Lisa Scherzer in an article for “The Exchange,” which I assume is a magazine for women who like to find out different ways to exchange gifts given to them, has taken a look back in time, (not the magazine) at some of the most influential and humorous TV ad pitchmen for commercial products.
Her list of famous and funny pitchmen, or women, include the talking “M & M’s,” “E-Trade Baby,” William Shatner for “Priceline,” Flo for “Progressive Insurance,” The “Aflac” duck, The “Geico” gecko and that nerdy guy who does the commercials for “Nationwide Insurance.”
Ad agencies realize that something really humorous and catchy will ultimately make an impact on viewers, and perhaps get them to buy a product. Unlike some ad agencies who don’t have a freakin’ clue and continue to give us dull drab leave the room and make a snack or go to the bathroom ads.
So, MisfitWisdom decided to take a look back in time at some TV commercials that also were either humorous enough to catch our eye and delayed that snack or bathroom trip. Unlike today, when watching TV commercials, I personally utilize the “mute” button function. Does give one the feeling of power doesn’t it. Especially those commercials for lawyers and banks. Who we all know have absolutely no sense of humor.
Unless it’s a commercial for a bank suing a lawyer or a lawyer suing a bank. Which still wouldn’t be funny, but in my mind, satisfying.
So, here’s what I came up with:
The dancing raisins for “California Raisins,” doing their thing to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which is where raisins come from after they’ve morphed from grapes to raisins. The same effect caterpillars go through when they turn into butterflys, except no one wants to eat them after they become butterflys.
Then there was the commercial for, “Beautymist,” with football great Joe Namath wearing pantyhose. Which inspired all men watching that commercial to run out and buy several pairs of pantyhose in the hope that it would make them super jocks by playing football much better. Or at least save on buying jockey or boxer shorts by simply sharing their spouses pantyhose.
The “Bush Beans” dog in those commercials is kinda cute for anyone who has a guilt complex from ratting out on friends or can’t keep a secret because the dog is always looking for a way to expose the secret ingredients in “Bush Beans.” Bush beans were a staple in the Benedict Arnold household.
Smokey The Bear, the spokesmen for preventing forest fires made an impact on us by showing us, not only a bear talking with a hairy chest, but inspiring arsonists who start forest fires to also expose their hairy chests. Smokey’s slogan, “Remember, only you can prevent forest fires and at the same time prevent campers in the woods from freaking out by seeing hairy chested arsonists running around the woods in the dead of night.” Catchy slogan if ya ask me.
“Charlie the Tuna” hawked “Star-kist” tuna until he had to quit and go into rehab once he realized that he was promoting eating tuna, which obviously he was, and then realizing no one in the fish population would speak to him anymore.
“Morris” the talking cat pushed “Nine Lives” cat food but became so finicky, as most cats are, and was eventually let go by the sponsor. Fortunately, because Morris had that monotone sarcastic sounding voice, he teamed up with Ben Stein and is now Stein’s publicity agent and occasional fill in.
Then there was, “Farfel,” who, along with his dear friend Jimmy Nelson, (no relation to Ricky) was the spokesman for “Nestle’s Quik”.” He was also fired by the sponsor for being caught with a stash of Hershey’s chocolate when busted at an x-rated movie theater while watching a porno version of “Puss N Boots.” He, unfortunately, was sitting next to Fred Willard at the time of the raid.
What I find ironic is the spokeswoman for “Ivory Snow.” Their slogan, “99 and 44/100% pure. Their spokeswoman was Marilyn Chambers, also at that time 99 and 44/100% pure, until she began starring in x-rated movies, and was no longer 99 and 44/100% pure anymore. See what all that bathing with Ivory soap does to ya.
My last pitchman is my all time favorite. Father Guido Sarducci. Although this really can’t be classified as a commercial, it should be. At least for all Catholics. Because Father Sarducci tells all of you about life and what’s in store for you after you buy the farm. So, heed his message and be thankful you’ll know what to expect when you get to Heaven. If, of course, that’s the direction you’re headed. Otherwise forget the matches for your cigarettes….you won’t need them.
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