American popular culture just wouldn’t be the same without some of the advertising campaigns of yesteryear. Hearkening back to a simpler time the following five nostalgia-laden marketing campaigns should be familiar to everyone over the age of 35.
Don’t Squeeze The Charmin
A generation of Americans grew up watching frantic grocer Mr. Whipple scold shoppers for failing to resist the temptation to squeeze the packs of super-soft Charmin toilet paper. Over the course of the popular 21 year campaign it was revealed that Mr. Whipple did his own fair share of Charmin-squeezing on the sly. Featured in over 500 commercials between 1964 and 1985, Mr. Whipple made a brief return to television in 1999, his enthusiasm for Charmin forcing him out of retirement for one final marketing blitz.
One of the country’s oldest advertising campaigns, Clydesdale horses have been the symbol of the Budweiser brewing company since 1933 when a team of the majestic animals was used to pull a beer wagon containing the first delivery after the repeal of Prohibition. The Budweiser Company has bred the horses since 1940 and currently maintains a stock of around 175. Around 40 foals are born each year to ensure a consistent supply of show horses that possess the desired coloring and markings. The company keeps reinventing the campaign and usually presents a new Clydesdale advertisement during the Super Bowl each year.
Norelco Christmas Advertisements
Baby Boomers are sure to recall the popular Christmas marketing campaign featuring Santa sledding over a snowy landscape in a Norelco razor. Filmed using a stop motion technique the advertisement evokes “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and other classic Christmas programs. The ad ends with the word “Norelco” and is certainly meant to inspire the purchase of a newfangled electric razor as a Christmas gift for dear old dad. The original campaign began in 1961 and was updated in 2011 with the release of a new computer generated ad.
Snap, Crackle, and Pop
In a campaign dating to the 1930’s, the three elves Snap, Crackle and Pop have been peddling Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal to generations of children. Named for the unique sounds made by the cereal when milk is added, the characters were introduced in print ads and radio commercials and were also featured in a short cartoon called “Breakfast Pals” in the late 1930s. With the advent of television the elves have appeared in dozens of commercials and can still be found decorating the cereal boxes today.
The San Francisco Treat
Supposedly derived from an Armenian recipe, Rice-A-Roni was first marketed by an Italian family from San Francisco who capitalized on the popularity of the city’s cable cars to help sell their seasoned rice and pasta combination. With the addition of the catchy song and the clanging trolley bell the advertising campaign was complete. Rice-A-Roni was a sponsor of many popular television game shows in the 1960s and 1970s and a year’s supply of the tasty side dish was often given as a consolation prize to contestants who failed to take home the grand prize.
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Casey Long works as a marketing coordinator and enjoys sharing some of the highlights and pitfalls of marketing, as well as advice on marketing, with her readers. In addition, Casey has contributed to the MBA in Marketing Guide for people interested in a career in marketing.