Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spam I am

Last night, very late, I got into a Thing, and as usual when I am into a Thing, I don't stop until it feels complete. Which this never will be, because it's one of the big themes/obsessions of this blog.

Old ads. Gifs of old ads, so you won't need to watch all of it. Lots of people say "I hate gifs", and I will tell you why. 90% of the ones I see on "real" sites are about 2 seconds long, a near-violent jerking back-and-forth of figures. I don't even know why those are considered "real" gifs, as it is now easy as hell to make 20- or 30-second ones with utterly simple programs like Makeagif or Giphy:


Some time ago I found a wonderful YouTube channel called MattTheSaiyan, featuring mostly classic ads like the ones I giffed last night. The ones I chose to gif (and I herein present only about half of them) struck some kind of a chord with me, either from familiarity or just plain oddness. It's a weird feeling to see an ad you haven't seen since you watched Queen for a Day when you were seven. Why do we remember these things? As a rule, we were forced to watch them over and over again.

Kind of like these gifs.

One category I particularly like are VERY old ads, probably done live in the middle of a variety show. MattTheSaiyan's ads are edited from reels/videos/DVDs of early television. The "boooop" of an organ is often heard at the beginning of them, indicating live soap operas. An announcer will come on and earnestly present the ad. "Crawls" back then looked like they were mounted on rolls of paper or canvas, and were very likely cranked by hand.

Early advertising was very "in your face", in that someone had finally discovered that TV was not just radio with still pictures. Things MOVED on TV, so suddenly, in the ads, everything was moving. Dove's "1/4 cleansing cream" was so much a part of their ads for so long that I had to include it here along with all the lovely doves. Interestingly enough, Dove now claims that women should think they're beautiful no  matter what they look like. They should, too - as long as they use Dove products.

A lot of the gifs I made last night went to 20 seconds, and really, those are better-quality and more essay-like than these short ones. But they can run a bit weary after a while, if you're not a real afficionado. This is the short version of the Joy ad, the best part really, illustrating that in-your-face, literally explosive quality.

I love this one, and was quite impressed with it when I first saw it. From radiant bathing beauty to radioactivelly CLEAN beauty to. . . bride. It all fits together, doesn't it? If you smell this good, you're going to land a (preferably-rich) husband for sure.

This is a nice one, if a bit vertigo-inducing. Things are literally comin'-atcha. I have a feeling this was a 1950s ad. It's as if they're visually turning up the volume.

I've saved the best 'til last. Who of my generation doesn't remember all these recipes, usually made with Spam or one of its knockoffs (Spork, Klik, Bluggh, etc.) Scraps of pig-snout from the butcher's floor were ground up with plenty of fat as a binding agent. And there you had it: a perfect meat substitute. Spam and eggs! Spam on the barbecue! Spam with pineapple rings (my life is now flashing before my eyes!), and - oh God - Spam with cloves and brown sugar glaze on it, baked in the oven like a ham.

You could do anything to it that you would do to a ham. So says the ad. It was cheep, this Treet. It opened with a key, like a sardine can. And the strange thing is, fried up golden or baked in the oven, it really wasn't too bad. Kind of like really deluxe army rations. Beat the hell out of creamed chipped beef on toast.

No comments:

Post a Comment