An Ad that Changed the World – Really

In 1964 Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater were locked in battle for the presidential election of the US. With two months until election day, LBJ released an ad that would not only lock him in for the seat, but also change the face of political advertising.

Named “Peace Little Girl” it became to be known simply as “The Daisy Ad.” A young girl counts the petals on a flower as the camera comes in for a close up. When the camera reaches just her eye, a military countdown begins ending in a mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb with a voice-over of LBJ speaking about loving each other or perishing together.

While the race was never particularly close, LBJ’s lead widened after the ad aired and he easily won re-election come November.

What makes this ad amazing is two-fold.

  1. It only aired the one time, on NBC during the Monday Night Movie.
  2. It never once mentioned Barry Goldwater’s name, but the message was clear – he will take us to war.

The commercial was created by advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernbach, who are famous for their simple, yet compelling, graphic-driven ads. One of their most enduring and well known campaigns is for Volkswagen, making the teeny Beetle a hot ticket despite the US culture of huge cars and a not-too-distant memory of WWII.

vw-lemon

The girl from the Daisy Ad reemerged in October of 2016 in a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Gather ’round, kids, it’s time for a story…2017 style!

It may be one of the most hackneyed phrases in our culture, spouted off when someone hands over a 6-pack of beer or the topic of herpes comes up: Yep, It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

But where did this slogan come from? It’s a new year and Aunt Mary is in a giving mood, so let’s roll!

“The gift that keeps on giving” was first seen as a tagline in a print ad for Victor “talking machines” (AKA Victrola or Phonograph) in 1925 and was registered as a trademark in 1927. 

rca-ad

Victor was the leader in the emerging home-entertainment business from its incorporation in 1901. Not only did Victor make the machines that play music, it also sold the records that were made through a proprietary technique. Additionally, Victor made exclusive deals with the most famous musicians pressing special “Red Seal” albums. Not only did this improve sales, but it  also created a “third party endorsement” hinting that the musicians trusted Victor alone to record their music with quality and high standards. rca-all-the-music

RCA bought controlling interest in Victor in 1926 and continued using the slogan in advertisements for radios and record players for decades after. victrolia-in-surgery

The tagline has since been used in dozens of campaigns, including ads for blood and organ donation and subscriptions to Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Be sure to contact me with suggestions or questions. Let me know about your favorite and least ads!

Punch Up Your Holiday Parties!

I think it’s time we bring back the punch bowl! Enough with the wine and craft beer at every party, I want a big crock of Cheerful Whatever poured into a cut glass vessel large enough to take a bath in.

You aren’t on board? You will be after you see these delightful retro recommendations!

7-up-punch
Dudes be creepin. I have a feeling “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is played in a loop at this party. 

You can find this punch bowl at literally any second hand store anywhere. I love thrift shopping and there is always at least one punch bowl at any local shop.

 

merry-christmas-4-roses

Named after someone in the Four Roses test kitchen was heard shouting “Merry Christmas”after sampling the newest punch recipe. They were later found sleeping it off under the break room table.

 

rum-punch

Is it just me or is this headline a little threatening?  Still, there’s meat and a bucket of rum in crazy-adorable cups so count me in!

 

xmas-tuna-salad

It’s important to have sustenance on hand to soak up all that hooch. Be sure to adorn your party table with Elf on the Shelf’s older cousin, Judgy McStink-Eye, who sits on the buffet and makes note of everything you eat and drink. “Oh, you’re having another plate of food…well that certainly is a choice.”

By the way, that’s a tower of tuna…at a cocktail party…where people have been drinking. Good plan!

I’m Not Crying, WE’RE Crying – Happy Thanksgiving!

Gather ’round the table, kids! Thanksgiving Day is almost upon us!

In the current climate of anger and division the only thing I have to say right now is this: kindness is a choice, a choice that needs to be made over and over. Choose kindness and love, that’s the only thing that matters.

I could show you some stomach churning vintage ads such as this nicotine soaked turkey that was undoubtedly cooked for a solid 9 hours until it arrived on the table drier than a mouthful of the cinnamon challenge:

thanksgiving-cigs

Or an always popular crap-floating-in-jello with more crap on top, the perfect solution to leftovers and guests who have stayed just a little too long:

thanksgiving-jello

But this is the ad I want you to carry with you on Thanksgiving and through the holiday season.

 

Please know that I am grateful for everyone who visits my page gets my nonsense. I hope you have the happiest of days full of peace, plenty and love.

 

Thanks to Alicia for showing me this ad.

It’s Great Advertising, Charlie Brown!

You guys, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is on TONIGHT! What’s more, this is 50th anniversary and I’m totally geeking out. I love “Great Pumpkin.” It’s sweet and classic and they say “tricks or treats.” But there is another reason why I’m so fond of the show, watching “Great Pumpkin” is where I realized that maybe I enjoyed advertising more than the average kid.

You see, for me Peanuts holiday specials and their years-long sponsor, Dolly Madison, (makers of fine snack cakes) are inextricably linked. 1980’s Aunt Mary greeted the Dolly Madison ads as a welcome part of the show, an old friend that was as much a part of the tradition as every pumpkin in the patch or ghost costume.  Even now when I watch a Peanuts show I have a deep sadness that they no longer run the sponsor card for Dolly Madison. “Can’t they just add it in for nostalgia’s sake?” I think, even though I know they can’t.

When “Great Pumpkin” first aired in the 1960’s, the opening sequence included a shout-out to their sponsors. The nod was edited out for later viewings, though Dolly Madison continued sponsoring the show into the 1980’s.

Dolly Madison used the Peanuts characters in their advertising and packaging from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Hostess, makers of Dolly Madison cakes, announced plans to stop producing snack cakes in 2012, though subsequent communication indicated a plan to relaunch in the future.

Happy watching! May your pumpkin patch be sincere and your rock treats be few.

Aunt Mary’s Least Favorite Ad

As an ardent lover of advertising, I truly respect the skill that goes into crafting a spot that reaches a target market and speaks to their sensibilities. I also understand that not every ad is meant for every audience. It’s simply impossible to create a commercial that will vibe with everyone. But every once in a while I look at a commercial and wonder what the hell they are trying to do.

This commercial for travel company Kayak.com ignited a burning hatred in me I really can’t compare to any other ad. Yes, even more than the Charmin Bears. I apologize for the low quality of the video, it’s certainly the best one I could find leading me to wonder if Kayak is scrubbing the internet of its presence.

 

 

Sam and Lisa West are champion dancers in a style called Shag (pause for giggling). Clearly they are wonderful dancers who have worked hard at perfecting their art.

That doesn’t stop me from hating this commercial.

As wonderful as they may be (and I’m sure they are generally delightful), I find them to be the least charismatic spokespeople I have seen. Not only do they seem uncomfortable having to act while dancing, I feel like they were handed some really crappy lines to begin with. The entire ad feels off and weird and all too precious.

Additionally, Spokespeople generally have a built in fan base and a wide appeal. These folks are truly obscure to the population in general, leaving viewer to wonder what is going on, who these people are and why should we listen to them.

The ad starts off with Sam enthusiastically proclaiming how he misses shiny floors (what?) He goes on to expound on the wonders of Kayak.com (sounds good) then he makes a hard turn to the camera, breaking the 4th wall, and yells “Tip Tap Time!” (Again, What?) Lisa instructs him to do the “Wet Dog Wiggle” (huh??) Then they shuffle up to the reception desk where Sam hits the bell with his foot, despite the hotel employee being right there (gross.) She doesn’t seem too impressed with them.

kayak-dance-bell

This is also such a departure from Kayak’s usual advertising of awkward people looking for travel accommodations in visually interesting ways.

Or is it?

joey-shocked

Despite repeated watching of the ad, I’m still not sure why it has struck such a white-hot hatred in me. Maybe it’s because so many companies use amazing spokespeople to their advantage such as Eminem in that brilliant Chrysler “Imported from Detroit” ad. Maybe its because it seems to have sucked out all the joy and excitement that can come from a great trip. Maybe it’s because I feel if you are going to ask people to listen to your message, it better be on point; if you’re going to ask someone to represent your company, you better make them look great.

I don’t know, but I do know a crappy commercial when I see one.

 

 

 

 

 

Aunt Mary’s Home for Creepy Ads

Perhaps it’s the triple whammy of my obsessive watching of Stranger Things, listening to the Black Tapes Podcast and the infiltration of clowns across our great nation, but I’m on edge lately. Obviously the best treatment was days spent searching the deep web for weird-ass ads to share with you all.

I’m a giver, that’s for sure.

Brace yourselves, kids, for Aunt Mary has uncovered the creepiest food ads from the good ‘ol days. I’m pretty sure none of these open a portal to the Upside Down.

weird-guy-pudding-pie

 

 

 

I get the distinct impression there is something in this pie that Fred isn’t telling us about. He watches while we eat, but he never takes a bite. He just smiles that knowing smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

green-giant-doll

 

 

Obviously this doll gets up and wanders the house at night, that’s a given. What’s weird is he rips the labels off the canned vegetables leaving the homeowners guessing what tonight’s side dish will be. It’s diabolical.

 

 

creepy-juice

 

 

 

Even demons need their vitamin C.

Maybe it’s time to lay off the OJ when your kid is carrot colored.

 

 

skinless-weiners Hey Jughead, I feel like this might be one of those “if you see something, say something” situations. I’m not sure what’s wrong here, but I can say that nothing’s right.

The odd imagery this company used in almost all of their advertising lends a sinister tone to their name, Skinless.

skinless-weiners-4th

 

 

 

 

Nothing about this ad is either safe or sane.

 

 

 

 

Well, goodnight kids! Sleep tight, I hope the stuffed Green Giant won’t bite.

Sure, I’ll leave the hall light on.