Monday, October 23, 2006

Complete With Bad Commercials That Repeat All Night

Check this out: a 1978 commercial for Geritol featuring Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey and his wife at that time, Cyndy. Garvey, a handsome guy who played in Los Angeles and had impressive statistics (he never walked and couldn't throw, so he wasn't really one of the best players in the league, but he got 200 hits and 100 RBI a year, which were the statistics MVP voters cared about at the time), was one of the most-publicized players in the game, and Cyndy, who looked like the prototype California Blonde (though she was from Detroit), was one of the most-publicized player wives. Of course, they later went through a nasty divorce, Garvey got named in various palimony suits, and Cyndy wrote a book about what a selfish and cold man he was. Which makes the commercial -- filmed three years before their divorce -- either sad or funny, depending on your perspective. But more importantly, it's just a perfect example of bad late '70s and early '80s commercials: just a camera pointing at one or two people reading off cue cards, followed by a dissolve to the product being hawked. National TV commercials must have been lower-tech in this era than any before or since.

And speaking of the late '70s, here's another commercial from 1978: a promo for People, a CBS show based on People Magazine (back when celebrity-fluffing magazines and shows were new and fresh). It didn't take, despite the awesome star power of host Phyllis George.

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