These ads for Mounds and Almond Joy where everywhere when I was a kid. (I am linking here to the 80’scommercialsforever Youtube channel.) This ad campaign was around for a long time too — it started with this earworm of a jingle in the 1970’s and lasted until at least the late 1990’s.
This is just another strange ad campaign from the 1980’s — Spuds Mackenzie was the mascot for Bud Light. People went nuts for the dog — the campaign spawned a ton of merchandising. (People in the 80’s got worked up over the damnedest things.)
In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess here that I myself owned a Spuds MacKenzie button at the close of the decade. I wore it on my dark gray denim jacket — along with a bunch of other arbitrarily selected buttons that I thought made me look extremely cool. (It was a late-80’s thing.) Hell, I even wore that jacket-and-button ensemble during the first semester at Mary Washington College.
Weird world — Spuds was actually a female dog. She was a rescue dog, and she was named “Honey Tree Evil Eye.” (I feel certain there is an interesting story behind that.) And Mothers Against Drunk Driving lobbied against the ad campaign as it allegedly targeted children.
Here’s the 81-year-old Clara Peller performing her iconic line for Wendy’s restaurants, “Where’s the beef?!” This was arguably the most memorable ad campaign of the 1980’s.
The commercials are pretty funny — the first two are, anyway. All three aired in 1984. Peller, who had emphysema, went on to star in other commercials, including those for Prego spaghetti sauce, Praise dog food, and Ben’s insect repellent. All were allusions to her breakout role for the restaurant (and were presumably unauthorized); Wendy’s then ended its relationship with her.
These commercials were ubiquitous in the 1970’s. If you were a small child, you could rattle off the trademark slogan without even understanding what it meant, and adults would find it extremely funny. (The ad actually isn’t terribly funny by itself. The 1980’s had a plenty of inspired commercials. but the few I can remember from the 70’s were generally lame.)
Anyway, fast-forward about 12 years to when I was a senior in high school … a buddy of mine actually handed me a can of V8 and dared me to pound it in one gulp. (For those not in the know, the product is a phenomenally awful beverage concocted from vegetable juices.) I took the dare. And I wound up projectile vomiting like a god damned fire hose — all over the rear bumper of that 1972 Plymouth Duster that I loved so much.
I suppose that I could try to blame my lifelong abhorrence for vegetables on that experience, but I hated greens even when I was a kid. (I was endlessly sneaking them to the dog at the dinner table; I wrote a story about it in the second grade that my parents nevertheless found amusing when I brought it home.)
The V8 vegetable drink is still around; the company is owned by Campbell’s. Somebody should find out where it’s canned, break into the place at night and just machine-gun all the cans in the same manner as Ripley shooting all the alien eggs at the climax of “Aliens” (1986). It would be a public service.
Hot damn, did I love these as a little kid. If you gave me these and a bottle of Yoo-hoo, I’d be in seventh heaven.
I tried to get an image of a 70’s-era box, but I couldn’t find one that was in the public domain. And the box was half the fun. (And it turns out that Nabisco redesigned its classic box two years ago, after pressure from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Even a guy like me can admit that that’s taking political correctness waaaaay too far.)
So this meme about Nestle’s Quik was making the rounds on Facebook this week. (It apparently originated on the realestateispower Instagram page?) I grew up loving Quik in the 80’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are millennials who do not recognize it — it was a powder you mixed with milk to get a flavored treat. (It’s okay … when I was very young, I didn’t really know what this Tang was that adults occasionally referred to — it was just something that was popular a little before my time.)
Now, please understand … when I say Quik, I do not mean the peculiar strawberry-flavored variant that you see pictured below. I and every other self-respecting kid in my neighborhood appreciated the chocolate variety. Strawberry was for … Russian kids. Or maybe hippies. Or girls, possibly.
Anyway. it turns out I’m not the only one who deliberately put too much mix in, so that I was rewarded with that delicious chocolate mud at the bottom of the glass. Facebook has informed me that was machination employed by others as well.
Hot damn, did I love getting these from my Dad when I was a little kid. I haven’t seen a box of Cracker Jacks since then — though the Internet informs me that they are still sold in abundance. (It seems to me that a box of the classic treats would pale in comparison to those giant tins of caramel corn that you can buy at Walmart or Costco around Christmastime.)
Anyway, I was joking on Facebook yesterday that I needed to run out and buy a box, because I heard that the prize inside was the Medal of Freedom.