so sad. Look at all that garbage! No wonder that man was crying. I never threw my garbage on the street or even dropped gum on the floor because of him. This one ranked right up there with “give a hoot. Don’t pollute. Never be a dirty bird.” Now that’s some powerful advertising.
Like Marc Antony (no, not the singer formerly married to JLo) in Julius Ceasar, advertising tries to capture someone’s attention, get them to embrace their point of view, and then act on it. That’s the secret to a great ad – or at least something that burrows into your head and never leaves. Either way, a great commercial makes TV watching more fun. Now pass the remote.
Have it your way – with a lot less fat and a whole lot of good stuff. Here are a bunch of recipes from Eating Well that let you have your burger and eat it too.
Have you ever tired quinoa? It’s a complete protein and it tastes great too. If you’re looking to cut back on red meat and you’re tired of turkey burgers, this quinoa veggie burger recipe might be for you:
And here’s one for my readers who can’t eat gluten:
So what’s your favorite ad? Do you like one of the ones I chose here, or did I miss one? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!