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Drew Babb's 100 Greatest TV Spots of All Time_61 - 70

100 greatest commercials: number 61Dr. Pepper/"Be A Pepper"

So what if it doesn't make sense? It's great music, great dancing, great editing, great escape from the lousy TV programming that ran before and after. I mean, who can't remember I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too? Barry Manilow, before he conducted Bette Midler's orchestra and before his own huge pop career, was a King of the Jingle. Along with "Pepper," Barry also wrote "Like a Good Neighbor" for State Farm and "I'm Stuck on Band-Aids." The lyric (and recurring print theme line) are so memorable that in the film Short Circuit, Robot #5's first line is, Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?
Dr. Pepper
Agency: Young & Rubicam
Music: Barry Manilow
Singer: Ron Dante
Lead Dr. Pepper Kid: David Naughton

100 greatest commercials: number 62"Show Us Your Jeno's"

Stan Freberg runs marvelously amok as he makes people hold up little warm-and-serve yummies to the camera. It was a parody of the mid-60s Lark cigarette campaign. Like the Lark spots, Freberg's used Rossini's The William Tell Overture. At the end of one of the commercials, a man with a pack of butts walks into frame and says, I'd like to speak to you about the use of that music. Then Clayton Moore, The Lone Ranger, for God's sake!, taps the cigarette guy on the shoulder and says, So would I. And then, Jay Silverheels, Tonto, for God's sake!, asks his partner, Pizza Roll, Kemosabe? Wonderful inspired lunacy!
Jeno's Pizza Rolls
Agency: Freberg Ltd. (But Not Very)
Agency motto: Ars Gratia Pecuniae (Art for money's sake)
Writer and Announcer: Stan Freberg

100 greatest commercials: number 63IBM/"Chaplin"

The thread that links The Little Tramp with the product's benefit (IBM's new home computers–A Tool for Modern Times, the last two words being one of Chaplin's most famous films) is thin indeed. Doesn't matter. We just love him.
Agency: Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein

100 greatest commercials: number 64

Lite Beer/"Tastes Great/Less Filling"
A two-decades debate over whether Miller Lite Beer is better because it doesn't taste too bad or whether you can drink gallons of it and not become a fatass. There was a rule you can't use jocks to sell beer. But it didn't say you couldn't use ex jocks! There are more than 200 of these 30-second mock debates. The first featured football great Matt Snell. Another starred Mickey Spillane, the hard-boiled mystery writer. Maybe the best is the barroom tiff between Celtics coach Tommy Heinsohn and referee Mendy Rudolph. When Tommy wouldn't agree with Mendy, the ref gave him the thumb and said, You're out of the bar! The themeline: Everything you ever wanted in a beer. And less.
Miller Lite Beer
Agency: Backer & Spielvogel, originating at McCann Erickson
Writer: Bill Backer, Charlie Breen, Bob Tamburri, among others
Art Director: Bob Lenz, Nick Gisonde, Dave Clark, among others
Director: Bob Giraldi, among others

100 greatest commercials: number 65Hebrew National/"Answer to a Higher Authority "

The passing years have not been kind to this spot, and it features some of the cheesiest costumes, sets, and wigs of all time. And yet it's so outrageous it deserves to be in the company of great commercials. It's just a medium shot of Uncle Sam holding a hotdog. The voiceover rambles on about how Hebrew National could make their franks using lesser ingredients, etc. But they can't because, he intones, We have to answer to a Higher Authority. Camera pans up from Sam's stupid hat to the clouds in the sky. Translation: God is the client. Hokey, hokey, hokey. Good, good, good!
Hebrew National
Agency: Scali, McCabe, Sloves
Film Director: Steve Horn

100 greatest commercials: number 66U.S. Marines/"Rose Garden"

When in doubt, tell the truth. We watch footage of Marine recruits enduring the hell of boot camp while we hear Lynn Anderson's famous country western anthem,
I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. This was the Corps' very first television spot. They've been with JWT since WWII.
U. S. Marine Corps
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Songwriter: Joe South

100 greatest commercials: number 67VW/"Snow Plow"

A gutsy little import car trudges to work through an immense snowfall. The driver jumps out and clambers aboard a gigantic snowplow. The voiceover asks, Ever wonder how the snow plow driver gets to work? In a VW Beetle! One of the first spots to use just one killer line of copy at the end.
Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach
Director: Howard Zieff

100 greatest commercials: number 68Old Gold/"Dancing Packs"

Old Gold had girls inside these huge packs of cigarettes. They had glorious gams and they kicked 'em high in white cowboy boots. To the music of "Sidewalks of New York." There was also a dancer inside a little matchbox. We never saw their faces. But we couldn't miss the brand. It was staring us in the face the whole time! The first campaign with legs. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. BTW, one of girls inside those packs was a young Mary Tyler Moore.
Old Gold cigarettes
Agency: MCA Advertising

100 greatest commercials: number 69"Mazda Goes Hmmmmmm"

Remember the non-piston "Wankel" engine that Mazda hawked? I somehow had a little plastic model of it. Foote, Cone makes a wonderful, fun campaign out of what nice, smooth hum it made––as opposed to the busted mattress spring boing/boing/boing of a regular piston engine. Too bad Mazda's motor was a bust. The spots weren't.
Foote, Cone & Belding



100 greatest commercials: number 70Barclays Bank/"Big"
A writer's ad. Production wise, it's elegantly simple: Sir Anthony Hopkins (no less!) peers right into the camera lens and talks to us in that incomparable voice. He riffs (a full 90 seconds!) about the word "big" and what it means. How if you want a burger, it ought to be a Big Mac. How if you want to come to America, you have to visit the Big Apple. On and on. A title card tells us Barclays Bank is Britain's biggest online bank. And that a Big World Needs a Big Bank. We find Sir Anthony in a limousine, on his way to take a big meeting. He imagines saying I love this movie. It's gonna be big. There's one small problem. My fee. I'd like it to be, uh, what's the word? Directed by Tony Scott no less.
Barclays Bank
Agency: Leagas Delaney, UK
Writer: Rob Burleigh
Art Director: Dave Beverley
Director: Tony Scott

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