Showing posts with label Commercials of YesterYear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commercials of YesterYear. Show all posts

Five Spooky Halloween TV Commercials

Monday, October 17, 2022

Commercials have this weird ability to take you back to a time and place from yesteryear.  There really isn't much more nostalgia than watching an old commercial.  You'll see stuff you loved or maybe stuff you forgot that you once loved.  Occasionally, you'll see something you didn't know existed until some random guy posted it to YouTube 30 years later, but now that you've seen it, you feel like you missed out on something important.  

It's not just the grainy low-resolution footage, compared to the crystal clear digital visuals of 2022, but the subject of the advertisement itself.  

You may find a toy you once had or food or snacks you used to enjoy in the cafeteria at school.  The television shows or movies you watched with friends or the stores in the mall that no longer exist.  All of it, just the way we remember it.  The way things used to be and, frankly, the way they still should be.  


When watching retro stuff on YouTube, one of my favorite things to do when I have a rare moment of free time is to watch a collection of commercials that some saint took the time to edit and put on the internet.  Watching this "found footage" on YouTube, dubbed from someone else's home videotapes, brings me right back to when I was a kid.  

Yes, advertising executives and marketing masters targeted my age group then, but I feel they certainly put more effort into things back in those days.  Now, both adult and children commercials, on the rare occasion I watch them, feel like, "Hey, here's our product, just buy it on Amazon."  

In the 90s, pizazz, a hook, catch or jingle, made these commercials memorable.  Go ahead, sing three jingles from an 80s or 90s commercial.  Now try to sing three from commercials made in the last 10 years.  I'll wait.

I've talked before about the importance of commercials to my generation, so feel free to check out my collections section and the "Commercials of YesterYear."  You'll find articles featuring things like "Beautiful" Mount Airy Lodge, Pace "New York City?!" Salsa, and "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" of auto racing!  

When I was a kid and we'd record something, often Dad would hit the pause button during commercials to save space on the tape.  Oh, the horrors we suffered under before the days of unlimited cloud storage.  Most of the remaining VHS tapes I have are missing the commercials, but occasionally when I pop one into the VCR, I'll come across a handful of old commercials.   


By the way, Dad hitting pause during the commercial breaks was similar to when he created his own edited version of Ghostbusters just for me.  He knew that as a 4 or 5 year old I was obsessed with The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and the Kenner action figures and desperately wanted to see the 1984 Ghostbusters film.  The movie, though, was a little too adult for a child that age.  

So, one night he watched the movie with pen, paper, and a stopwatch in hand and took notes of any profanity or scenes that were too scary for such a wee one.  He somehow got a hold of a second VCR, in 1988 or 1989 mind you, and dubbed the tape onto a blank VHS cassette.  He'd hit mute or he'd pause the recording during any scenes or moments on his list, producing his own version of an edited film.  I'd say I only got to watch about 45 minutes of the 105 minute movie, but in the end I was able to watch the film I so desired.  That's the dedication of a father right there.  

Thanks, Dad.

Holiday commercials seem to be even more nostalgic than some of the rest.  Maybe it's because of the increased amount of holiday television specials we all watched back then, but I have an easier time remembering the holiday ads.  Around Christmas, I always look forward to seeing the Hershey Kisses bells or the M&M "Santa Claus is real" ads.  

Halloween is no different and there are hundreds of memorable ones.  I don't have the time to write about that many, so I picked 5 of my favorite Halloween commercials of Yester Year.  I'm not sure just how "spooky" these are, but they definitely give off that great retro Halloween vibe.

I can't wait to dig into them, so let's start!

Commercials of YesterYear: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Sunday!  Sunday!  Sunday!

It's not very often that I hear the word "Sunday," and a television announcer's deep voice doesn't appear from the deep recesses of my brain to shout SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! 

I sometimes wonder, where is that from?  Did I once hear it as a child?  Where?  How often must I have since it lives so deep inside my brain?  I vaguely remember the constant "Big Foot" monster truck commercials when I was a kid, but I know I've since heard it in movies or television.  I'm not really a fan of monster trucks or drag races, so is that really where it came from?  Or was it just some goofy movie or TV show that caught on enough to enter the lexicon?  Did I make it up?  Is it even real?

The short answer is yes, the "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" catchphrase was a real thing!  It was initially said by Chicago area auto racing announcer Jan Gabriel in the late 1960s for the US-30 Drag Strip in Hobart, Indiana.  It found widespread use, often imitated or spoofed, during the monster truck craze of the 80s and 90s.     

US-30 Drag Strip in Hobart, Indiana

So, how did that catchphrase about Sunday catch on?  Why say it in the first place?  Who was Jan Gabriel?  

I have so many questions today, but that just means it's time for another deep dive into "Commercials of YesterYear" as we look back at the original use of the slogan "Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!"

Five Classic Christmas Commercials!

Monday, December 13, 2021

We're well on our way to Christmas and almost halfway through December!  Boy, how time flies!  What better way to keep the momentum going than watching some old television commercials from when we were young and full of Christmas wonder?  


Nostalgia geeks like me often spend many hours watching "found footage" on Youtube dubbed from someone's home videotapes.  Great folks on the internet will edit and clean up the footage to compile old commercials into hours of great footage. 

Some kind soul will spend their free time reviewing old VHS tapes, convert them to digital, and then upload them to the internet.  That one long-lost memory will be given a "forever space" on the internet, just waiting to be enjoyed by the people who've spent years looking for it.  Bless these people.  

These days, if you're like me, you fast forward through as many commercials as you can.  This Thanksgiving, my family watched network television for the first time in over a year as we tuned in to WPIX (Channel 11 in New York) for our traditional viewing of Laurel and Hardy's "March of the Wooden Soldiers." We left it on to play in the background but quickly noticed that every three commercial spots were filled by the same Public Service Announcement for a medical procedure or medicine or what have you.  No wonder everyone is so crazed if that's all they hear every 5 minutes all day!   I digress...

You probably aren't a fan of commercials now, but I guarantee that you can remember (and probably even sing) at least 3 jingles from ads from your childhood.  I have a whole series of commercials I fondly remember, which you can head over to the "Collections" page and check out.  But that was back when companies invested significant money in advertising and had things like jingles or gimmicks to catch your attention.   One of the nice things about commercials from years gone by is that they remind me of a different time or specific memory.  

The commercials back then all had a holiday flair to them and kept the festive Christmas spirit going between a Christmas special or themed sitcom episode breaks.  Heck, even the car commercials got into the act!  Remember the "Lexus Christmas Sales Event" commercials as the shiny new car would wind its way through snow-covered woods to arrive in time for Christmas morning, complete with a giant bow on the car once its intended recipient woke up in the morning?  

Or who could forget the so-annoyingly-awful-they're-great Hyundai commercials from 2010 (11 years ago already!) featuring the singing duo Pomplamoose?  (CLICK HERE TO BE REMINDED!)

Now that Pomplamoose is stuck in your head, click below to see Five Classic Christmas Commercials!

Commercials of YesterYear: Motel 6 "We'll Leave the Light on For You"

Friday, September 10, 2021

Here's a fun little one for you as we make yet another entry into the "Commercials of YesterYear" series.

"I'm Tom Bodett, and we'll leave the light on for you."  

I'm sure you've heard that before, especially those of us born before the Y2K "virus" was going to ruin every computer on the planet.  Even people who don't travel often can likely say they know that the aforementioned slogan is from a series of very popular commercials during the 80s and 90s for Motel 6.  The campaign was so popular that in 1996 it won a CLIO Award, the advertising industry's highest honor.

Just the phrase "we'll leave the light on for you" creates an image of safety and comfort.  It creates a nostalgic tie to when we were younger, and our parents or loved ones left the front porch light on for us when we came home late at night.  Perhaps it reminds you of a long hard day of traveling, and when you finally reach home, the lights are on welcoming you back.  

In this case, you weren't home.  You're at a roadside motel that has probably seen better days.

I can't honestly say if I've ever stayed in a Motel 6 before or not.  Perhaps I did once when I was very young at a cousin's wedding in Syracuse, New York.  I remember only snippets of it, and I must have been 4 or 5.  The only thing I really remember about the hotel was the stories family would tell in the morning about a disruption in the middle of the night that was similar to a shooting, stabbing, or one that involved the police anyway, at the very least.  I slept through the whole thing, as I did with most things as a kid.  These days, trying to sleep through any noise is a different story.

Not exactly the comforting image of home leaving the lights on for you, but I digress... 


In my line of work, we stay in hotels quite a lot.  I don't spend as many nights away from home as I used to, but I did the math and figured that I spent an average of 18 nights a month in a hotel for over a decade.  That's somewhere around 215 nights per year!  For many years, I used to sleep better in a hotel bed than my own, but now that I'm out of practice, I often sleep terribly in a bed, not at home.

These days, I'm lucky if I only have to spend 2 or 3 nights away from home per month.  I'm no expert, but I'd say that I'm still an aficionado about knowing what works (and what doesn't) in a hotel.

Every time I stand in the lobby waiting on my coworkers to check in with the company sign-in sheet, I often have the soft happy little tones of the Motel 6 theme song going through my head.  The soothing voice of Tom Bodett appears in my head as I walk towards my room, and as the door closes behind me,  I'll often say to myself, "We'll leave the light on for you!"

Join me as we take a deep dive into YesterYear as we look back at Motel 6 and its iconic advertising campaign!

Commercials of YesterYear: Kiwi International Airlines

Friday, January 29, 2021

As I mentioned in another "Commercial of YesterYear" article about Spirit Airlines (READ ABOUT IT HERE), or the Mount Airy Lodge commercials (WHICH YOU CAN READ ABOUT HERE), there were a few commercials that repeatedly aired on channels like WPIX (PIX-11) and WWOR (UPN-9) when I was a kid during the early 90s.  

Long time readers of this site know I'm an airline pilot by day, retro blogger by night.  I've always wanted to fly, except I always wanted to fly like Superman did.  When I finally realized that was impossible, airplanes became the next best thing.  I never really thought of it as a career until I was in tenth grade, and my family and I took a trip to Iowa to see my Mom's mother and her new husband... but that's an article for another day.

Before I thought of flying as a career, though, I LOVED planes.  I looked up any time I heard them when I was outside.  When I was really young, my Mom would take us to a small airport in town.  We'd pack a lunch, and we'd go watch the student pilots practice their takeoffs and landings.  My Grandparent's on my Mom's side had lived in Florida before my Grandfather's passing, and we would fly down once a year to visit with them and then spend time at Disney World, and often, the plane ride was my favorite part of the trip.

So when these commercials started repeatedly airing, sometimes two or three times per hour, I was in love.  Spirit Airlines is still around, but the other is long forgotten in the heap of post-deregulation airlines that came and went in the 80s and 90s.  


That airline was Kiwi International Airlines.

Commercials of YesterYear: Pace Salsa... from New York City?!?

Monday, January 25, 2021

I've been thinking a lot lately about all of the old jingles and slogans that rattle around in my head from the many hours spent watching television growing up.  The mind of a child is like a sponge (a fact not lost on advertisers, I'm sure), and it seems like I remember quite a bit of the ads and catchphrases that inundated television of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.  

I had to laugh the other day when my Mom marveled that my daughter seems to "study" the TV when she looks at it.  She then commented on how I didn't have that sort of attention or interest in television when I was her age.  I guess she had forgotten that by the time I wasn't even 4, I had memorized "Mary Poppins" line for line and was reciting it for the whole family... and neighborhood.  Nevermind the entire section of my mind overflowing with jingles and catchphrases.

Unfortunately, it seems like nothing is memorable these days compared to YesterYear.  Seemingly no company has catch phrases, jingles, or even a fun mascot.  Is it the fear of offending someone that prevents ads from having any character?  Is it that everything's disposable or replaceable these days, so why not just have interchangeable people and things in the commercial?  

Maybe it's just as simple as everyone skips over ads these days, so they figure why put in the effort?  If you ask me, THAT is the perfect reason to put in the effort.  Make your ad stand out from the pack to get people talking.  


And in the late 80s and early 90s, one such company did stand out.  

Pace Salsa.

Retro RePost: Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge

Monday, January 11, 2021

My recent post about "Catching the Spirit... on Spirit Airlines" made me think back to the other older commercials and the catchy little jingles that stay with me.  


One of my all-time favorite commercials, The Mount Airy Lodge, was one of my more popular articles from last year.  So, with some new readers finding the site lately, I figured why not make another "Retro RePost!"  


Remember, ♪  "...all you have to bring, is your love of everything... Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge!!" ♪

Commercials of YesterYear: Spirit Airlines

Thursday, January 7, 2021

"Catch the spirit... on Spirit Airlines!"

As a pilot, I don't fly for Spirit.  I've never flown on them and likely never will have a reason to, but if you know anything about air travel, you've heard of Spirit.  Perhaps you've even seen the viral videos on World Star Hip Hop.  Back in the day, though, Spirit was nothing like the no-frills, nickel and dime, budget airline they are today.  

Don't get me wrong, they were certainly an economy class carrier. Still, they had a niche market of leisure destinations in Florida and the Caribbean, primarily from the northeast United States states, for dirt cheap.  Today, they are a national airline with 157 planes and 77 destinations (as of the time of writing.)  

Back when I was growing up there was three commercials that would repeatedly air on FOX 5 (WNYW), UPN 9 (WWOR), and Pix 11 (WPIX).  The first was for "Beautiful" Mount Airy Lodge (which you can read about HERE!!!)  The second was a short-lived budget startup airline called Kiwi International Airlines.  The last was Spirit.

Spirit had fun little commercials that advertised cheap fares to fun-sounding places like Orlando and Las Vegas or the Caribbean with a catchy little jingle that still stays with me today.  Every time I see a Spirit plane, even now in 2021, my mind reaches back to this commercial and its catchy little tune.

Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge

Monday, March 30, 2020

If you grew up in the New York metropolitan area during the 80s and 90s, and I sang the jingle, "All you have to bring is your love of everything..." I bet you could finish the song for me with "BEAUTIFUL MOUNT AIRY LODGE!"  

When even cable TV only had 20 channels to watch, we were inundated with the same few commercials over and over.  Among one of the more memorable was this advertisement that frequently played on WPIX-11 and other channels that featured syndicated content I so often watched, like FOX or WWOR.  Every so often, it still pops into my head, and I'm taken right back to 30 years ago as I sat on my living room floor on a summer morning.


I can still picture the commercial in my head when I hear those two lines of the song.  I can still see the happy couple riding in golf carts, lounging poolside, dancing in formalwear, riding bicycles in gaudy 80s activewear, and a happy couple embracing on a rock in the middle of a small brook. As a matter of fact, I tend to think this commercial created an image of wealthy and leisure-filled adult life that my tiny prepubescent brain decided I must strive to attain.  The "beautiful" part of the song was so ingrained in our heads as kids, many still today think it was in the actual name of the vacation resort.

Mount Airy Lodge was a vacation resort in the Pennsylvania Pocono mountain region.  The Poconos were a regional rival to the famed resorts in the Catskills mountain area in New York.  These types of vacation resorts began popping up in the 1940s as a summer getaway for mostly Jewish New York City residents.  The popularity of these resorts peaked around the '60s and '70s as a way to beat the summer heat. At the same time, they wined and dined, enjoyed outdoor leisure activities, and be entertained by big names from the national comedy scene such as Rodney Dangerfield, Henny Youngman, Don Rickles, Schecky Green, and Joan Rivers.  Think the resort in "Dirty Dancing," and you'll have an idea of what these resorts were like during days of Yester-Year.