I don't know if you're like me, but I don't pay attention to most commercials on TV. Though, there are some exceptions to that rule.
The GEICO Insurance ads usually make me stop and watch, especially the "Hump Day" spot with the camel strolling through the office trying to get someone to guess the day. Of course, it's the camel's favorite day of the week — Hump Day, which is Wednesday. The ad's appeal is a combination of the camel's voice — loud and upbeat — compared to all the eye-rolling folks in the office who are trying hard to ignore the determined dromedarian in his quest to get someone, anyone, to say it's "Hump Day."
The camel first tries Julie who pays no attention to his insistent pleas. "Ah come on; you can hear me," the camel says as he lopes away from Julie. Then he turns to Mike. "Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, what day is it, Mike?" he rattles off rapid-fire before uttering an irrepressible laugh. Finally, a second woman gives in and softly tells the camel that it's Hump Day, which brings on a hysterical laugh from the camel as he continues to roam the office. Then, a mandolin player and an acoustic guitarist appear and finish out the spot by telling the viewers that people "who save money buying GEICO Insurance are happier than a camel on Wednesday!"
The commercial was created by the Martin Agency based in Richmond, Virginia — the same people who have made commercials for Discover Card, Exxon Mobil and Walmart. They have done other memorable commercials for GEICO, including the cavemen series. You may recall the ad's catch-phrase, "It's so easy a caveman could do it."
By the way, GEICO is an abbreviation for Government Employees Insurance Company, if you didn't know. The Martin Agency is also responsible for the iconic animated GEICO gecko which is the star of a series line of commercials featuring the cute little gecko with a British accent. Here's another bit of trivia for you. Do you know who voices the animated gecko in the commercials? I found out in a round-about way. One night my wife and I were watching "Doc Martin" on the Acorn streaming service, and one of the actors (small role) sounded familiar, but I couldn't remember where I had heard him before. After rewinding and replaying that part of the show a couple of times, I realized the actor in question, Jake Wood, was the voice of the gecko! Needless to say, he's done well voicing the little critter.
So what are the most memorable TV commercials that you recall? The earliest memories I have of TV is filled with commercials with catch phrases like "Mother please, I'd rather do it myself...." and "Where's the beef?"
If you watched WSFA-TV way back in the day, you remember the local commercial where the little girl answers the front door and then turns back to call to her mother saying, "Mama, mama it's the Farm Bureau man."
We were told that Maxwell House coffee was "Good to the last drop" and that Campbell's Soup was "M'm! M'm! Good." Hallmark cards reminded us to use their products "When you care enough to send the very best." When cars were little and first called beetles or bugs, Volkswagen told us to "Think Small."
Who could forget the classic M&M's commercial when we were first shown that the popular chocolate candy, "Melts in your mouth...not in your hand." Commercials for Trix brand cereal were easy to remember when they said "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids." They obviously didn't worry about selling to anyone other than kids.
If you wanted to grow up to be a winning sports competitor, you ate Wheaties, because they were "The Breakfast of Champions." The noisiest cereal on the market, then and now, is Rice Krispies. It sold everyone on that idea with their slogan of "Snap, Crackle, Pop."
And one of my all-time favorite slogans was for a product I couldn't stand — Alka Seltzer. The TV commercial pictures lots of different people saying "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." That was so clever and the ad was so funny.
In a virtually outdated product, the Yellow Pages had a terrific commercial where we were told "Let your fingers do the walking." Now, we do the same thing with the ubiquitous cell phone that everybody has. Not to mention a camera, maps, a connection via the Internet and more.
Just for fun, here are some slogans. Can you correctly match them to the product or service they were advertising?
1) We deliver; 2) We make money the old fashioned way. We earn it.; 3) When it rains, it pours!; 4) Betcha can't eat just one; 5) 99 and 44/100 percent pure.
OK, here are the answers: 5) Ivory Soap; 4) Lay's Potato Chips; 3) Morton's Salt; 2) Smith Barney; 1) The U.S. Postal Service
Hope this brought back some good memories.
Until next time.