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Monday, 18 February 2013

This is that moment when the customer realizes the "ancient Chinese secret" is BS, and it's just a lousy box of Calgon. "Some Hotshot"

This is a list of the top seventies commercials.  Not the best - just the top.  The most memorable, iconic, oft repeated, stuck-in-my-head-until-the-day-I-die commercials.  I love them for their simplicity; a stark contrast to today's "irony" laden sensory explosions.

It wasn't hard to find the sexual undertones of the Charmin commercial.  Not only was the repressed homemaker doing something naughty by squeezing the Charmin (oh, so forbidden and illicit), but they also appeared to be a the point of climax before Mr. Whipple interrupted the ecstasy. 

So simplistic: a picky eater starts chowing down, while the older kids stare aghast.  He hates friggin' everything, yet he eats this cereal.  Who would've thought this commercial would gain such momentum?

I know the whole "plop plop fizz fizz" thing started in the sixties; however, it was the seventies where it latched onto the public consciousness with horrifying alacrity.  "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" was another Alka-Seltzer brain adhesive.

Madge was such a busybody bitch.  She's a manicurist who criticizes the hands of every one of her customers, shaming them.  Then, to add insult to injury, she tells them their fingers are soaking in dishwashing liquid.  Why Madge became such a TV legend (the likes of which Geico's Flo could only dream) is beyond me.  And yet there it is.

Commercials were so damn simple back then.  Bounty is the "quicker picker upper".  Done.  That's you're commercial.  No irony, no flashing seizure-inducing imagery, no indie-music.... just Rosie and her paper towels.

The Hilltop Singers with their hippie mantra spoke to the Boomers, I guess. It wasn't just carbonated high-fructose corn syrup, it was the solution to world peace.

To appreciate the genius of generating the catch phrase that just won't die - take for example the failed attempt by Noxema shaving cream - "great balls o' comfort".  They get points for trying, but it just wasn't going to happen.

The Norelco electric razor commercials may not be as memorable, but they were plenty effective back in the day.  The "movie trailer guy" (LaFontaine) narrates this gem with the same gusto as he did the blaxploitation previews.  When he said "Gotcha" it was like a kung-fu kick to the nads.

It always kind of bothered me that the owl ate that kid's Tootsie Pop.  I wonder why it never bothered me that the kid was stark naked.

"Ring around the collar! Ring around the collar! Ring around the collar!' Over and over again the housewife is taunted by animals and inanimate objects proclaiming her failure as a homemaker.  Thank God Wisk will save her from her husband's disappointment (or wrath).

Honorable mentions:
"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature" (Chiffon Margarine)
"Whatever it is I think I see becomes a Tootsie Roll to Me"
and, of course, Slinky - the biggest perpetrator of false advertising in TV history.  How they made it walk down stairs before CGI is beyond me.


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