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Retro Commercial Jingles and Ads

1900s | October 21, 2018


Slinky – 1960s

The old commercials from the past are fun to look back on. They can be amusing and quite reminiscent of our days when we were young. Some of our fondest memories as a child can be associated with one of these vintage commercials.

Do you remember the Slinky?

“Who walks the stairs without a care and makes the happiest sound; Everyone knows its Slinky. . .” as the jingle goes. The toy itself was made back in the 1940s by Richard James. It can do all sorts of “tricks” like walking down the stairs end over end, as it stretches out and snaps back together, with the help of gravity, and even appear to levitate when dropped. Being so simplistic, it’s surprising that it became so popular, not only as a toy, but also as a teaching tool in the classroom, and for physics experiments at NASA. The jingle for the commercial was created in 1962, with Johnny McCullough and Homer Fesperman writing the music, and Charles Weagly writing the words. It was the longest-running jingle in history.

McDonalds ad from the 1970s

Sounds “real good” especially for only a 15 cent burger.

You don’t see the golden arches anymore or the 15 cent burgers. McDonald's has been a popular fast food restaurant for many years. They have been known for their high standard of cleanliness as well as fast efficient service. But, unfortunately, most of them no longer hold to that standard. Back in the day, they were very strict when it came to how long the food sat under the lights. Numbered placeholders, representing minutes, would have to be moved that showed how long the food was sitting there, and after so many minutes, the food was thrown away. This was a way of making sure that the customers had hot fresh food. The workers were not allowed to stand around doing nothing or just chatting. If there were no customers, they were to be cleaning. These days it is not uncommon to see the employees just standing around or talking, while the lobby is dirty or the food just sits under the lights indefinitely. It is not just McDonald's but all fast food restaurants today.

Andy Griffin and his Corn Flakes in the 1960s

Andy and Opie are sitting at the kitchen table as Andy tells Opie about his dream, which has to do with Post Toasties Corn Flakes. He tells Opie that he dreamed he was an astronaut and his rocket was made out of a husk of corn. He said, “the husk opened and out came Post Toasties Corn Flakes. Those Post Toasties was so crackling with fresh corn flavor that he invited the moon people to have some.”  Aunt Bee looks at him and asks him if he is down to earth. Then he turns and looks toward the camera and says “These Post Toasties are good anywhere.” A silly commercial but funny commercials like this one make us laugh, and then we will remember the product later when we are in the store. 

Band-Aid commercial from 1970s

The old jingle “I am stuck on Band-Aid brand cuz Band-Aid’s stuck on me.” Why does the jingle go Band-Aid brand rather than just Band-Aid? Even though it doesn’t sound normal when they sing it that way, the Band-Aid company did not want people using the term in a generic way but as their brand name. Unfortunately, for them, people have done that and still use the term that way. When we need something to cover an injury, we say we need to put a Band-Aid on it, not a Band-Aid brand Band-Aid on it. Whether we buy a different brand or their brand, we still call it a Band-Aid. It was a cute little commercial though.

Alcoa Aluminum caps – 1953

Sexy or sexist? This “sexist” ad was one of many back in the 1950s that depicted women as weak individuals, who couldn’t even open a bottle of ketchup. Women have far surpassed those days when they were portrayed as weak, stay-at-home moms. These days many women are doing jobs meant for men, going as far as doing construction work, working as machine operators, and even enlisting in the service. And on the flip side, there are some men today that can’t open a bottle of ketchup, even with a gripper tool like we have today. How our world has changed! There were a lot of sexist ads back in the 1950s when women were told that their place was in the home, particularly in the kitchen.

Oscar Mayer Wieners – 1960s

This was a cute little jingle for Oscar Mayer wieners: “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener; That is what I truly wish to be. Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener, everyone would be in love with me.” Then they would have a boy singing the opposite of that “Oh, I’m glad I’m not an Oscar Mayer Wiener . . . cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener, there would soon be nothing left of me.” The boy made a good point for not wanting to be an Oscar Mayer wiener. Later, in 1936, the company even created its first Wienermobile, shaped like a hot dog in a bun.


Commercials have changed a lot since back then when life was simpler; when burgers were only 15 cents, and hot dogs were something to sing about - not because you couldn't afford steak.  

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Terry Claypoole

Writer

Terry is a lover of the beach, history, politics and has a passion for social media and technology. In her spare time, you can find her at the beach (of course) enjoying the sand and sun and listening to music from the groovy era.