For Digestion’s Sake – Thanksgiving Ads (1940s-1990s)

Holiday traditions in the United States grow and change over the years, but there’s one constant: everyone wants a piece of your holiday spending money.  These Thanksgiving ads ranging from 1942 to 1991 showcase the different angles these companies took to try and get at your wallet. In doing so they speak to the design…

Incrediburgable – Burger Chef (1950s-90s)

If I asked you to name a burger restaurant established in the 1950s with a patented cooking method, a signature burger with the word “Big” in the title, a packaged meal themed just for kids, and a roster of make-believe characters, what name would you guess? You’d say Burger Chef, right? (courtesy Burger Chef Memories)…

Better Than Pennies – ’70s Halloween Commercials

We’re pretty stale and orderly with our Halloween celebrations these days, so much so that it’s easy to forget the Wild West that was Halloween in the 1970s and 1980s.  Suffocation-threatening vinyl masks,  flammable vinyl shrouds to match said masks, and the ever-present threat of razor blades in your candy brought an edge of danger…

Mini-Munsters (1973)

I’m not really sure what happened here. I wanted to share something from ’70s television with a spooky vibe, and then I stumbled across this, and while I can describe it and comment on it, I’m just not sure what exactly it is. Originally broadcast as a one-hour “movie” on The ABC Superstar Saturday Movie, “Mini-Munsters” re-aired…

All Hail the Hamburglar (1970-1980s)

It’s weird to single out individual aspects of McDonaldland for the sake of pointing out how strange that individual aspect is. The whole idea is strange.  The wonderful thing about McDonaldland isn’t just the absurdity of a fast-food themed magical wonderland populated with less than two-dozen beings each resembling a fast-food menu item or category…

Five Things – 05.15.17 – Fall Has Come To Millbrook

Nintendo Fun Club – April 1988 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link I played the new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, for about an hour this morning. I didn’t have a ton of time to play, so I didn’t want to get into anything too big. Instead I just collected some food and…

Five Things – 5.8.17 – Some People Call This A War

The Front Line This 1960s training film on the merits of good checkout procedure places an awful lot of responsibility for the store’s performance on what happens in the checkout lane.  Indeed, they are “The Front Line” in the grocery war.  Seriously, they just casually call it a war. I’m not going to spend time…

Five Things – 5.1.17 – Halfway to Hades

Nearly Departed This 1989 NBC show features a married couple who die in an accident, yet their ghosts live on in their house and they have to live with/around the living family that moved into their house after they died and only one member of the family can see them and it’s not Beetlejuice and somehow…

Five Things – 3.20.17 – What They Call a Ronald Ray-gun

1989 Disney-MGM Studios Grand Opening The decision to make a Disney-MGM (now Disney Hollywood) Studios theme park was an odd one for the company. This 1989 television special celebrating the opening of the park is filled with similarly odd decisions. Disney-MGM was the third Florida park, coming after EPCOT but before Animal Kingdom. Where the Magic…

Five Things – 3.13.17 – That’s Why I’m In This Box

Invasion of Nintendo – Super Nintendo Infomercial It’s always weird when Nintendo tries to be cool. Cool just isn’t their thing. This 1995 infomercial for the Super Nintendo is a perfect example of my point; it sets out to showcase the system’s lineup in an edgy, gritty way and it comes off looking like when the chaperones…