Sergio Valente ad (1982)

Vintage VHS Commercial Bonanza, Part 6 (feat. Sergio Valente and Frank Perdue)

Sergio Valente ad (1982)

Fashion, 1982 style!

It’s been more than two months since I shared the last batch of vintage 1982 commercials, so I’d say we’re overdue. The following are all the ads shown during the fifth break of WABC-TV Channel 7′s airing of Von Ryan’s Express on June 19, 1982. In this double-size break we’ve got Mel from Alice hawking bug spray, processed cheese-type food, the one and only Frank Perdue, and more!

Two of the ads in this section — Kal Kan and Midas — were repeated from earlier in the broadcast and have already been posted, so I’m not putting them here again. Part 5 of our VHS treasure trove is here.

Astute viewers should recognize our bug-challenged gardener friend as Vic Tayback, aka Mel from the old Alice TV show. (No-Pest)

Other than the jaunty, period jingle the thing that stands out to me in this spot is how generic the packaging was. (Kraft Singles)

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The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit - 2012

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2012

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit - 2012

So, 2012. It sure was twelve months, wasn’t it? But before the year slips away into 2013, let’s take a moment to reflect on just some of the awesome content I’ve published in Aught 12, as ranked by the number of visits (which I’m aware don’t always equate to quality, but that’s another topic). For reference, here’s last year’s review.

And as always, I offer a laurel and hearty handshake to everyone who has stopped by this year — either on the blog, the Facebook page, or any of the ever-growing venues where I waste my time and yours. This site racked up about half a million visits in 2012, which I’m fairly certain is an all-time high. It’s probably all downhill from here.

Oh and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the lovely selection of Featured Posts you see to the right. It may not be my most popular content but it’s some of my best.

Houston Oilers at Boston Patriots - November 25, 1960

#10. The Best and Worst NFL Logos (NFC North)

I’m fairly obsessed with logos, be they for sports teams or supermarkets. So last summer, prior to the start of the NFL’s 2012 season, I ran an eight-part series highlighting my most and least favorite NFL team logos. The one for the NFC North — home of the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings — was the most-viewed by a fairly sizable margin.

#9. The GFS Retrotisements home

Well this was unexpected. Since I launched the more permanent section of this site last year, one of the most visited sections has been the gallery of classic advertisements I call Retrotisements. I still run them on the blog — and here’s a handy index — but the main home is great because I’ve taken the trouble to organize the ads into handy sections for you. You’re welcome!

#8. American Football League (AFL) game programs from the 1960 season

This was even more unexpected. It seems as if the 1960 AFL season, the league’s first, still stirs the hearts of football fans more than half a century later. Or maybe people just love looking at old football programs.

#7. Jennifer Love Hewitt – Social Crusader

Was posting a gallery of sexy Jennifer Love Hewitt pictures a cheap ploy to get people to read my critique of her rather blatant hypocrisy? Yeah, I’ll ‘fess up to that. Doesn’t change the truth of what I said though. And just to prove that I can troll for cheap traffic and still keep my dignity, here’s a picture of Jennifer from the April 2012 issue of Maxim.

Jennifer Love Hewitt (Maxim magazine, April 2012)

#6. Get the London Look and Fit a Tuppence Between Your Teeth

Perhaps some felt I went a little too far in poking fun at the dentally challenged Georgia May Jagger and those silly Rimmel London ads, but I don’t care. She looks stupid and that’s all I have to say on that subject.

#5. 20 Great Horror Movie Posters from the 1980s

I had a ton of fun putting together this gallery of classic ’80s horror movie posters, and judging my the response a lot of you had fun reading it. I’ve already published another gallery of ’50s sci-fi posters, and you can bet more will be coming next year!

Queen - News of the World#4. Album cover of the week: News of the World

How’s this for staying power? My post on Queen’s classic 1977 album News of the World went live in May 2008!

#3. The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in World History

I published this list of killer twisters in May 2011 but it didn’t really take off in terms of popularity until this year. I guess maybe it’s a thinker? Well whatever the reason is, I plan on doing some more disaster countdowns in 2013, and I’m not just talking about CBS’s prime time lineup.

#2. To Arms! A Gallery of War Recruitment Posters

This gallery of wartime recruiting/propaganda posters dating from the 18th century to today was my most popular piece last year, but just missed out on a repeat in ’12. I’ll probably either update it with more posters in 2013 or write a sequel.

#1. A humorous map of New Jersey

This breakdown of the Garden State by type of resident was #4 on last year’s countdown, which was pretty amazing when you consider that it was only up for about three weeks. It narrowly beat out the war poster gallery to claim the top spot this year. Based on some of the comments it’s received, some people just can’t take a joke.

Vintage VHS Commercial Bonanza, Part 5 (feat. Carta Nevada, Helena Rubinstein, and Midas)

1982 Freixenet Carta Nevada sparkling wine commercial

And we’re back with another word from our sponsors! Here are all the commercials shown during the fourth ad break of WABC-TV Channel 7’s airing of Von Ryan’s Express on June 19, 1982. We’ve got ads for booze, makeup, mufflers, and… ballet? Actually, now that I think about it, that sounds like the makings of a pretty classy evening. Except the muffler bit.

(Part three of our look back at these commercials is right here.)

Oh, I just love it when square white people break out the Freixenet and get all frisky! (Carta Nevada sparkling wine)

(Helena Rubinstein)

That’s a sweet collection of early ’80s cars, is it not? And is that an old VW Rabbit? I think it is. (Midas)

Like I said, classy is the operative word here. Any time you throw out ballet companies performing at the New York Metropolitan Opera, it’s total fucking class. (Royal Danish Ballet)

Retrotisements -- 1975 Chevrolet New Car and Truck Lineup

Retrotisements — 1975 Chevrolet New Car and Truck Lineup

Retrotisements -- 1975 Chevrolet New Car and Truck Lineup

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that 1975 was a great year because that’s when I was born but it’s totally the case. And that’s pretty much all the inspiration behind the choice for this car capsule. It features Chevrolet, perhaps the most All-American automotive brand around (sorry Ford fans).

Chevy’s slogan for the 1975 model year was “Chevrolet Makes Sense for America,” which was a recession-themed tagline carried over from the previous year, according to this very in-depth look at Chevy marketing. Their TV ads sported a catchy little jingle titled “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet.”

And the ’75 Chevy lineup was rather a large one, featuring nearly a dozen passenger cars. And here they are, ads and brochure pages for every Chevy model from the subcompact Vega to the mid-size Monte Carlo, and finally to the legendary Camaro and Corvette. You can click on the 2-page ads to see a larger version.

(To see other car lineup advertisement galleries, click here. Got a request for other years and makes? Let me know in the Comments section.)

1975 Chevrolet Cars (general)

1975 Chevrolet Caprice 4 Door Hardtop

1975 Chevrolet Full-Size Wagons ad

1975 Chevrolet Wagons ad

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Vintage VHS Commercial Bonanza, Part 4 (feat. Quaker Corn Bran, Cella Winery, and A&P)

Here’s the second half of the commercial break from the 1982 WABC-TV airing of Von Ryan’s Express that I started in this post.

This classic Quaker Corn Bran spot stars a very young Danny Pintauro, who you know best as Jonathan Bower, Tony Danza’s son from Who’s the Boss?

I really don’t remember seeing these Fussy Customer ads, which appeared to basically be for a group of car dealers in the New Jersey area. But I dig the quaint music and animated birds.

That’s Indiana-born James Manis as Aldo Cella, with his famous “Chill-a-Cella” catchphrase.

Oh yeah, vintage A&P with the green smocks and red jackets! It’s hard to remember now, but for many years A&P was not just the biggest supermarket chain in America, it was one of the biggest retailers period. From a high of about 16,000 locations in the ’30s, the post-bankruptcy A&P now operates just over 300.

I Love You, Internet: The Zooey Deschanel Cotton Commercial We Deserve

Did you know that Zooey Deschanel’s middle name is Claire? I didn’t, because I hate her. Luckily this awesome commercial spoof — “It’s called ‘cotton,’ you’ve probably never heard of it.” — from Regretsy helps ease my white-hot rage against all things adorkable just a little bit.

Go ahead, watch it again. I already have.

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Retrotisements — 1958 Plymouth New Car Lineup

Print advertisements, brochures, and TV commercials help give us a glimpse into the automotive past. Today’s ad collection shines a spotlight on the 1958 Plymouth domestic American car lineup, which featured three main models — the Plaza, Savoy, Fury, and Belvedere — as well as the Suburban station wagon.

The full-size Belvedere, introduced in 1954, was in its third generation for ’58, and was available as a 2-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, 2-door Club Sedan, and convertible. It was demoted from the top of the Plymouth line in 1956 to make room for the Fury.

The Savoy, also in its fifth year of production, was Plymouth’s mid-line priced vehicle. Three trims were available in 1958 — 2-door and 4-door hardtop, and a 4-door sedan. And then there’s the Plaza, which was the entry-level model for 1958 (its last year of production). Buyers had a 2-door Club sedan or 2-door Business Coupe to choose from, as well as a “Silver Special” edition with a custom silver paint job and silver spear.

Last but not least, there’s the 1958 Plymouth Fury. Immortalized in Stephen King’s Christine, the Fury was limited to around 5,000 units in 1958. Nevertheless, it was clearly the marquee model in the ’58 Plymouth lineup. Around two dozen Furys — along with some converted Belvederes and Savoys — were reportedly destroyed to make Christine. King fans should note that the 1958 Fury was not produced in red, as Buckskin Beige was the only color available that year.

In terms of advertising, Plymouth’s print ads tended to focus on the make in general as opposed to specific models. But when one is clearly shown I’ll point it out.

(To see other car lineup advertisement galleries, click here. Got a request for other years and makes? Let me know in the Comments section.)

1958 Plymouth — General

Plymouth ad, 02-17-1958
Plymouth ad, 12-16-1957

1958 Plymouth "Money-Ahead" Contest Form

1958 Plymouth "Money-Ahead" Contest Form

This is for the same contest mentioned in the TV spots below. It’s the “Money-Forward” contest, where you can win either a 4-door hardtop Belvedere or a Motorola transistor radio. Neat!

1958 Plymouth contest ad with Bob Hope

Here are some in-show advertisements for Plymouth, who sponsored the short-lived ABC sitcom Date with the Angels (starring Betty White and Bill Williams). I wonder who won the $500 a month for life, and if they’re still around to collect. I really dig the road test with the tray full of food.

Plymouth ad, 5-19-58 feat. the Belvedere

Featured in this ad: the 2-door hardtop Belvedere

Simoniz ad, 03-03-1958

This Simoniz ad features a beautiful red Belvedere.

The quality on this TV spot isn’t the greatest, but it’s worth it for the jingle at the end.

1958 Plymouth station wagon brochure cover

Suburban Station Wagon brochure cover

1958 Plymouth station wagon newspaper ad

1958 Plymouth Suburban station wagon ad

1958 Plymouth Cabana station wagon concept car

1958 Plymouth Cabana station wagon concept car

What strangeness is this? If you haven’t ever seen this on the road, there’s a good reason. This is the 1958 Plymouth Cabana, a concept car in the form of a station wagon. Pretty swell, if you ask me.

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This Ragú Ad Made It Worth Watching the Summer Olympics

So I’m watching the Summer Olympics last night on NBC, and this commercial pops up:

Yup, this is an ad — titled “A Long Day of Childhood: Parent’s Bedroom”  — for Ragú pasta sauce, and it’s the best commercial I’ve seen in a long time. Certainly better than any of the ads I saw during the last Super Bowl, and much better than synchronized swimming.

Thankfully I never walked in on my parents the way this kid did, but I know others who have. *shivers*

And hey, am I the only one who didn’t know that you were supposed to spell Ragú with that little accent mark? When did that start?

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