Ever since the Empire Carpet guy, Lynn Hauldren, died, I’ve been wondering: is the era of local commercials coming to a close?
It could happen. I’ve been trying to remember which of the great local TV pitchmen of my era are still active, and there aren’t too many left. Harry Schmerler, the singing Ford dealer, has left the stage. Celozzi and Ettleson can no longer save me more money. I think Bob ROHR-man is still out there, but that’s about it. In New England there are a few well-known furniture stores, but frankly their commercials are pretty high-quality and it’s not the same.
We need to rededicate ourselves to the principles that made local TV commercials into icons of our childhood! We need pitchmen and women who are either eccentric or incoherent – preferably both. We need jingles and slogans that are even more eccentric and incoherent. And we need costumes, and plenty of them!
Some examples to engage your brain:
There’s always a catch when there’s a big deal on the table. Usually we expect some kind of fine print – warranty void if you actually sleep on the bed, or something like that. In this case, you get a price cut on a bedroom set so long as the sales clerk gets to murder several Martians. If Tim Burton owned a furniture store, it might look like this.
Ok, this is a fake local TV commercial – it’s actually a plug for Alka-Seltzer. But it’s so true to the spirit of local commercials that I had to include it. Plus, “eyyyyyyyyy” is a great slogan. (It always worked for the Fonz!)
Eagleman is a longtime Chicago favorite, mostly because he’s a male eagle who can lay eggs. Full of insurance rates. I mean, if you can’t be impressed by a boy eagle who drops baby eagle sales reps out on the roof of your car, you’re not really trying, are you?
Do we need to add “multiple murders” to our commercial criteria? I’m not sure why you have to run over the bucks to bring them to the credit union. I’m also not sure I want to be the one to hose down the room where the bucks go off and start “making bucks.”
Moo and Oink’s ads were so good you’d stay up late just to catch a glimpse, no matter what was on. Because when the cow and pig costumes start waving for catfish, you know you’re being surrounded by pure genius.
So let’s get to work! I’ll round up some animal costumes – I’m thinking maybe a rapping frog, or a lion with a herniated disc. I need someone to order up a 1-800 number that’s easy to sing in falsetto. And if you know any people without much acting skill who’ll work for donuts, get in touch!