Through A Modem – Prodigy Commercial (1990)

There’s something comforting about this mellow, brown 1990 ad for the Prodigy internet service. It’s two minutes (two minutes!) of the glory and promise of the internet, laid out in optimistic clarity. A yuppie has his aging neighbor over to his aging-neighbor-approved house and is eager to show off his computer. The yuppie explains the…

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That’s My Brand – OJ’s Cereal (1980s)

The “combine it, just combine everything, who cares” mentality of the ’80s is demonstrated here in this aggressive attempt to combine as many parts of the traditional balanced breakfast into as few individual items as possible. OJ’s Cereal is mascoted by the lazily named OJ Joe, a cowboy who wrangles oranges, brands them, and delivers…

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He’s Got America – “Don’t Be A Sucker” (1947)

This film, created shortly after World War II, attempts to warn Americans against the same divisiveness that split Germany and allowed for the Nazi rise to power. The immediacy of this effort to counter the “this couldn’t happen here” mentality that many Americans had coming out of the war fascinates me, and it breaks my…

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And The Astronaut – Mego’s Planet of The Apes Toys (1975)

The Mego Corporation had a pretty good run of licensed action figures in the 1970s, covering huge franchises like Doctor Who, James Bond, and Star Trek. It’s the Planet of the Apes line that catches my eye, though, and it’s mostly because of the commercials. The toys themselves are no slouches; the action figure dolls…

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