an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘1990s’

Vintage Friday: Tylenol

Posted by Rosepixie on February 26, 2010

This is an ad for Tylenol that apparently aired in 1990.

I really wonder how this ad got approved and actually made and aired and everything.  It’s not that it’s a bad video, it’s just that it’s pretty useless as an advertisement.  We not only don’t see anyone using Tylenol, but we don’t get to hear anyone tell us that it works well.  We just see a wife offering it to her husband, who turns it down because he doesn’t have a headache (a good reason) and then she decides to put it away until someone does have a headache.  That may tell us that this family has Tylenol and considers it a remedy for headaches, but we don’t know if any of them have actually ever used it for headaches or if it works.  I mean, people also used to consider tying clay crocodiles to their heads remedies for headaches*, but would you try it without someone telling you it worked?

I guess it just seems like it’s mostly a waste of ad time.  They could have had a commercial in exactly the same time for the same cost that had someone actually suffering from a headache and getting relief from Tylenol or talking about having done so.  Or maybe a doctor discussing how Tylenol is so scientifically proven to help headaches.  Both would be better options.  But instead we get a headache medicine commercial that is completely free of headaches.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems dumb.

*Seriously, they did.  It was a headache remedy in ancient Egypt and there’s even some science behind it (not the crocodile part, but the part where it puts pressure on your head).

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Verizon Wireless: Tapping Into Nostalgia

Posted by Rosepixie on February 20, 2010

This is a recent commercial for Verizon Wireless.

Recognize it?  Watch the original commercial to see just how closely they mimicked it.

This Verizon commercial is brilliant.  Not only does it tap into nostalgia, but it manages to include a surprising number of entertaining things you can do with a well-connected cell phone.  It could be pointed out that the original gum commercial was about bringing people together while the new version mostly shows people by themselves, but since arguably cell phones bring people together more than gum does, I can’t say that particular change really bothers me.  In fact, I’d have to say that the idea of gum bringing people together for kisses and stuff is kind of disgusting and the Verizon ad does not suffer from that at all!

I think that a parallel this close really works because we are able to so easily pull up the old ad it’s based on.  If we couldn’t do that, while the jingle would bring up warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia, I’m not sure that it would be quite as effective and entertaining.  I think this ad is a good choice for Verizon.  It’s fun to watch and definitely conveys some major positives of their service.

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