As those of you who read this blog all the time may be aware of, I have a thing for classic TV commercials. I also have a pretty warped sense of humor and creativity. And because the rest of my family was just as fucked up (in a good way) as I was… twenty years ago, me and my three youngest sisters (Amy 14, Angela 12, and Nicole 10, left to right) set out to stand the advertising industry on its ear with some of the weirdest, corniest, lamest, and sometimes even funniest commercial parodies ever filmed.
The time was the Summer of 1994. The scene was our small, but extremely humble
white trash yard. The recording equipment was a bulky RCA camcorder that was in almost every home at the time. The props were whatever we could get our hands on… including two junk vehicles, a Casio keyboard, baseball bats, and even a couple of pets. The quality of the set and the acting was low, but the entertainment value was off the charts…
During the course of that summer, me and the sisters filmed 37 different commercial parodies I had written a brief “screenplay” for. Every scene was shot in one take… there really was no choice since stopping the tape and rewinding would always record over stuff before it on the tape. The outtakes and flubs are many, but they only enhanced the simple beauty behind this adventurous project.
Thanks to the equipment I purchased back in August to bring my Millionaire recording to life, I was finally able to get this commercial project onto the wonderful world of the internet where it belongs. And today, I’m going to show off my 10 favorite amateur ads in our series!
Sparkling Wine Champagne:
The only time I ever mentioned this home video commercial project before on this blog was when I featured Korbel’s “The champagne’s not Korbel!” campaign on my NYE edition of Retro Ad Tuesday. And I mentioned it because I managed to come up with an idea that fit into that formula a whole year and a half before the ad geniuses at Korbel thought it up themselves! And yes, I am still a little bitter about it!
The Times Square NYE celebration? Check. New Year’s champagne isn’t Korbel? Check. Revelers begin counting back up? Check. The ball begins to go back up the pole? Check! All of these elements in my ad wound up in the later more professional Korbel ad! I still think my sisters did it better, though…
Musician Ray Charles and a group of backup singers were found in many Diet Pepsi ads in the 90’s. Here’s the first of two instances where we mocked Ray’s “You got the right one baby, uh huh!” campaign…
Remember when someone supposedly found a syringe in a Pepsi can in 1993 and it sparked a brief Tylenol-like scare? That’s where that reference comes from…. uh huh.
If you don’t remember this early 90’s commercial for Rally’s (or they weren’t in your area), then watch this first. Then watch my sister Angela go to work outdoing Mr. Annoying Drive Thru Attendant…
The cash register trick was a total shot in the dark stroke of luck in that it flying off the “counter” actually managed to look realistic. Heaving the register off-camera in this ad was the oldest of my four sisses, Becky, who otherwise chose not to participate in our madness.
Bud Light I:
You can already tell by what’s showing on the still of the video below which ad this one’s parodying…
The wild trials and travails of the Kennedy family are well known, which made them the perfect surname to insert for the infamous Dr. Galazkiewicz….
Bud Light II:
Not as well remembered as the limo ad was this one from the same time period, featuring two castaways on a deserted island… with one beginning to have hallucinations. We mocked it too, and made a statement about local legend Budweiser in the process…
This may have been little Nicole’s best bit of
overacting in the whole series…
Cracklin Oat Bran:
For some reason, in the early 90’s the people at Kelloggs thought that there were people out there who would actually eat all of the Cracklin Oat Bran. We made fun of those stupid people in this ad…
Another classic ad I once ran through the wringer on this blog was the series of commercials where someone secretly replaced the restaurant’s gourmet coffee with Folgers crystals to see if anybody would notice. Well…. my sisters noticed….
Since you probably have no idea who Dana Brown is, you can find out more about him in my description under this ad.
Remember the Super Bowl Ad Pepsi did in 1994 where Kramer turned Cindy Crawford into Rodney Dangerfield? Yeah, we had a rather unique take on that…
Yep, that’s our guinea pig we had for most of the 90’s, the beloved Piggie!
It wouldn’t have been right had we neglected to mock one of the most famous commercials of the decade…
Amy missing the ball on her “golf swing” is one of those bloopers we couldn’t edit out that just make these videos even more darling…
And finally, we have our tribute to those ubiquitous Grey Poupon ads that they shot in whatever countries people actually eat dinner in their back seats. This is short, but really sweet… probably the most fucked up idea of the entire lot that worked to perfection!
I’ve uploaded all 37 of the ads, and you can probably find them all if you really want to look and are fascinated by lameness, inside jokes, and ripoffs of local ads you’ve never seen before… but the ones I listed above I consider to be the cream of the crop.
This is great stuff!
The Lifecall had me in tears!
Loved it! The Diet Pepsi one is awesome too.
You guys would go viral if that were today. It can still happen.
Thanks. I had no idea the internet even existed at the time… and even when I learned of it, I figured these were stuck on VHS forever. I’m glad they can give people across the world a few laughs now!
Your sisters are awesome. This is so sweet.
LOL… you didn’t have to live with them for years like I did! But as you can see, we were able to get along pretty well! 🙂
Reblogged this on West Coast Review and commented:
Make these girls go viral! This is really sweet and funny.
very talented and ahead of their time. Hilarious, entertaining and very sweet. ❤
It takes real talent to take something retro and make it ahead of its time! 😉
I’ve got all kinds of fun stuff on the same tape those commercials were on. From 1993-94, we had a flood, snow, ice, and even a lunar and solar eclipse that are all on the same little 2 hour cassette! My Dad narrating (uncensored!) our tour of the flooding we had in ’93 should be comedy gold if I ever upload it! 🙂
Love them all! The Folgers one is exactly what we said should have happened on those lame commercials. And your take on the Grey Poupon commercial, brilliant. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome! As I found out when I featured that series, the people in the Folgers ads received a complimentary meal for their participation… which I’m sure influenced their take on the coffee. My sisters did not get a free dinner, so were free to speak their minds! 🙂
they are fabulous! that’s the first time of my life (I swear!) that I wish I had siblings too…
I love your sisters, they are GREAT!
Like anything, siblings have their pluses and minuses. Having four younger sisters had its share of minuses… especially in a one bathroom house….
Hey, what was the commercial for where the squirrel kept eating the cereal? The cracklin oat bran had me thinking of that one…
That must be an ad I’m either not familiar with or must have forgotten. I still can’t imagine even a squirrel would willingly eat all the Cracklin Oat Bran…
That is so awesome! Man, I wish I coulda been your sister, too. *pout*
I can just imagine getting ganged up on by four younger sisters AND an older sister!
Oh, the fun we would have had. 😀
Moooooooooooooommmm!!!! Merby held me down and painted my lunulas again!!!!
LMAO!! But I have mauve……..
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First time here via Leo … love that you were able to recapture these. Thanks for the smiles for my morning.
You’re welcome, thanks for visiting my humble nest!
My pleasure … and I hope you can attend my weekend party (as mentioned by Leo).
These are so cute! Your sisters were such good sports. Things never went that peacefully when my brother and I and our cousins worked on projects together.