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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Thursday, May 30 2002

The Home Page's first annual Commercial Gloer Awards

After considering yesterday commercials from the past that we may like to remember, I'll mention several from the present that strike me as commendable or at least "commentable."

The one with Debbie Allen teaching an awkward white guy how to dance at a gas pump is one of my current favorites. It's part of a series that also has Dick Clark on an elevator correcting the wrong guesses of two women who enter, discussing the artists and title of the Musak selection playing at the time. Ironically, I can't remember what the product or service being advertised is! So it's a Gloer award winner but, if my experience is any indicator, not a sales winner. If I remember or see the product before this is mailed (which will be hours after this paragraph is being written), I'll let you know at the bottom.

When I had the privilege of watching the Travel Channel (which my current cable provider doesn't carry—shame, AT&T, shame) one of the most played commercials was for a new, smaller model of Lincoln. The commercial was very European looking, and consisted of one "live" scene after another becoming part of a model scene or photo, giving the impression of worlds within worlds. I've seen very few of that model of Lincoln, so don't know if the campaign has been effective beyond being a memorable mini-movie.

Among car makers, the best advertising has always been Volkswagen's (Chevrolet's is the worst...I'll never forget, nor forgive, "for two cents I'd take a test drive in that car," which was accompanied by Chevy dealers passing out two pennies to anyone who darkened the showroom doors...was that 1959?...but I digress*). Volkswagen's billboards showing a bug, back in the days when they came only with standard transmissions, and captioned, "eventually it becomes automatic," was a classic charmer. Two current VW commercials running on TV merit Gloers. The first is the one of a VW driving through the French Quarter of New Orleans, the windshield wipers keeping syncopation with everything happening on the street and sidewalks. VW should get special credit for playing it for some years in succession.

The second Home Page Gloer award winner from VW is the one in which the young husband discovers that by using his remote key in a certain way he can put down all the car windows simultaneously from outside. Excited, he runs into the house, summoning his wife to watch. She watches and frowns as he hops in glee like a pre-adolescent, and when he turns to get her approving smile, finds that she's gone back inside. The commercial seems to be saying that that feature in the VW would be of great interest to men, but considered frivolous and "ho hum" to women. I visualize the ad agency principles sitting around the table discussing features that can be advertised, and one of the men advocating the windows trick while one of the women shrugs and replies, "so what"?

A runner-up that may grow on me is the new Pepsi commercial (featuring Britney Spears) that is trying to be a throwback to the '50's, with drive-in restaurant carhops and even using one of the company's slogans, "Pepsi, for those who think young," from that era. And speaking of Pepsi commercials, its Mountain Dew division merits honorable mention for many of its efforts, the most memorable being the headbanging between a Mt. Dew drinker whose beverage is threatened by a thirsty ram. How did they do that?

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

*Lest I alienate all Chevy fans, here's a compensation, a link to a page iconing the '57 Chevy and the rock music that accompanied it, sent by Paul Ceria. Check it out.

For the scoop on Coca-Cola and Pepsi, check out this page.

Burma Shavers (continued)

***Burma Shave***

  —Sent by Bob Kennedy

Thought for the day

Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness.

Woody Allen

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