Like "Lemmings," this ran on the Super Bowl. It's the more popular of the two. (I like "Lemmings" better: See #25.) An apocalyptic view of the future, inspired by Orwell's book. A huge screen fills America's small screens. A terrifying Authority Figure barks at zombie-like people. (Today,
we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information
Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time
in all history, a garden of pure ideology. Where each worker
may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing
) A woman appears. She hurls a hammer into the screen, smashing it to smithereens! The voiceover comes in with, On
January twenty-fourth, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh.
And you'll see why 1984 won't be 1984
. Given how potent this spot is, it's not surprising that the Apple Board of Directors was stone cold silent when it was previewed. It's really surprising that after its success, they admitted how wrong they'd been!
Writer: Steve Hayden
Art Director: Brent Thomas
Director: Ridley Scott
Maybe the most astounding "How the hell did they do
that?!" spot ever produced. In one of the campaign's
early commercials, a smiling short-haired, casually dressed
young man holds up a white picture frame. He puts it in
front of his face. A still photograph of his face appears.
He pulls the photo away. He puts up another frame. He "takes" another
still. And another. And another. Each is a unique photo,
but the action keeps going. Until we cut to a product beauty
shot and the voiceover says The Photosmart
meets simple. That line could have referred to the production
values of this campaign. A note about that short-haired
guy. That's director Francois Vogel himself, a grand high
Poo-Bah of digital cinematography. The music–"Picture
Book" by the Robins–adds a beautifully breezy
audio patina. The creatives also use tracks by the Kinks
and the Black Eyed Peas in subsequent commercials. One
memorable spot was shot in Buenos Aires. The cityscape
and the actors are sensational. It may be overstatement
to say a commercial can be life-affirming. But this one
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Writer: Steve Simpson
Art Director: John Norman
Executive Producer: Josh Reynolds
Creative Director: Rich Silverstein
Director: Francois Vogel, Tool of North American and Paranoid Projects
How can processed meat get into your consciousness and stay there for decades?!
This jingle, sung by great little kids, does that! Here's the unforgettable lyric: My baloney has a first name -- it's O-S-C-A-R/ My baloney has a second name, it's
M-A-Y-E-R / Oh, I love to eat it every day / And if you
ask me why, I'll say / 'Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with
B-O-L-O-G-N-A! Not exactly Cole Porter, but yummy
all the same.
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Oh to be an action figure and have a 200SX! A blonde GI Joe-type toy escapes from the jaws of a dinosaur to meet a dishy brunette ("living") doll. Together they varooom away in a hot red sports car. Tagline is Enjoy the ride.
Nissan Motor Company
Agency: TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, CA
Writer: Rob Sitanen
Art Directors: Joe Hemp and John Boone
Director: Kinka Usher
Seltzer/"Try It, You'll Like It"
One of the many Jack Tinker spots whose copy became a national catch phrase. A wry New Yorker tells us about how somebody keeps trying to get him to eat something. He relents. He tries it. Thought
I was gonna die, he groans. Which leads him to try–
Agency: Wells Rich Greene
Writer: Mary Wells, Richard Ricah
Art Director: Stewart Green
Director: George Gomes
Alpo/"Johnny & Ed
Go to the Dogs"
Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon feed dogs on "The Tonight
Most of the time the hungry pooches dove into the Alpo.
But sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they peed or pooped.
One dog, "Fernandez," took one look at the bowl
and ran away! When another pooch wasn't particularly hungry,
Johnny got down on all fours and licked Ed's hand. One
gambit was to dress a dog like Carnac the Magnificent,
Johnny's mystic character. Answer: Dogs
bowl. Question: What do dogs
do on Saturday night? Only trouble was that the Dog
Carnac's headgear was waaaaay too heavy. When he leaned
down to chomp some Alpo, his little head kind of stayed
down. The glories of live TV! Weightman also produced live
spots on "The Dick Cavett Show" and with Willard Scott
on "The Today Show". Thanks to John Goodchild, Management
Supervisor on Alpo for this information, and to Steve Storti
at Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors, for referring
me to John.
Agency: Weightman, Philadelphia
Creative Director/Writer: Charlie Coffey (later Weightman's CEO)
Writers: Bunker Jenkins, Alan Johnson, Bill Lunsford, among others
Producers: Mary Resnichek, Joanne Guardiani, among others
1960's through the 1980's
Out and Touch Someone"
Marvelous smarm helps sell long distance. A great series (8 years, 60 spots) of what we used to call "slice of life," where real-life folks' lives are made richer and fuller by telephonically staying in touch with loved ones.
Agency: N.W. Ayer
Writer: Jerry Pfiffner, among others
Don Blore did the great accompanying radio campaign
The conceit in this long-running series is that Maytag
appliances are so damned well built that every single Maytag
repairman just sits around forever with his thumb up his
butt. The first actor to portray Ol' Lonely, the bored,
nothing-to-do guy, was Tom Pedi. My favorite was Jesse
White. (Remember him in Harvey?) Successors have been Gordon
Jump (Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson in "WKRP in Cincinnati")
and Hardy Rawls. There's even an apprentice, played by
Mark Devine. In one of the spots we learn that Ol' Lonely's
companion is a–what else?–basset
hound. Tagline: Maytag. The Dependability People.
Agency: Leo Burnett Company
Marvin Gaye would've approved. A line of raisins do doo-wop proud. Claymation beyond Gumby's wildest dreams. A half-dozen or so great spots in this pool. So popular were these dudes that they got their own Christmas TV special and Saturday morning kids' show. The client even sponsored a "Name the Raisin" contest that received thousands of entries!
California Raisin Advisory Board
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco
Writer: Seth Werner
Art Director: Dexter Fedor
Animation: Will Vinton Studio (pioneers of Claymation)
Chevrolet/"Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and–"
Who else could have run this wonderful cornball stuff than America's most democratic automotive nameplate? Part of the lyric: In
the years I've been livin', lots of things have surely changed. Lots of things have come and gone, some even came back again. But through all the many changes, some things are for sure. And you know that's a mighty fine feelin', kinda makes you feel secure––'Cause I love baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet... Great music, great cuts, great faces. Started as a radio jingle earlier in the 70's. The Chevrolet management never fully embraced this campaign. Too bad. I sure did.
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