The Best Retro Commercials We Would Still Watch
If you weren't around to watch Joe Namath get that Noxzema shave, you've missed out.
We're not sure how "Broadway Joe" went from quarterbacking for the Bear to having Farrah Fawcett come in for an assist during his shave, but we saw it happen in a vintage TV commercial. Dick Van Dyke showed off the high-tech convenience of a Kodak camera that could fit in your pocket. (Sure you’d have to drive that film cartridge to the drugstore and wait two weeks to get your pictures back, but still . . . progress.) And what kid didn't nag Mama for a Slinky after watching those commercials? ("It's Slinky, it's Slinky, the favorite of girls and boys!")
Nothing against modern advertising, but there was just something about the vintage TV commercials we grew up with.
Madge the Palmolive manicurist was every girl’s wiseacre best friend. (I'm SOAKING my delicate hands in DISHWASHING LIQUID???)
We all loved watching Life cereal win over picky little Mikey. (“He won’t eat it. He hates everything! Hey, Mikey!")
And we got a downright misty when that sweet little boy gave Mean Joe Greene his "Co-Cola." (“Really, you can have it.”)
My all-time favorite old commercials had a touch of fantasy about them—like this one for Calgon Bath Oil Beads. (“Calgon, take me away!”)
The shampoo industry went through a naming thing in the 70s, with brands like Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific and Body on Tap (featuring real beer!) Houston native Jaclyn Smith urged us to trust Wella Balsam (but before that, Jaclyn was a Breck girl, so we were never sure where she stood, shampoo-wise).
Herbal Essence had this uber-groovy animated commercial that made us believe we could buy a bottle and then wander into lush woodlands and wash our tresses under a waterfall.
Old commercials challenged us to examine our world, as Clairol asked the burning question, “Does she or doesn’t she?” (Color her hair.) “Only her hairdresser knows for sure.”
From Aviance to Enjoli to “kinda free, kinda wow” Charlie, perfumes and colognes promised us glamour and adventure.
Jingles in retro commercials back in the day were the best. Bet you can finish these:
“My boloney has a first name; it’s O-s-c-a-r. My baloney . . .” (Yep, we know it's spelled b-o-l-o-g-n-a because a cute little curly-headed guy sang it to us.)
“I am stuck on Band-Aid, ’cause . . .”
“I’ve been sweet and I’ve been good; I’ve had a whole full day of motherhood, but I’m gonna have an . . .” (Hint: perfume commercial)
“I can bring home the bacon . . .” (Hint: perfume commercial)
“I’d like to teach the world to sing . . .”
“Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce; special orders . . .”
Whether you got them all right or not, just remember—your Wind Song stays on my, Wind Song stays on my, Wind Song stays on my mind. Who was Prince Matchabelli anyway?
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It's not every day that you get to see Andy, Barney, Floyd, and the gang, the Sugarbaker women, a couple of Miami detectives, and the Golden Girls all in one video. You. Are. Welcome.