I could honestly go on and on about classic TV ads forever. While most people were taking potty breaks during the commercial breaks, I was taking in the delightful entertainment and often-times unintentional genius of the paid advertisements that were carefully selected for my demographic. I was thinking of some of my favorite campaigns from the late 80’s and early 90’s, and realized that a lot of them were for some sort of foodstuff you added to another comestible to make it better. Since a lot of these brands weren’t well known at the time, they had to rely on quirky ad gimmicks to make a name for themselves, and they succeeded. I’ve come up with four condiment ad campaigns from that time that were quite memorable, made me laugh, or both… and I’ve included them all in today’s Flashback Friday post….
Grey Poupon Mustard:
Don’t pretend you can’t remember this commercial (or one of its many spinoffs)…..
This scenario was so absurd that it inspired countless pop culture references and parodies for years to come. Even the Grey Poupon ad execs realized their own idea was just begging to be roasted, that they even began mocking it in later commercials like this memorable ad! It’s incredibly ironic that despite the snobbishness behind the entire image of Grey Poupon’s product, they managed to sell it to the unwashed masses by poking some unintentional fun at the very people who were most likely to indulge in this high class condiment…
Pace Picante Sauce:
I would hope you remember the classic set up of this campaign just from hearing the brand name… but if not, you’re in for a treat, as I found a You Tube video that contains not one, but TWO of the classic Pace commercials!
Pace Picante Sauce prided itself on being made in San Antonio, Texas, by real Texans who knew was picante sauce should taste like. I’m not sure if there were ever any picante sauce factories in New York City, but it doesn’t matter…. that payoff line in each Pace ad cracked my ass up every time! In 1995, not long after those ads aired, and perhaps due to its now rising popularity through the “This stuff’s made in New York City!” ads, Campbell’s Soup bought up the Pace brand. I’ve been unable to determine if Pace is still made in San Antonio or not….
Polaner All Fruit:
Definitely the forgotten stepchild of great condiment commercials of my youth, but this may be the funniest of them all….
Another fancy schmancy brand name trying to mock its hoity toity clientele, just like Grey Poupon successfully did…. but in a perfectly brilliant way! And I don’t think they could have found a better actor to utter the “Would you please pass the jelly?” line than the guy they found. I can’t imagine this 30 second farce working with anyone else…
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!:
This butter substitute brand was well on its way to establishing itself thanks to some quirky romantic parody ads in the 80’s. But in the mid 90’s, ICBINB really hit small screen gold when they began using romance novel coverboy Fabio in their ads. I’ve chosen this one for demonstration purposes, because the way Fabio adds in “Spray” after I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter was so funny, it’s still the go-to line this day anytime me or my youngest sister hear of Fabio….
Being a manly squirrel, I obviously am not attracted to Fabio for his supposed looks, but I do like the guy because he knows he’s a campy pop culture icon and isn’t afraid to mock himself for a few bucks. At least there is a reason Fabio is famous, unlike these Kardashians and Lohans and all these reality show pseudo-celebrities who seem to exist solely because the paparazzi got tired of chasing around the real celebs and OJ Simpson hasn’t murdered anybody lately….
I think I just lost my appetite. Would you please pass the Rolaids?