Friday, December 05, 2008

It's a YouTube Christmas Pt. 6 / Vintage Christmas Ads Pt. 11 - Alka-Seltzer, 1978-1979

Today we're combining both our "YouTube Christmas" and "Vintage Christmas Ad" features!

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

Back in 1978, the folks at the Alka-Seltzer company wanted a new, hip, easily identifiable, well-known celebrity to help them with their plop plop fizz fizz.

They picked Sammy Davis, Jr. to be their spokesperson - the man who wore nearly $100,000 on his fingers alone! They started him off slowly - with regular television ads:

By Christmas of 1978, Sammy was just as identifiable with Alka-Seltzer than its former mascot Speedy. They decided to treat Mr. Davis with the same class that he brought with him to the table. They gave him a new suit with an extra wide collared shirt, gave him just enough airbrushing, and posted his first Alka-Seltzer ad in magazines from coast-to-coast:

(Click on image to enlarge)

The campaign was so successful that they asked Sammy to re-record the famous jingles - one with a big band, the other in a rock/disco flavor (April Winchell has these posted for you to take a listen if you dare).

Heading into 1979, there was no stopping the Sammy Plop Plop Express:

At Christmas, 1979, the folks at Alka-Seltzer were riding the wave of success that Sammy delivered to them that they thought "well, Sammy's been our Santa this year. Why not give him a Santa suit instead?" And that's exactly what they did - in magazine ads:

(Click on image to enlarge)

And also on television ads:

Discernable recipients of my 2008 Christmas CD may recognize both ads - I used Sammy on the back cover:

I also lifted the audio from the TV ad for use as a track on the CD. It's beginning to look a lot like Sammy...

The Sammy Alka ride continued through to 1980 - there was at least one advertisment that featured both Sammy and Speedy together both jumping on the 1980 Winter Olympic bandwagon that might be the funniest print ad of the lot (NOT HIGH-DEF):

Not exactly sure how Sammy and Seltzer parted ways but it occured in 1980. If there's anything post-1980 with Alka-Seltzer and Sam, please let us know - we'd love to add to our demented collection here.

What do you think?

Keith says: Now I'm looking around on the net for Sammy Alka Seltzer stuff. Great blog post. Cheers!

Any other opinions?


1 comment:

Keith said...

Wow! This is so cool. I love it. I had never seen any of these before. Now I'm looking around on the net for Sammy Alka Seltzer stuff. Great blog post. Cheers!