We got DVR a little over a year ago. It’s impossible to think of life without this glorious invention. It allows us not only to save programs for as long as we want, but also to fast forward through all those pesky commercials. Commercials take up a good chunk of programming time, which is why a 30-minute sitcom is in reality only 22 minutes of actual TV.
But, there was a time when the commercial breaks were the part I most looked forward to. I’d fill a bowl with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and plop down for a block of Saturday morning cartoons. ABC even had several “After These Messages, We’ll Be Right Back” segways.
I’m not sure when commercials stopped being fun. Maybe when the overzealous health nuts went too far and vilified Ronald McDonald and Tony the Tiger.
Duane and I have at least a couple of dozen DVDs containing nothing but commercials. We have one for candy and cereal, snacks, boys’ toys, girls’ toys, fashion, cars, prime time and my favorite–holiday commercials.
Some of them, such as the ones for Masters of the Universe toys make me long for the carefree days spent escaping to Eternia. I was never a huge Barbie fan, but spots featuring the Dreamhouse make it appealing.
Seeing Teddy Ruxpin come alive onscreen again transports me back to my fifth birthday when my parents helped remove him from the box and put the first story in his cassette player.
Other companies make an impression that lasts a lifetime and makes me wonder why they don’t market products that way anymore. I dare anyone to listen to the Pepsi Generation spots and not sing the jingle for days afterward.
McDonald’s commercials in particular were always the most effective, but just because I wanted a Happy Meal when I was young didn’t always mean I got one. For us, getting to go to a fast food restaurant was a treat, not something we ate every day.
Even now though, when Duane and I see the Fry Kids and the Hamburglar, we often make the trip to the golden arches. Nostalgia tastes delicious!
The most tantalizing product for me though is the legendary Hostess Vanilla pudding pie. Seeing this delicious, fried shell filled with smooth, vanilla pudding coated with a thick layer of chocolate sends my taste buds into overdrive. I would pay upwards of $10 to have one, but for reasons unknown, they quit making them. You can find the chocolate variety in stores, but it’s just not the same.
I look at today’s commercials and am never driven to go out and immediately buy a product. If I’m making a purchase, I’ll research it and read reviews. There are very few restaurants that make food look appetizing enough to jump into my car.
I’m all for living a healthy life and agree childhood obesity is a problem. But advertising is not the only culprit. I know for myself, an unwavering “No” from my parents or grandparents went a long way.
What are your favorite commercials? Share them in the comment section below!