Ad Space – The “Oops! All Commercials” Party

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Jeno’s Pizza Rolls (known these days as Totino’s)

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
Cha cha cha! Charmi-
Oh no, buster! You get the hell out of here!

Howdy, fellows!

Last week, I failed to get your regularly scheduled dose of Ad Space up on Monday. I was going to, I had it all planned out … then at the last minute discovered the commercial I was covering wasn’t a commercial at all, but someone’s comedy video spoofing commercials. That threw my plans in the trash, and left me no time to come up with a replacement.

In acknowledgement of my little slipup, this week I decided to discuss an ad that most certainly is a real commercial, while also being a one big spoof of commercials.

Even if you’re not familiar with the specific ad campaigns being mocked here (the woman with the coffee is a reference to Mrs. Olson, and the “bad breath” voice to Green Mint Mouthwash – not sure where the starched shirt comes from), the general idea of the piece is still clear: when a bunch of different commercial pitch people attend the same party, they keep interrupting each other’s efforts to shill their product. It’s not high art or anything, but it gave me a good laugh, especially the no-nonsense approach of our main pitchwoman.

It’s surprising to see that, even back in the 60’s, commercials were already getting meta and poking fun at the conventions of the genre. Though not that surprising in this case, since this commercial was the work of Stan Freberg, the comedy-writer-turned-ad-man that we previously saw get Ray Bradbury on camera to NOT endorse Sunsweet prunes. This ad feels very on-brand for the fella.