Things No Longer Advertised

Or at least not on TV. Perfume, unless Macy’s is sponsoring the commercial. Doan’s Pills (who knew folding fitted sheets could be so painful, if not dangerous?) Ex-Lax (OK, but it’s descendants are advertised, far too often during meal times, in my opinion.). Calgon water softener (“Ancient Chinese secret, huh?”). My first exposure to Edgar Allan Poe was through a commercial that used the cadences of “The Raven” to sell Roto-Rooter’s services. And I can still sing the jingle of the Runza Huts fast-food chain, although it’s been three decades since I lived in a place that had a Runza hut.

Perfume seems to have faded from public interest, at least the broad general public. I remember very romantic commercials with a woman standing above a wind-swept, cloudy sea-shore remembering her far-away lover, and he remembers her by her perfume. “Promise her everything, but give her Arpége.” That one aired during the classic movies on Saturday afternoon and evening, things like The Three Musketeers, or The Man in the Iron Mask, and so on.

Doan’s Pills ads were on during weekday afternoon shows, when women were likely to be at home with kids, doing chores, and so on. The Calgon water softener ad – it would make your whites whiter and all clothes cleaner! – aired then as well. Doan’s Pills were specifically for back ache, something that appeared to be caused by doing battle with a full-sized fitted sheet, according to the graphics on the commercial. I tended to hide under the fitted sheet, pretending to be a ghost or something until I wrestled it onto the bed, so I never had a back ache that required the use of the pills.

The commercials weren’t any better than they are today, although I’m not sure they were much worse. I don’t remember as many for prescription medications, or for financial products (retirement funds and so on). Car commercials, Coca-Cola™, dog food, Meow Mix™ cat food and Purina products (the miniature chuckwagon leading the dog to the food dish, anyone?), Schlitz, Pabst, and Busch beers, and Coors (this was in the Midwest). And local businesses and so on. IBM, too, although it was for office machines and copiers, not computers until after Apple exploded onto the scene, with Dell, Gateway, and others not long after.


18 thoughts on “Things No Longer Advertised

  1. TV ads widened my horizons.
    Laxative? Check.
    Jock itch? Check.
    Tetter? It took me years of research to discover what THIS was!

  2. Some of those ads do stick around in the brain. The old “Mamma mia, that’s a spicy meatballs!” commercial comes to mind, though I’d forgotten it is for Alka-Selzer until it kept getting mentioned in the “commercials people forget the product for” lists. The cat herding commercial for EDS was another like that.

    I’ve never heard a Runza’s ad, but ever since I discovered them while on a Western vacation years ago, I always try to stop at one when (rarely) crossing through Nebraska. A runza with a side of “Frings” (a mixed container of fries and onion rings) may not be the healthiest meal, but it is tasty, filling, and fast. That makes it perfect for a meal stop while cruising across the seemingly-endless plains that stretch between Mississippi to the Rockies.

  3. It’s not nice to fool… mother nature!
    Butter. Butter. Butter. Parkay!
    Meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!
    Sorry, Charlie!
    Your hands are soaking in it.
    Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!
    He won’t like it. Hey, Mikey!
    You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!
    Kibbles and bits. Kibbles and bits. I gotta get me some kibbles and bits!
    Hey, Culligan man!
    Calgon, take me away!
    Ho, ho, ho! Green Giant!

  4. I can still sing the Hamm’s beer commercial ditty, and the tag for for Schlitz beer (and the joke that riffed on the Schlitz beer tax — “that’s the beer that made Mel Famey walk us!”)

  5. Thanks for remembering Roto-Rooter’s classic TV commercial, “The Raving,” it was first used in the late 1970s and it is still used by many of our franchises in local TV markets. Here’s a link to the commercial on our YouTube channel, if you would like to revisit your memories. While you’re on our channel, take a look at some of our other old commercials as well as some of the new ones.

  6. The past is indeed another country. With today’s short, sound bite adds I wonder if any of the modern adds will stick in our minds like the older adds do.

  7. Coors, brewed with pure Rocky Mountain Spring water.

    Until you find out that the “springs” are wells under the brewery in Golden.

  8. Sometime ago, my Dad who wasn’t a Beer Drink expressed liking for a Super Bowl beer commercial featuring a man’s dog helping out his master at the guy’s Super Bowl get-together including fetching the Beer.

    Last line of the man was after we’re hearing the dog drinking something in the kitchen was “you better be drinking your water”. 😀

    The funny thing for me is that I remember the commercial but don’t remember what beer was being advertised. 😉

  9. My late mother (b. 1923) used to sometimes sing commercials from *her* youth. I still remember at least a couple of them.

    I feed my doggy Thrive-O
    He’s very much alive-O,
    So full of pep and vim.
    If you want a healthy pup,
    You’d better hurry up,
    Buy Thrive-O for him!

  10. Yeah, but I’m glad to be rid of all the cigarette commercials! What about floor wax that lifted you and your black-rubber shoes out of the kitchen?

    Or this: . The refrain is one of the best jingles ever (IMO and Your Mileage May Vary).

  11. All the cigarette commercials. Burma Shave. Carter’s little liver pills. Soda in glass bottles. Ivory soap (99 44/100 percent pure!). I admit to being “over 40” -just not how much over.

  12. There was a series of root beer commercial, for “mug root beer” I believe. “This is your One minute (wild animal) training lesson for the day. The first thing to teach your (critter) is …On the paper.” some thing something… sit yourself down and pour yourself a nice cold glass of Mug Old Fashioned Root beer.”

    Anyone else remember those?

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