Then and now: 80s commercials vs contemporary commercials

April 26th, 2010

Commercials these days are soulless and annoying beyond words. Nearly every commercial I see on tv these days makes me want to break into the mansions of the presidents of the corporations and ad agencies that are responsible for these abominations and re-enact the break in scene from A Clockwork Orange with my own personal entourage of droogs.

Things didn’t always used to be this way. Things didn’t used to be that way at all. If you visit this site with any degree of regularity, you’ll realize that this is a recurrent theme of preservethe80s. In my family, bitching and moaning is a passion. It’s one that we’ve truly made into an art form. Throughout the generations, everyone as had their favorite topic to wax irate over, and the decline in commercials is mine.

One commercial I really hate that is epitome of the modern commercial watching experience is for the Honda Insight. What a fucking stupid name for a car. I can picture the focus group they must have used to come up with that gem of a name. I’d be shocked if even one member wasn’t wearing skinny jeans, a tight sweater, and dyed black hair hanging over one eye. It’s the one where some asshole with a generic college style singing voice sings some song that starts with “When I grow up, maybe I’ll be a singer in a band…”. Throughout the commercial, various young people with greasy hair are shown doing different activities and wearing facial expressions that state to the world “I am asshole, hear me roar”. I hate them. Once when I was 9 years old, I was walking down a hallway in a convalescent home and I happened to glance into a room in which I saw a fat naked old guy bending over to pick something up. As disturbing and damaging as this sight was, it wasn’t 1/1000th as offensive to the senses as the aforementioned commercial. Here’s a link to the shitpile. Proceed at your own blood pressure related risk

Another commercial I hate is this one for some new line of tampons from Kotex. The commercials seek to parody the typical tampon commercial and then try to turn it around in the last few seconds by turning the screen to black, showing some tampon cases with brightly colored lids, and spouting off an attempt at biting satyristic sarcasm which fall flat. With the exception of the last few seconds, these tampon commercials are the very thing they claim to be avoiding. Either they think everyone is too stupid to realize that, or they think they’ll appeal to the angsty Alanis Morrisette/Fiona Apple deep within the souls of the targeted 18-30 year old women and put out a stinging statement that grabs said women by the balls and forces them to buy their product. Not only does Kotex fail to get that visceral emotional reaction they’re going for, they also seem to need some serious education in regard to female anatomy.

They’ve since taken this commercial off of YouTube, so here’s another annoying Kotex ad.

I also really hate all the commercials that appear on Adult Swim. The only show I watch on Adult Swim is King of the Hill, and at least once during every commercial break they show a spot for an upcoming Family Guy episode. The episode trailers in and of themselves aren’t what I find annoying. What annoys me is how at the beginning and end of each one, they show a graphic of a bunch of sperm attempting to fertilize an egg cell. If I wanted to see something like that, I’d whack off on to a microscope slide and stare at it, which is not really my idea of a good time. I guess there wouldn’t be an egg to be fertilized, but you get the point.

I couldn’t find a clip of this, but instead I have a link to one of Peter’s unfunny and far too long fights with the giant chicken. Make your life suck more and watch it. This one is even worse than most as it was made by one of those “Holy shit, I should record what’s on tv on my iPhone and post it to YouTube” ass hats.

There’s a common link between the commercials I’ve just mentioned. They all are designed by assholes, have no heart or soul, are horrendously annoying, and make me envy the dead. Now let’s go back in time to the 80s. Not literally of course. If such a thing was possible, I’d have done it long ago and I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this poor excuse for a website and you wouldn’t be pissing away your time by reading it. We’d all be back in the 80s, reveling in a world without iPhones, health nazis, or kids named Dakota. We’d be back in a time where every day was cause for celebration. Since I can’t build a time machine, I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll take you on a trip down memory lane by showcasing some of the finest commercials of a generation.

First up is a commercial for Thomas’s English Muffins. This is a commercial that debuted in 1983. It does not attempt deceit, doesn’t portray self-indulgent lifestyles of arrogance, and doesn’t try to talk down to the viewer as today’s commercials do. It is simply a celebration of the world’s greatest English muffins –  nothing more, nothing less. It is a commercial that lifts up the spirit and makes you feel a little more equipped to take on the slings and arrows of life after you’ve seen it.

Another commercial from the 80s worth mentioning is an ad for New Coke featuring Bill Cosby. There were actually several of these commercials that were made and aired in 1985. They didn’t need fancy bells and whistles or trendy assholes intended to represent aspiration groups to make people want to buy the featured product. All they needed was  green (gray) screen, Bill Cosby, a snappy Bill Cosby sweater, and a can of New Coke. Bill Cosby pours out his heart in an honest and genuine expression of his love for New Coke. I know a lot of people out there didn’t like New Coke all that much but I must respetfully disagree with all of you naysayers. New Coke was by far better than Coca Cola Classic and never should have been pulled from the market. Just because you don’t share the same cola insight as the great Bill Cosby, it is no reason to accuse him of being an insincere corporate shill. In the 80s, Bill Cosby ate Jell-o and bled New Coke and so did I.

The last commercial I’ll expound upon in this post is an advertisement for the late McDLT from McDonald’s. Fuck the Big N Tasty and the new “deluxe” angus burgers at McDonald’s. In my eyes, the McDLT will forever be THE lettuce and tomato hamburger. This commercial fills me with a desire that no other non-pornographic production ever has or ever will. There are no words to adequately describe the deliciousness that was the McDLT and there is no way that I could ever do this commercial proper justice through a mere online homage. This commercial does an excellent job of employing both sight and sound to express what cannot be said in words. For 30 seconds, it’s just you and a burger. It may not be heaven, but it is too good to be Earth. I’m not a Buddhist and don’t put too much stock in the concept of Nirvana, but if there is such a thing, I can only imagine it’s basically this commercial.

Now that you’ve had a chance to see how great commercials were in the 80s as compared to how atrocious they are now, I hope you will have a greater appreciation for why nearly all things post-1989 should be scorned and rejected.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *