January 20, 2019

Half-Hour of 1977 ABC TV Commercials

Not every post needs to contain a detailed story. Sometimes, the content pretty much speaks for itself, as is the case with this posting from Internet Archive. It contains a collection of TV commercials which aired on ABC television between January and May 1977. Some, such as those with Bill Cosby's voice-overs for Del Monte corn speak more to the particular point in time than they do any lack of oversight of Mr. Cosby's pre-#MeToo behavior.

Here's the complete list of what's included with approximate times:
  • 0:00 Oscar Mayer Bologna
  • 0:32 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs
  • 1:02 ABC Bumper
  • 1:07 Del Monte Corn (Bill Cosby narration)
  • 1:37 Mounds/Almond Joy Candy Bars #1
  • 2:08 The Six Million Dollar Man promo (episode: Danny's Inferno)
  • 2:29 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries promo
  • 3:00 Triscuits Crackers (with Betty Buckley)
  • 3:30 Campbell's Noodle-O's Soup
  • 4:00 The Captain and Tennille Show promo
  • 4:24 Golden Grahams Cereal
  • 4:54 The Kodak Instant Camera with a Twist
  • 5:25 AT&T Super-Switcher
  • 6:24 Happy Days/Fonzie Loves Pinkie promo
  • 6:55 McDonalds Fish
  • 7:25 Purina Cat Chow
  • 7:56 Nescafe Coffees
  • 8:27 Carefree Sugarless Gum (with Dena Deitrich)
  • 8:56 Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • 9:28 Eight is Enough promo #1
  • 9:50 Gaines-burgers Dog Food
  • 10:20 Singer Sewing Machines (with Debbie Reynolds, George Dzundza and Michael Tucci)
  • 10:50 Tickle Antiperspirant
  • 11:52 Final Net Hairspray
  • 12:21 Eight is Enough promo #2
  • 12:52 Future Cop/Three's Company promo
  • 13:16 Mounds/Almond Joy Candy Bars #2
  • 13:46 The 1977 Chevrolet (with Jerry Orbach)
  • 14:17 Playtex Support-Can-Be-Beautiful Bra
  • 14:47 Coca-Cola ("Coke adds life!")
  • 15:18 Hanes Pantyhose ("Gentlemen Prefer Hanes")
  • 15:46 Purina Puppy Chow (Sterling Holloway narration)
  • 16:19 Boy Scouts of America ("Boy Power!")
  • 16:40 Chevrolet Concours
  • 17:10 Revlon Natural Wonder Crease-proof Cream Eyeshadow
  • 17:40 Fritos Corn Chips
  • 18:11 Soft & Dri Antiperspirant (with P.J. Soles & Charlene Tilton)
  • 18:42 Log Cabin Buttered Syrup
  • 19:12 Post Raisin Bran
  • 19:43 U.S. Savings Bonds ("The Ant & the Grasshopper")
  • 20:16 Oscar Mayer Bologna
  • 20:47 Oscar Mayer Bacon
  • 21:17 Clairol Nice 'n' Easy Hair Color
  • 21:47 Pillsbury Plus Cake Mix
  • 21:18 Clorox Bleach
  • 22:49 Blansky's Beauties/Fish/Starsky & Hutch promo
  • 23:20 Kinney Shoes (with Ken Berry)
  • 23:50 Carnation Instant Milk (with Vicki Lawrence)
  • 24:20 Kool-Aid
  • 24:50 Gravy Train Dog Food (with June Lockhart)
  • 25:22 Fotomat
  • 25:52 Wheat Thins Crackers (with Sandy Duncan)
  • 26:23 The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town promo
  • 26:45 Good Year Tires
  • 27:15 Canada Dry Ginger Ale (with Aldo Ray, Broderick Crawford & Jack Palance)
  • 27:45 Have a Pepsi Day
The video can be watched below, or by visiting https://archive.org/details/1977TVCommercials.


Some, such as the promotional promo from "Captain and Tennille Show" (at 4:00) are worth revisiting since the Captain Darryl Dragon passed away just a few weeks ago, on January 2, 2019 at age 76, although as I noted in my post on the duo in April 2017, Toni Tennille was bitten by the celebrity bug, and it was more a showcase for her, with Mr. Dragon being mostly a musical backdrop for her. Another clip, this one for retailer Kinney Shoes starting at 23:20 featured actor and dancer Ken Berry, perhaps best known for his starring role as Vinton Harper on the seventies-to-eighties sitcom "Mama's Family" (catch my post on that http://hgm.sstrumello.com/2017/02/mamas-family-from-network-tv-also-ran.html for details) who passed away at age 85 on December 1, 2018.

Of course, I'm partial to the two commercials for Peter Paul Mounds/Almond Joy Candy Bars #1 which appears at 1:37 and another Peter Paul Mounds/Almond Joy Candy Bars #2 spot which appears at 13:16 because at the time, the company was still based in Connecticut where I grew up (long before being acquired by Cadbury, whose U.S. operations were later sold to Hershey). When I was growing up, class trips to the factory were always a favorite among grade school kids of that era.

Anyway, since these commercials were broadcast prior to the Copyright Act that took effect on January 1, 1978, the archivist presumes these commercials are all in public domain (most of them, at least) but he says he's certainly no copyright expert. These were included on DVD's of "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour" duped from tapes of the original broadcasts made by producers Sid & Marty Krofft which I obtained from a collector. They are broken into clips and shared them on various sites like RetroJunk over the years, but when he posted them as a complete collection on YouTube in 2013, the video quickly began averaging 1,000 hits a day. Due to the high-quality, extreme rarity and overwhelming popularity, it seemed like a no-brainer to make them available for download on The Internet Archive in full DVD quality.

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