an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘1980s’

Vintage Friday: O.B. – It’s Way You Should Be

Posted by Rosepixie on May 7, 2010

This is a commercial from the 1980s for O.B. tampons.

Ok, so this commercial manages to hit nearly all of my pet peeves for tampon commercials all at the same time!  It’s actually a pretty good jingle – the kind you remember and that gets the product name into your head.  Unfortunately, it contains absolutely no information of any kind.  The voice over isn’t much better.  It tells us about how the tampons are “rolled in layers” (with a helpful little cartoon graphic to illustrate this point), but doesn’t tell us why that’s good.

And through it all, we have women wearing primarily white spandex (one is even in a bathing suit) jumping around doing completely random things (seriously, what’s with the jump-rope telephone?).  Because white spandex and jumping and high kicks are *exactly* what I think of when I think about menstruation.  Not so much.

What this commercial doesn’t do is tell us what the product is for (what’s a tampon?) or why it’s better than any other tampons (yeah, it mentions layers, but not why or even if that makes the product work better).  It says happy, generic things like “keep it simple” and “set yourself free”, but doesn’t explain them.  How is O.B. simpler than anything else?  How does it set you free?  Is it more comfortable?  More reliable?  Cheaper?  Easier to use?  More discrete somehow?  And, again, what exactly is it?  We never see the product or get to hear what exactly it’s for – we just see a picture of the box and a graphic that looks like a blanket being rolled up.  So what exactly is the way we should be?  Because I’m confused…

The best I can figure out is that this is a product that will let me live in a happy two-dimensional black and white line-drawing world where strange things like telephone jump-ropes exist and everyone jumps around and dances all day.  That doesn’t sound like a tampon – it sounds like a drug.  Or maybe a whole lot of alcohol.  Either way, not really the way I want to be.  I like my colorful three-dimensional world.  How about you?


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Vintage Friday: Orange You Smart

Posted by Rosepixie on November 6, 2009

This is an ad from the early 1980s that I found via a blog for Florida orange juice.

The jingle is actually pretty good, but the commercial itself is so cheesy!  It makes me laugh.  I especially love the woman with the restaurant coffee pot full of orange juice in her office.  I’m not sure this would have convinced me to drink orange juice (of course I was one year old and hated orange juice at the time), but it definitely would have been the kind of commercial I remembered when walking past an orange juice display at the store.  And maybe that’s all it needed to be.

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Vintage Friday: Helping Get Back at Big Brothers!

Posted by Rosepixie on September 4, 2009

Welcome to the very first Vintage Friday!  Every Friday I’m going to look at a vintage piece of marketing, since it’s a fun way to end the week.  This first ad is from the Dairy Council’s Milk Ad Campaign in the 1980s.

While I most remember the ads from this campaign that involved single kids standing in front of mirrors lamenting the fact that they couldn’t get dates, only to watch themselves grow into super hot teenagers and then guzzle their milk, I think this is a much stronger ad.  It’s funny (especially if you have a sibling) and it holds together better.  My favorite part of this one is how unconcerned the brother seems throughout the whole thing.  The girl is perfect, maintaining that “so there” little sister attitude even as she gets older and older, and then stalking off at the end.  As amusing as I think this milk campaign was, I generally think that their current “Got Milk?” one with famous people flashing milk mustaches is better.

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