Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Selling Coffee with Sexism, Violence, Subliminal Messaging and Tommy Lee Jones Playing Ping Pong

My last post on the Jim Henson ads for Wilkin's Coffee sparked my curiosity in old coffee ads, which in turn lead to this post. This is by no means a comprehensive or summary review of coffee ads. It's merely the result of too much time surfing YouTube for coffee ads and saving the ones that interested me the most.

First up is this old add for Folgers. It's startling how sexist many of the coffee ads were at this time. Folgers, Chock Full o' Nuts and Chase & Sanborn all advertised their coffee with the message: buy our coffee or piss of your husband. I picked this one in particular because I liked the "mountain grown" spin. The next time I go to my favorite coffee shop, I'm going to hold my hands over my head like a tepee and ask for "mountain grown."

This one is just freakin' hilarious and I love the animation.

I like the way coffee companies try to pick something they should have been doing all along and try to convince you that it's a huge innovation. The big seller here though is Captain B.J. Hunnicutt hanging upside-down.

Apparently, in the 1980's the National Coffee Association launched this ad campaign to attract the Pepsi generation to coffee. I totally do not remember these ads. Maybe they didn't get much air time. Or maybe I have selective amnesia in order to protect my fragile brain. Although, I love the one second shot of Kurt Vonnegut (who unlike Bowie is actually drinking coffee).

I have no idea if this is an actual ad or only a brilliant short done in the style of vintage ads. Either way, it's brilliant! So I'm including it here. Although, I did think twice about my coffee beans before I stuck them in my grinder this morning.

I don't speak Italian so I have absolutely no idea what any of the talking and walking beans are saying in this ad but I love it! According to Babel Fish, "Hag" in Italian means "Hag" in English. Which just makes the name of this coffee even more mysterious...

Any fan of Escher should love this ad. Plus I've actually had this experience before drinking my morning cup.

Even if I spoke Japanese I have a feeling I'd still have no idea what is going on in this ad. And I have the sneaky suspicion that Tommy Lee Jones has no idea either.

I included this ad because I remember this commercial causing this insipid song stuck in my head. Don't click "play" if you don't want to be singing this song for the next three days. "The best part of waking up..." Help me!!!

There are so many things wrong/scary about this ad, I had to include it in this post. I realize it was the 80's but you still have to wonder what Maxwell House was thinking. "Max?" Really?

Finally, for posterity sake, I'd like to note that I did not post the new McCafe ad. If you've seen it, you know why.

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