Old Commercials To Make You Smile (and Cringe). PART 3: Overselling and Outrageous Claims.

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As someone who is closing in on 20 years in advertising, I get it: commercials are meant to sell a product or service (or image), and I certainly have nothing against embellishment, extrapolation and laying it on thick. But some of these commercials are so brazen in their claims, I had to laugh. I hope you will too.

1. Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

As parents, we all struggle with what’s most important in our home and what we want to teach our children: kindness, respect for others, responsibility, compassion, honor, morality, etc. I never knew I was missing the biggest ethic of all–mayonnaise. All might look sugar-sweet in this commercial, but I swear I’ve never seen a baby so scared of his grandma. I also love the huge, beautiful banquet on the table and right in the center of it all: a jar of mayonnaise. Still, “It wouldn’t be home without Hellmann’s.”


2. Skippy Peanut Butter

We’ve all heard of subliminal advertising; this one is outright hypnosis. I’m not sure how this idea didn’t get shot down at the agency; to my naive way of thinking, creepy mind control might not be the best way to sell a product. Oh well, it’s 10:19, I’d better get to my grocer and buy 2 jars of Skippy.


3. Schaefer Beer

Oh the joys of drinking alone! Herbie is positively giddy listening to his beer bottle serenading him. Of course, the wife has to ruin all the fun. Maybe once your beer starts talking to you, it’s time to head to a meeting.

4. Stripe Toothpaste

The commercial opens with a congressional report stating that tooth decay is caused by germs (your tax dollars at work). But the real reason to buy Stripe is that because of the cool stripe, your children will be more willing to brush their teeth. Okay…

5. Camel Cigarettes

When you use the tagline, “More Doctors Smoke Camel Than Any Other Cigarette,” there really isn’t anything else to say.

Be sure to come back to this blog regularly to see future installments of Old Commercials to Make You Smile…and Cringe!


About Tony Rosato

Tony Rosato, Alstin's Vice President, Client Development, is the most well-traveled member of our team and one of the nicest guys we know. Sharing his 20 years of industry experience with prospective clients everywhere, Tony's Type A personality is powered by premium iced tea (but never chocolate).