I miss a lot of things about the seventies; one thing in particular is the very simple (yet extremely effective) TV commercials. They weren't as funny or slick as the commercials of today.... but thirty years later, and I remember them like it was yesterday. They were cheap and not very flashy, but they stuck to your brain like glue. "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is." How simple, but how amazingly catchy.
I know a lot of these commercials actually started much earlier than the 70's (Mr. Whipple was around in the 60's), but these are what I remember most... and often wish I could forget. I never said they were enjoyable - just diabolically effective.
Take for instance the Charmin commercial - why was this such a phenomenon? I think it had a lot to do with a very bizarre sexual subtext. The way those women couldn't keep their mits off the toilet paper, and squeezed while gasping orgasmically.... you can't tell me there wasn't something a bit naughty going on here. And Whipple always had to have one last squeeze... in private.... and he was ashamed.
What about the Wisk commercials featuring that dreaded phrase "ring around the collar"? The way it was pronounced was so scolding, so judgmental, so disgusted. Totally effective.
Here's a quick list of a few commercials that I remember best from the 1970's.
Bounty: the quicker picker upper.
These commercials made Bounty seem so absorbent, you'd think you could've sopped up the entire Exxon Valdez oil spill with a single square.
A customer asks how the Chinese dry cleaner gets everything so soft. He claims it's an Ancient Chinese Secret, until his wife butts in and exposes his lie. Whore!
You Sunk My Battleship!
I think this game jumped the shark when they came out with "electronic battleship". The magic was gone. No longer was it an epic naval battle being played out in the Pacific Theater.... the wimpy sound effects lifted the curtain of imagination, and, alas, the thrill was gone.
Life Cereal: Mikey He Likes It!
Too bad he had to go and ingest Pop Rocks with soda and die a horrible death. They say it didn't happen.... that's what the big soda companies want you to believe.
"Pretty Sneaky, Sis." I don't get it. Just because she wins diagonally? Her brother obviously wasn't too bright.
Fancy French restaurant diners are surprised to learn they've been served a cheap ass coffee. They all seem delighted with the hidden coffee switch. I love the SNL parody where Chris Farley learns his coffee was switched and procedes to shout obscenities and attacks the waiter.
I never really noticed it back then, but when I watch these commercials now, Morris seems very gay to me. I don't mean sprightly gay.... I mean, Oscar Wilde gay.... if that makes sense.
But my favorite commercial of all time has to be Mr. Microphone. It's so unbearably cheesy, yet I lap up every second of it and beg for more. "Hey, good looking, I'll be back to pick you up later!"