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50-60s TV Commercials

*Bab O Cleaner, 1950s

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*BETTY CROCKER CAKE MIX, 1950
 

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Brylcreem, 50s
"A little dab’ll do ya" A now famous brand of hair styling products, this jingle was developed for the first time Brylcreem was advertised on TV. While later advertisements used slight variations of the tune, this original jingle still remains the most well known.

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X Cheerios, 1957
Westerns were all the rage and General Mills capitalized on the trend with an animated character called Cowboy Tom performing adventurous feats. (This was before they introduced the Cheerios Kid.)

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X Chicken of the Sea, 1950s  – Catalina the Mermaid
In another catchy tune, advertising mascot Catalina, a blond mermaid, was introduced in the 1950s to hawk the white tuna. The tune: “Ask any mermaid you happen to see, what’s the best tuna? Chicken of the sea.”

Interesting fact: Grace Lee Whitney, who appeared in the early episodes of Star Trek as Captain James T. Kirk’s assistant Janice Rand, is credited as being the original voice of the Chicken of the Sea mermaid.

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Chock full o’Nuts – “That Heavenly Coffee”
If you are of a certain age you will certainly remember the cream cheese sandwich. But equally memorable was that advertising jingle, based on the song “That Heavenly Feeling” sung by cabaret singer Page Morton Black (who was also the wife of Chock full o’Nuts founder William Black). It was heard on the radio and featured on television in the 1950s and 1960s. And one classic version of the commercial featured Page Morton Back as Snow White talking to Pinocchio.

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Coca Cola, 1950s
Bringing back some of the past right here. This is one of several Coca Cola commercials from the 1950's. Some interesting social engineering takes place 

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X Dorothy Gray Cold Cream, 1954 - Radioactive Dirt
One of the most bizarre and ill-advised commercials ever made aired in 1954, when fears of mutual nuclear destruction between the United States and Russia were at their height. The ad featured a scientist rubbing dirt on a model's face to show just how quickly Dorothy Gray cold cream could clean up even the messiest of messes. In a sign of the times, the company raised the stakes by contaminating the dirt with radiation, a fact the advertisers highlighted by including a scientist with a Geiger counter.

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Folgers – Mrs. Olson
For 21 years, Virginia Christine as folksy Mrs. Olson had comforting words and advice for young couples while pouring Folgers Coffee in over 100 commercials. In 1971, Christine’s hometown of Stanton, Iowa, honored her by transforming the city water tower to resemble a giant coffeepot.

Interesting fact: Virginia Christine was married to character actor Fritz Feld for 53 years.

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*Ford, 1959 - Tennessee Ernie Ford, 

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Frosted Flakes, 1951 – Tony the Tiger
Created in 1951, Tony the Tiger was originally one of four animated critters to sell Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. But he quickly edged out Katy the Kangaroo, Newt the Gnu and Elmo the Elephant and progressed from cereal boxes to commercials featuring the animated orange tiger describing Frosted Flakes as “they’re great!”

Tony was also the mascot for other Kellogg’s cereals, including Tony’s Cinnamon Krunchers and Tiger Power.

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X Gillette, 1958 - "Baseball" Shavers
1958, Dodgers greats Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Don Zimmer joined forces for a Gillette commercial that featured a rare trio of top-shelf celebrity endorsers. In this case, the sluggers reminded young men about the "self-respect" that comes with a clean, close shave.

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Good & Plenty, 1950s – Choo-Choo Charlie
Debuting in the early 1950s, licorice candy Good & Plenty was hawked by young animated character named Choo-Choo Charlie, who could run a locomotive by simply by shaking a box of Good & Plenty in a circular motion. This catchy jingle, which was staple on Saturday mornings during the cartoon commercial breaks, morphed into board games and comic books.

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Green Giant Vegetables, 1954
Remember this? “From the valley of the giant…ho, ho, ho…green giant.” The Green Giant made his first television appearance in 1954 representing the line of frozen and canned vegetables, and became known for his booming “Ho, ho, ho!” In 1972, a young apprentice, the Little Green Sprout, joined him.

Interesting fact: “The Valley of the Jolly Green Giant” refers to the Minnesota River valley around Minnesota city Le Sueur. Today, just before dropping down into the valley heading south on U.S. Route 169 a larger wooden sign of the Jolly Green Giant and the Little Green Sprout is visible with the caption, “Welcome to the Valley.”

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Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, 1950s
"Snap, Crackle, Pop" Doubtless, you have seen one of the commercials with the three iconic cereal gnomes (Snap, Crackle, and Pop). For the better part of a century, the trio have been singing this jingle, and to this day, those three words are synonymous with Rice Krispies cereal.

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*Kool-Aid
The larger-than-life, anthropomorphic pitcher of Red Dye #40 made its debut on national television in 1954 and has been the face of Kool-Aid ever since. The spot featured a perky, June Cleaver-esque mom serving the drink to a posse of enthusiastic kids while extolling its many virtues—literally and metaphorically encouraging viewers to “drink the Kool-Aid.”

Kool Aid Commercial, 1950s
This ran in the late 50's early 60's

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Marlboro Country, 1957
The Marlboro Man, accompanied by theme music from the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven,” first galloped across the open range and into homes around the  1957
 in 1957. Originally a filtered cigarette aimed at women, the renowned Leo Burnett Agency created the rugged Marlboro Man to target a more masculine demographic and combat lackluster sales. Revered as an American expression of freedom and individuality, the Marlboro Man did just that, catapulting Philip Morris to the top of the tobacco industry. Four actors who portrayed the mysterious cowboy died of tobacco related-illness, including anti-smoking activist Wayne McLaren.

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Mattel's Barbie, 1959 
In 1959, dolls for girls grew up when Mattel introduced Barbie, one of the most iconic toys in history. The original 1959 commercial paraded the elegant new doll in all her various stages of dress and announced an asking price of $3—about $26 in today's dollars. This is the first Barbie commercial that first aired during Mickey Mouse Club!

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Mr. Clean, 1958
After debuting in 1958, Mr. Clean from Procter & Gamble became the top household cleaner in the United States in just six months. Mr. Clean was first depicted as a cartoon character who looked on as a housewife cleaned her house. He was modeled after an actual U.S. Navy sailor.

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*Motorola Television, 1951
By 1951, Motorola was advertising its televisions on television. The TV sets the company pitched, however, played second fiddle to the many options and styles of cabinets, stands, and other massive furniture pieces that the actual televisions were packaged inside. As America was entering the age of mass consumer credit, another main selling point was the 65-week financing plan Motorola offered.

Old Spice Shaving Cream, 1950s
presents three choices: Smooth Shave, Lather Shaving Cream, and Brushless Shaving Cream. Old Spice is an American brand of male grooming products that includes deodorants and antiperspirants, shampoos, shower gels, anOur Favorite Things d soaps. It is manufactured by Procter & Gamble. Old Spice was launched as Early American Old Spice by the soap and toiletries company William Lightfoot Schultz, Shulton Inc., in 1937. It was initially targeted towards women, and the men's product was introduced before Christmas in late 1937. Old Spice is now sold as male grooming products, including antiperspirants/deodorants and shower gels.

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Packard Automobiles, 1953
Packard films are hard to find. This spot promotes three important Packard convenience features: power steering, Ultramatic Drive, and power brakes. The Ultramatic shot is interesting, because you get a quick look at a hill at the Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township, Michigan.

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Pepsodent Toothpaste, 1953
"You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent" This jingle was written to help advertise the brand’s claims that its toothpaste could help fight off tooth decay. Even though Pepsodent eventually held a competition for a new jingle, this early version still remains the most well-remembered.

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Procter & Gamble Camay Soap, 50's
You'll be a little lovelier each Day! Commercial for pink Camay Soap, 1950s. Made by Procter & Gamble, Camay Soap was first introduced in 1926. Its advertising portrayed it as the soap for beautiful women.

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*Puffed Corn Flakes Cereat, 50's

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Roto-Rooter, 1956
"Away go troubles down the drain" This timeless jingle was originally created for Roto-Rooter plumbing company in 1954, and it has become one of the longest running musical jingles in history! The resonant bass voice that you may remember from the original belongs to Tom Fouts, otherwise remembered for Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers.

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Winston Cigarettes, 1954
"Winston tastes good like a cigarette should" With this jingle, Winston Cigarettes created an enduring slogan that appeared in everything from television advertisements to magazines and radio. To this day, it remains one of the most widely recognized tobacco advertising campaigns.

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Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum, 1959 
"Double your pleasure, double your fun" This classic jingle was created by Chicago based advertising agency, Energy BBDO. The original commercial features the now legendary Doublemint Twins singing this catchy tune.

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Hopefully you enjoyed this nostalgic little trip down memory lane (we apologize for any tunes that may be stuck in your head for the next couple days). The 50s provided an essential foundation for television jingles, and in our next post, we will explore some of the most influential jingles from the 60s!

USED

Possible categories:

Food & Drink
Automobiles
Toys
Personal Products
Public Service Announcements
Cleaning Products
Gifts

 

On April 30, 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the nation. That was nothing new—unless you were one of the few thousand lucky people who instead of listening on the radio, watched the event live on the world's first television broadcast, which took place at the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Park. A little more than two years later in 1941, four years before RCA manufactured the first mass-produced TV, the handful of Americans who did own one were treated to their first commercial break.

Soon, millions of American households would welcome salespeople into their livings rooms via their televisions. In just two years between 1949 and 1951, TV ad spending grew more than tenfold from $12.3 million to $128 million, and then again multiplied nearly tenfold to $1 billion in 1955. By 1957, 450 stations were beamed to 37 million televisions from coast to coast and by the dawn of the 1960s, nine out of 10 American households were equipped with one of the bulky, glowing, furniture-encased boxes.

Today, the television ad business is a $70 billion industry, and some of the biggest stars in the world earn more from their endorsement deals than they do from their day jobs. Over the years, commercials have reflected pop culture and steered it, launched fads, helped elect political candidates, sold government policies, and made fortunes for corporations, ad agencies, and celebrity pitchmen and pitchwomen. Here are some of the most famous ads, starting with the very first commercial, which aired before the United States entered World War II.

First Ad on TV: Bulova, Jul 1, 1941
On the very first day when commercial licenses were granted to TV stations for broadcasting content, the Bulova commercial aired at 2:29 p.m before a Basketball Game. It was a simple graphic with Bulova watch and 48 states of US in backdrop. "America runs on Bulova time", the voice said. It had the association with something large that people can relate to, America and a graphic that captures the essence of punchline. It paved the way for many Ads that had a similar creative. The Bulova company was pioneer in marketing and has been credited for first radio commercial from 1926 also.
 

 

Oldsmobile 60 B-44, 1942
By 1942, the country was at war, and newsreels were dazzling theater patrons with impressive new footage of flying war machines like the B-17 Flying Fortress. In keeping with the national mood, Oldsmobile unveiled what it dubbed the 60 B-44, a car that Olds likened to U.S bomber planes with an ad that sold the machine on its heft, durability, and power.
 

 

War Bonds - A Present With a Future, 1943
In 1943, war dominated the American consciousness, and Bette Davis was one of many stars who lent her celebrity to the cause. In a PSA titled "Present with a Future," the actress urged Americans to buy war bonds for Christmas instead of traditional gifts. When her kids griped that they wanted toys and a bike, Davis urged them to consider that her idea for a gift was much better because it would allow them to "celebrate future Christmases in peace."
 

 

Tide Detergent, 1946
In 1946, Tide touted its detergent as offering "the cleanest clean under the sun." A clever play on words, the ad featured women hanging laundry on outside clotheslines on a beautiful sunny day, which tied the company's detergent to the unsullied freshness of the great outdoors.
 

 

Colgate's Ajax, 1947
Hard work in scrubbing long been known informally as "elbow grease," which in 1947 Colgate vowed would no longer be necessary thanks to its new miracle cleaner, Ajax. The miniature cleaning pixies who appeared in that year's animated TV ad promised "you'll stop paying the elbow tax when you start cleaning with Ajax."
 

 

Camel Cigarettes, 1949
People trust doctors, so why wouldn't the masses in tobacco-crazed 1949 America want to emulate the smoking habits of the friendly neighborhood physician? Camel bet that they would, and launched a campaign that speaks volumes about the era: more doctors smoke Camels than any other brand.
 

 

Campbell Soup, 1950s
"Have you had your soup today?" Another timeless classic, the Campbell’s jingle has been used in their commercials for decades. In fact, the company made their famed jingle the center point to a campaign run in 2000.
 

 

 

Pepsi Cola, 1950 - First James Dean TV appearance
13th december 1950 this is the first tv appearance, and the first paid job, of a joung James Dean. Jimmy is the guy who puts the money into the piano/jukebox.

 

 

Mr. Potato Head, 1952
In 1952, Mr. Potato Head earned the distinction of becoming the first toy ever advertised on television. Unlike the all-plastic version that would appear in the 1960s, this version was just a kit. A kid lucky enough to score one had to stick the facial features into an actual potato.
 

 

Chevrolet General Motors, 1953
Dinah Shore introduces the new Chevrolet for 1953. "See the USA in your Chevrolet" This classic jingle was originally written by Leo Corday and Leon Carr of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for the Chevrolet division of General Motors Corporation. Throughout the 50s, this jingle was song by Dinah Shore during her own TV show, and it became a signature song of hers.
 

 

Sunbeam Bread, 1953
In a commercial that epitomizes early 1950s clean-cut innocence, Sunbeam pitched its bread as a cure for juvenile lethargy. The ad portrays a crew of cowboy-costumed, middle-America kids at a fair, but one, with the generic name of "Junior," doesn't have enough pep to make it through—until he gets his hands on some white bread. After all, "every slice of Sunbeam bread sure does pack a big energy wallop."
 

 

Palmolive Brushless Shaving Cream, 1950s
The Palmolive Brushless Shaving Cream was a popular product that revolutionized the shaving experience. In vintage advertisements, this cream was promoted as a time-saving and convenient alternative to traditional shaving soaps and brushes. With its smooth and creamy texture, it provided a comfortable and effortless shave. The advertisements highlighted the luxurious and refreshing qualities of Palmolive Brushless Shaving Cream, appealing to men who valued convenience and effectiveness in their grooming routine.

 

 

Peter Pan Peanut Buter, 1950s 

IN 1921, JOSEPH L. ROSENFIELD patented  a nonseparating, partially hydrogenated peanut oil, beter known as peanut butter and licensed his patent to Derby Foods, a subsidiary of Swift & Company. Originally packaged in a tin can with a turn key and reclosable lid, the product's packaging was changed to glass jars because of metal shortages during World War II. In 1988, Peter Pan was the first brand of peanut butter to be sold in plastic jars

In the mid-1950s, when Peter Pan cosponsored ABC's Disneyland TV series, advertisements featuring Tinkerbell, like the one below, appeared during the program.