Advertising

Logo Evolution: Taco Bell

Logo Evolution: Taco Bell

Advertising
Taco Bell was founded in 1962 by Glen Bell, who had owned hot dog stands and other taco stands as far back as 1946. The first Taco-Tia stands opened in the early '50s and were the forerunner of Taco Bell. The first Taco Bell opened in Downey, California on March 21, 1962, and today the franchise boasts over 7,000 locations. As with any of my other logo capsules, dates may not be totally accurate. As is often the case with logos, older logos can stick around in advertising and building design for a while after their official expiration dates. 1962-72 The original Taco Bell logo design had two separate elements -- there was a colorful, blocky wordmark and a festive sombrero/bell sign. This was in widespread use for the first decade of Taco Bell's existence. Despite its first use...
Happy Birthday to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Happy Birthday to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Advertising
One of the greatest television specials of all time, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year! Let's take a moment to recognize this essential piece of our childhoods and to pay homage to the man behind it all, Charles M. Schulz. The now-yearly tradition began on October 27, 1966, when CBS debuted the half-hour animated special -- the third such Peanuts show -- as part of its Thursday evening lineup. Here are a few newspaper ads from that day. Now as far as I can tell, the first reference to the Great Pumpkin appeared in the Peanuts comic strip almost exactly 7 years before the show, in October 1959. Here is that strip:
Don’t Touch That Dial #3: The Paul Lynde Halloween Special, 1976

Don’t Touch That Dial #3: The Paul Lynde Halloween Special, 1976

Advertising, TV & Radio
I was a little too young to have seen the Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976, but as a lifelong Kiss fan I knew of it. Here's a national newspaper ad that ABC ran for the special, which aired on October 29, 1976. Featured on the show were Tim Conway, Roz Kelly, Margaret Hamilton, Florence Henderson, Betty White, and of course the aforementioned Kiss.
Vintage Coca-Cola Advertising, Pt. 1

Vintage Coca-Cola Advertising, Pt. 1

Advertising
For the better part of a century-plus, Coca-Cola has been one of the most recognizable brands in the United States and the world. This is in no small part to the almost incalculable amount of gorgeous advertising images used to sell Coke over the past several decades. From major print and TV ad campaigns to the most unassuming store displays, Coke has had their marketing nailed down for what seems like forever. In honor of one of advertising's greatest triumphs -- not to mention an American institution -- I present here the first of hopefully many ad galleries featuring great Coca-Cola images throughout the decades. This collection features ten signs and displays from the mid 20th century, each in various stages of completeness. Click on any image for the full-size version. ...
Don’t Touch That Dial #2: Zorro, 1967

Don’t Touch That Dial #2: Zorro, 1967

Advertising, TV & Radio
The original Disney-produced TV series Zorro (starring Guy Williams) ran from 1957-59, but a decade after its debut on ABC it still had life in reruns. This ad for the show ran in 1967 and shows us that it was airing on WKYT-TV (channel 27) out of Lexington, Kentucky. The station started out as a CBS affiliate, switched to ABC in 1958, and moved back to CBS in 1968.
Beautiful Billboards #3: Seattle City Light, 1968

Beautiful Billboards #3: Seattle City Light, 1968

Advertising
This beauty of a billboard for Seattle City Light was photographed in the late '60s, and yet features a wonderful 1950s design. Click for a larger version. I mean c'mon, that housewife illustration is right out of a 1950s ad from Life magazine is it not? I wonder how long that billboard had been standing when it was shot. I'm sure it's too much to hope that it's been preserved. (via Seattle Municipal Archives on Flickr)
Let’s Watch Cracker Baseball on TV

Let’s Watch Cracker Baseball on TV

Advertising, Sports
I'm sure the context for this ad from the May 4-10 edition of TV Guide's Atlanta edition makes this seem perfectly reasonable. But because I can't resist a good sight gag, let's just enjoy this ad for WWLA's Cracker baseball broadcasts as is. OK, in the spirit of fairness I will mention that Crackers was the name of Atlanta's minor league baseball team, and they were part of the rather successful Southern Association. The league disbanded in 1961, which left Atlanta without a baseball team until the Braves moved from Milwaukee in 1966. As for WLWA-TV (now WXIA) having a sports broadcaster named Bob Boring, I'm not gonna kill that joke with facts.
Here’s A Classic Disney Hudson TV Ad Featuring Donald Duck

Here’s A Classic Disney Hudson TV Ad Featuring Donald Duck

Advertising, Auction Finds
Long before the Walt Disney Company became known not just as a purveyor of magic but as a corporate behemoth, they tried their hand at television advertising. In the early-to-mid 1950s, Disney produced a series of fantastic TV ads featuring classic characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Tinker Bell, as well as original product-specific characters. This great ad and animation cel come from a spot for what I believe to be the 1955 American Motors Hudson Hornet, and feature Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The designer was Tom Oreb, who worked with Disney during what was arguably their golden age for feature productions. First, let's look at the Hudson Hornet ad. I'm not 100% certain what model year this is for, as the sources I've seen for this animation vary...
Beautiful Billboards #2: Oreo Cookies, 1950s

Beautiful Billboards #2: Oreo Cookies, 1950s

Advertising
From Anywhere, USA of the 1950s comes this gorgeous billboard ad for Nabisco's Oreo cookies. Make the switch! Oh my, is that ever beautiful. From the lovely illustration to the great vintage packaging to the television graphic, it's almost enough to make me not even notice the fantastic group of cars parked there. Almost.