Wednesday, January 6, 2010

'70's Ad Favorites

I mentioned the other day that I've been reading "The '70's Book Of Days", written by Harvey Solomon and Rich Appel ... the follow-up piece to last year's "The '60's Book Of Days" (which we absolutely loved, too!)

The book is the collaborative effort of two guys near and dear to our hearts. Harvey Solomon has had his work published everywhere from The Boston Globe to The Los Angeles Times ... from AdWeek to Variety ... heck, he's even written for the television series "Law And Order" ... and Rich Appel publishes the oft-mentioned (in these pages anyway!) "Hz So Good" Radio Newsletter, as well as hosts his own weekly radio show as a deejay ... and he's written the liner notes for countless album and CD releases. Now without question, these are some pretty impressive resume bullet points to be sure ... but what REALLY gives these guys "Street Cred" in OUR book is the fact that BOTH of them are also loyal and faithful Forgotten Hits Readers!!! (lol)

Anyway, with all that we've been doing here in FH lately regarding your "Commercial Favorites", you can only imagine my surprise when I reached Page 122 of their new '70's tome and found their "Shortlist" of THEIR favorite commercials from the '70's!!!

We dug a little bit deeper and now provide some audio and video accompaniment to some of their impressive list of:


June 28, 1976: As the commercial goes, there's something about an Aqua Velva man. In this case it's something rather bizarre, as the after-shave's most recent pitchman is Detroit Tigers rookie pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. With his frizzy blond curls and wild on-field antics, he brings a welcome, entertaining aspect to the grand old game -- talking to both himself and the ball between pitches, grooming the mound on his hands and knees, shaking the hands of infielders after good plays. Tonight an announcer calls him "the most interesting player since Dizzy Dean," and "The Bird" is the word from coast to coast. Voted AL Rookie Of The Year, he shares a cover of "Sports Illustrated" with "Sesame Street"'s Big Bird and becomes the first athlete to grace the cover of "Rolling Stone". ("America's Hottest Baseball Card") Unfortunately, This Bird flies off too quickly, as a torn rotator cuff and wildness ends Fidrych's too-brief career in 1980.
(I couldn't find the Mark Fidrych spot ... but you've just GOT to remember THIS one!!! lol)

Aqua Velva men weren't the only spokesmen on TV in the '70's. Here's a sampling of some of the decade's most memorable advertising moments:

Keep America Beautiful: Cherokee Indian Iron Eyes Cody paddles his canoe past smokestacks and debris-infested waters, a single tear rolling down his weathered face. (1970)

Alka-Seltzer: An inmate (George Raft), disgusted by the lousy chow, pounds his cup and leads his fellow mess hall prisoners in a thunderous chant or "Al-ka-Selt-zer, Al-ka-Selt-zer!" (1970)

Coca-Cola: Young folks of all colors and creeds gather on a sunny mountainside to sing the praises of the soft drink, to the bubbly tune of "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing." (1971)

Quaker Oats: Two young brothers suspiciously eye a box of "Life" Cereal, refusing to try it 'til they test it out on their chubby-cheeked, picky three-year-old brother: "He likes it! Hey, Mikey!" (1972)

Crest: Talking teeth lament the departure of fellow member Harold, felled by the owner's excessive "caramels, jaw breakers, pizza pies ... If only we'd been brushed." (1972)

Xerox: After a rotund Franciscan monk painstakingly hand-letters a parchment sheet, his superior asks for five hundred more. The monk buses to his local copy shop, and upon returning with the goods, his superior exclaims "It's a miracle!" (1975)

Dannon Yogurt: A choir of old men sings as scenes pass of weathered Russians smiling and dancing, closing on one who's eating. A voice-over tells the audience, "Temur Vanachu thought Dannon was really fine yogurt. He ought to know. He's been eating yogurt for 105 years." (1976)

Polaroid: Sparring lightly with Mariette Hartley, actor James Garner lauds a camera "so simple to operate, even a woman can use it." (1977)
(These two made DOZENS of these ... here's another goodie!)

BASF Cassette Tapes: An unlucky soldier receives a tape from home with bad news: his girl's found another, his brother. As he sits stunned, a sergeant snaps, "Play it again, John." (1979)

Coca-Cola: Glowering Pittsburgh Steelers' lineman Mean Joe Green chugs the soda bottle offered by a young lad, to whom he gratefully tosses his jersey. (1979)

Incredibly, we'll have even MORE of your favorites TOMORROW in Forgotten Hits!!!