Tag: retrotisements

Retrotisement – Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls

Retrotisement – Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls

Advertising, Retrotisements
You kids can have your Webkinzes and your Dora the Explorer crap. Back in my day -- well, maybe a little past my day -- we had real toys. Why, take these Mattel Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls. No seriously, take them. Sadly, it seems this set didn't include Brian Austin Green, probably because his character hadn't completely sold his soul and driven his best friend to suicide yet, all in an effort to get with the in-crowd. Even sadder is the lack of everyone's second-favorite television restaurateur, Nat (on a side note, is Joe E. Tata not the greatest name in history?). Despite this, you have to admit this is one rad set of dolls. I'm not sure how you're supposed to play with them, however. I guess they could preen around your playroom/bedroom and ostracize your other dolls and a...
Retrotisements — Marlboro Cigarettes

Retrotisements — Marlboro Cigarettes

Retrotisements
Yeah, I know that most of the old ads I post have to do with cigarettes. For some reason I have always been fascinated by cigarette advertising. I guess part of it is that these types of ads might have been some of the first to market a lifestyle as much as a product. I mean sure, they all talked about the "flavor" and even the reduced tar levels — ignoring the point that they had any tar at all — but what it really boiled down to was that these companies had to find a way to make a smoke inhalation device seem appealing. Watching them find ways to rise to the challenge has always interested me. Oreos pretty much sell themselves after all. Same with beer and cars. But flammable paper tubes that allow you to suck on hot smoke? Now that takes marketing acumen. Marlboro is of course synony
Retrotisements – Telephone technology

Retrotisements – Telephone technology

Advertising, Retrotisements
With the release of the much-ballyhooed iPhone just around the corner, I thought I'd take a look at a few other telephone innovations of the past. Satellite phone service While satellite phone service is no big deal now - and has in fact been eclipsed by cell phones in terms of sheer usage - this 1960 ad from Douglas (pre-McDonnell) recalls a time when the technology was very much new and exciting (the first American satellite, Explorer I, had only been launched in late January 1958). Picturephone   Other than jet-powered cars, few things scream "FUTURE!" like videophones. This 1968 ad from Western Electric (the manufacturing arm of AT&T) promised to bring the future to the present through the introduction of the Picturephone, but for a variety of reasons it flopped...
Retrotisement – Career Club Shirts

Retrotisement – Career Club Shirts

Advertising, Retrotisements
I'm willing to accept that 'fashionable' is a relative term, one whose definition changes almost daily. So I can see how his ugly-ass belt -- as well as her entire outfit -- might have been considered pretty hip back in the day. But you will never convince me that this grotesque farce of a 'dance' was ever popular, let alone socially acceptable. This was published in 1967 -- the dawn of the Psychedelic Era in the United States, as well as the height of Motown's popularity. As this ad shows, never has the disconnect between advertising executives and the youth culture of America been thrown so sharply into focus. (Yes, I do know that the Skate was in fact a real dance. But man oh man, was it ever white bread. Guess that's what you look like when you spend most of your adolesc...
Retrotisement – Skippy Peanut Butter

Retrotisement – Skippy Peanut Butter

Advertising, Retrotisements
It's no understatement to say that I love old commercials. So much so that I plunked down 10 bucks just to own some of them. And I especially love commercials of the 1950s, most of which display a cheerful lack of cynicism so often found today. In a lot of cases, we get treated to some really great animation or stop-motion photography. There are, however, some real odd entries in the canon of classic advertising. Like, say, this circa 1958 ad for Skippy Peanut Butter. The commercial starts off with a brief history lesson (the true sign of a rip-roaring ad) - "Fifty to sixty years ago, people were introduced to peanut butter for the first time." (Incidentally, it turns out that George Washington Carver did not actually invent peanut butter.) These "people," i...
Retrotisement – Triumph cigarettes

Retrotisement – Triumph cigarettes

Retrotisements
I say any time you can incorporate your company's name with an advertising slogan, that's a stroke of genius. So what exactly is the "UMPH!" in Triumph cigarettes? Carbon monoxide? Formaldehyde? Whatever it is, it's AWESOME! And let's give it up for our ciggy spokespeople, who are totally rocking the earth tones here. Tweed Jacket seems torn between the realizations that his nicotine-stained fingernails now match his pants, and the much cooler fact that he can totally flip people off with his strategically placed cigarette. Meanwhile, Pleated Skirt is poised to satisfy her craving by sinking her teeth right into Tweed Jacket's jugular, thus obtaining for herself some of that sweet, sweet Umph!
The Best $9.99 I’ve Ever Spent (Part 1)

The Best $9.99 I’ve Ever Spent (Part 1)

Advertising, Retrotisements
A few years ago I stumbled across a product I never thought I'd see -- a two-DVD set of nothing but old TV commercials. Now, to most people this probably sounds like the dumbest concept in the history of ever. But to me, finding this was better than finding 10 bucks behind the sofa. In a testament to my bizarre notion of what is entertaining, I think I've watched it at least 5 or 6 times already. I don't know if this could really qualify as nostalgia for me, since the bulk of these commercials originally aired years before I was born, so it's not as if I'm using these to return me to my childhood. The set is priced at $9.99 for a reason. The video quality of a lot of these commercials is marginal, which is understandable. A 30 or 40-year old Hamm's Beer commercial doesn't exactly warran...