Sunday, August 21, 2016

Perked and jerked: sexual innuendo in coffee commercials




This blog is quite gif-heavy, but probably you've noticed that. If they work all the time, your computer is better than mine. I keep trying to cut back. It's just that I find so many sublime images in early TV advertising. Once the ad execs had broken out of the prison of "radio with pictures", it was full-on seduction. 

This lady, I've seen her before somewhere, and it looks to me as if they slipped a little something into her coffee before filming this. Back when I could make gifs in slow motion (Gifsforum, come back to me!), this one reeeeaaaaaallllly looked strange. 




Only in cigarette ads do you see this kind of bliss. In fact, coffee and cigarettes usually go together in these things. I just saw one depicting a man and his wife smoking at the breakfast table. The announcer intoned, "Ahhhhhh, the first cigarette of the day!"







1950s ads had a certain kind of zany, almost surreal animation in them. This one has just a tinch of Georges Melies in it, a celestial quality. The zooming-in-to-your-face quality of early TV advertising is very much in evidence here. Things had to explode on the screen to get your attention.




I think this is simply beautiful! Maxwell House had some of the most innovative ads, especially the early ones before the celebrities took over. The plain white oval coffee cup was their trademark, but panning down the row of gleaming, steaming, brimming cups is a stroke of genius.




But that's not what this post is all about. It's a Compare and Contrast. This is from  a Maxwell House ad trying to convince the consumer that Instant Maxwell House tastes just as good as "perked" coffee. (And if you remember that stuff, you should get a lobotomy to forget it.) 






These two are for Pream coffee creamer. There were dozens of Pream ads, and I've giffed a lot of them simply because I love them so. But this one - I can't really comment, except to say ad execs back then must have thought it was perfectly innocent. Do we have dirtier minds now? I just don't know.

Spurting coffee is one thing. Even spurting coffee splashing out at you and hitting the glass and running and bubbling its way down. But spurts of Pream in a bucket are just too explicit. If this is meant to represent someone milking a cow, then it goes against the laws of gravity! A cow's udder spurts milk, all right, but unless the teat is twisted around backwards (poor cow!), the milk goes DOWN, not sideways. The second image is, in some ways, worse. It just begs for certain questions: why is an elephant like a Seiko watch? Oh, I won't answer that one, but it has something to do with coming in quartz.


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