One City

One City

A Clown and a Fawcett

Two gems from our pop culture vaults that I’ve come across in my internet trawlings (thanks Paul R). Both make me think that either commercials were a lot more transparent in their intentions thirty years ago, or the American people were more gullible. Compare the earnest and obvious nature of both of these (although Ronald does seem awfully a lot like he would have a white van with tinted windows parked outside) with the ironic/caustic/epic scale of today’s commercials. But, like most of today’s commercials, neither of them say a thing about the usefulness of the product, or why it’s needed or better than comparable products. Both of them make empty promises – one promises fun with a creepy clown if only you eat a certain kind of hamburger, the other promises fun with a bubbly blonde if only you use a certain kind of shaving cream. They also are both pretty close to one-angle one-take which says a lot about how much more stimulation we’ve decided our eye-brains require.
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Greg Zwahlen

posted January 28, 2009 at 6:36 pm

yeah, but they got farah fawcett! and broadway joe!
ronald mcdonald . . . wtf

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Stillman Brown

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I will let Noxzema cream my face.

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Jerry Kolber

posted January 29, 2009 at 9:20 am

Stillman Brown, you’re about to get CREAMED

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Patrick Groneman

posted January 30, 2009 at 10:51 am

At the time that those commercials were made people were less aware of the means used to produce the “spectacle” aspect of the TV viewing experience (suspending their disbelief). People have since become more skilled TV viewers, so things like editing have sped up, and it takes to more to “get” the viewer now, but they are no less gullible. Just a shift in vocabulary.

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