Remember the 1970s? Remember the commercials? Well, you should as this was before there were magical television remotes that would allow watchers to mute commercials. Then, particularly as a child, one sat enraptured throughout both show and advertisement – hardly differentiating between the two.
Which ones do I remember still?
1. Life Cereal
Remember Mikey and that phrase “he’ll eat anything?” Apparently Mikey and his brothers were pretty successful at selling Life cereal as the kids were in a series of commercials for the brand. My tomboy friends and I loved this one. For some strange reason, a recitation of “he’ll eat anything!” preceded our attempts at tasting or eating any new food, including bugs.
2. Chuck Wagon Dog Food
Remember the Chuck Wagon commercial where the little cartoon wagon ran through the living room, past the dog, and into the kitchen? We loved this one and even lobbied for purchase of this dog food, despite the fact that we probably didn’t even have a dog at that time. We desperately wanted that wagon to go with our Johnnie and Jane West character dolls.
3. McDonald’s Big Mac
Remember memorizing and reciting all the ingredients of a Big Mac? Everyone in elementary school could. Granted, we couldn’t remember state capitals, the number and name of the planets, or the dates of the Civil War, but we could darn well recite the ingredients of the meal that would later coat our coronary arteries.
4. Native American Pollution PSA
Remember the Indian (we called them that then) on the public service announcement? How he canoed past all the trash that we Americans dumped everywhere and then he cried, with that single tear coursing down his high noble cheek? I think that commercial single-handedly resulted in more kids picking up roadside litter than criminals do today.
Remember the family going to Grandma’s for a “surprise” and all the puppies that poured forth from the porch? We just loved that little blond boy being bombarded by the puppies and giggling throughout the advertisement. We laughed along with him wishing our parents would let us have fifteen puppies.
It’s scary to realize that advertisements such as Alka Selzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” the Marlboro man, and the commercials noted above are forty years plus and are still in our public memory. But that’s what the ad men were paid to do and apparently, quite successfully.