There is no logo in the world that is more recognizable than the Coca Cola company’s flagship product. Coke and its classic bottle design are a symbol known all over the world. It’s gotten to the point you don’t even need to have the word Coke in an advertisement as long as the distinctive bottle shape is there somewhere in the image.
Need a break from all the sappy Christmas music that is no doubt following you around everywhere you go these days as you prepare for the magic of Christmas while draining your savings account? Search no further – Max Headroom is back to bring you some retro joy.
Remember him? If your a retro fan then you are aware of the odd phenomenon from the mid 80s that spawned a bit of a craze. With technology becoming a bigger part of our lives and video technology pushing new boundaries, the timing was perfect for the emergence of a fictional artificial intelligence doing his thing on a video screen.
Max Headroom got his start as British TV series but became better known thanks to a video by Art of Noise that featured him performing for “Paranoimia”. That led to a gig as a spokesman (spokesgraphic ? spokesimage ? spokesthingy ?) or talking head for New Coke that helped propel Max into the public conscienceness.
Due to his popularity, Chrysalis released a Christmas song featuring Max singing “Merry Christmas Santa Claus” with his trademark stutter and quirky delivery.
One thing that has changed since the retro days of old are the television ads around Christmas time. Sure even back then, advertisers were trying their hardest to get you to spend your hard earned dollars on bigger and better gifts for little Timmy or that special someone but they weren’t smacking you upside the head with the message or trying to make you feel like less of a human for not spending more for a bigger, better gift than you bought last year.
There was always a beautiful Christmas scene with snow and a happy family sharing a magical Christmas moment with tender looks and gentle hugs. Then while sipping on hot cocoa, mom would present a beautifully wrapped gift to little Cindy who opened it and beamed like the little cherub she was to the delight of the whole family.
Of course nowawdays they show little Cindy freaking out because she didn’t get a 3g iPhone or a new car with a big bow waiting for her in the driveway. Meanwhile dad is sleeping on the couch because he thought a new blender would be the perfect gift to go with the Slap Chop he bought mom for her birthday. Was it really necessary to hurl it at him like that? How’s he supposed to return it now?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a couple of Christmas ads that you’ll remember and will warm you up better than any Snuggie ever could.
There are of course some exceptions………
I’ve been in a bit of a football kick these last few days probably a reaction to my five week winning streak in fantasy football but it got me thinking of some classic commercials featuring football. Obviously the Superbowls have given us some classics in recent years but in my retro world only one sticks out as a true feel good classic.
Coca Cola did an ad in 1979 featuring all-Pro Pittsburgh Steeler defensive back “Mean” Joe Greene which became an instant classic. They actually remade the commercial for Super Bowl XLIII featuring current Pittsburgh Steeler defensive back Troy Polomalu that had a bit of a twist from the original. Here they are together – see if you spot the subtle differences.
Some of the most innovative ads of the 80s and 90s were a result of the cola wars that waged between industry giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi. This bitter rivalry started in the late 1800’s (talk about retro!) and continues to this very day.
Soft drink origins date back when herbal cola syrup mixtures were sold in pharmacies as cure-alls and brain tonics. Colas back then actually contained coca extract from the kola nut that is better known today as cocaine. Needless to say people liked to get their cola fix but found the stuff too hard to drink straight so pharmacists began mixing it with water at first and eventually soda water which many people found be a very pleasant tasting beverage. Fast forward 100 years, the cocaine is no longer an ingredient, but we’re still sucking the stuff back like it actually does a body good. Hardly.
So here’s a small tribute to some of the Pepsi ads from back in the day. Why Pepsi instead of Coke? It gave me an excuse to post an ad with a young Cindy Crawford………that’s why.