Monday, April 10, 2017

My Top 10 Classic California TV Commercials

Periodically I find my mind wandering back to television commercials that I watched while growing up in Southern California in the 1970s and early 1980s. These are a sampling of my favorites, all of which were strictly regional companies and limited to the Los Angeles media market or California media markets.

The ahead-of-his-time Shadoe Stevens used to do local "Fred Rated" television ads for the Federated chain of home entertainment stores in Southern California long before there were Circuit City or Best Buy stores all over the place, having started way back in 1970 and dying in 1989 as technology and consumer trends changed faster than they could evolve.... the story of business success or failure.

Miller's Outpost created many ads over the years of my youth with this being just one. The company began in 1972, changed its name to Anchor Blue Clothing Company in the late 1990s and entered bankruptcy during the Great Recession in 2009 and ceased to exist in 2011.

"Go See Cal!" Who can forget these ads growing up and watching television in Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s? Cal Worthington's "Go See Cal" campaign actually ran from the 1960s to 1990s.

Round Table Pizza had a great advertising campaign featuring these guys throughout the 1980s.

"Me and Sparklett's Water making friends." I have never forgotten that highly effective ad jingle from Sparklett's Water Company which still exists but is owned by hated Nestle Corporation.

I grew up on Winchell's Donuts which started in Temple City, CA, where I lived for 5-1/2 years in the 1970s into 1980s. I still remember this particular commercial for the drill sergeant.

Adee Heating & Plumbing created a memorable advertising campaign which only reached the Los Angeles media market but I was there and I remember these like it was yesterday. Quite catchy!

The jingle at the end of Roto-Rooter television commercials was inexplicably catchy and effective lasting for decades.

Anybody living in the Los Angeles media market in the 1970s and 1980s cannot but remember the distinctive voice and delivery of Earl Schieb.

I grew up with angry Larry H. Parker ambulance chaser television commercials, most famously, the ones with the black guy who allegedly won $2.1 million from a motorcycle accident, Parker's claimed specialty. After laws changed keeping damage amounts secret, the commercials had to only hint at the dollar amount that by later times was legendary and even satirized on comedy shows and late night television monologues. All the earlier commercials from the 1970s and 1980s are only hosted by Larry H. Parker who has disabled embedding so I can't share any of those here. However, I was able to find this 1995 commercial that gives you the idea of what the earlier ones were like and does feature the motorcycle guy. Note: nobody seems to be able to find any legal record of Larry H. Parker winning this man such a judgement and thus speculation is that his story is a fabrication.

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