June 28, 2010

Olan Mills

Ok - I'm taking one for the team here.

For the sake of a good 80's blog post I'm risking any last shred of respect I might have and I'm going out on a limb to display - for the whole wide web world to see - my Olan Mills photo. If there's one thing that a wiry, dorky, Casio-watch-that-plays-Dixie-wearing, breakdancer-shirt-sporting kid doesn't want to see during his awkward middle school years, it's the Olan Mills photographer.  I don't think I've ever seen a flattering Olan Mills picture - of anybody!  Or maybe it's just a guy thing.  Or maybe it's just a me thing.  Maybe I'm just realizing that me & the O.M. just don't work.

Anyhow, I'd never just post a ugly picture of myself if I didn't have something to go with it.  And I do.  Thanks to a stash of memorabilia I just received from my mom (perhaps she's my archiving inspiration), I have not just the Olan Mills photo, but the actual order form we used to throw away my dad's hard-earned cash so my mom could immortalize my awkwardness in an 8x10 matte finish.

For some reason, I don't think it's necessary to include "Click on any image to enlarge."

June 11, 2010

Retro Can

Here are three magazine ads featuring soft drinks in those retro cans with the pull tab that came completely off of the can (it's interesting that the only ads were for diet drinks).  Remember those tabs?  The top of the can had instructions:  "Dispose of properly."  I remember Trent Allen telling me that as a child he always thought that tab was called a "properly."

These cans are just another piece of our culture that have received enough packaging and often logo redesign, that seeing the vintage pop cans fizzes up memories.  Wanna shake up some more?  The Retro Soda Pop website has some good info about vintage pop & some fun soda commercials from the 70's & 80's, including this jingle, "I wanna pop (pop) (pop) I wanna shhhhhhhasta!"

The first two ads came out of a 1980 Good Housekeeping magazine and the third ad came out of an early 80's Rolling Stone Mag.

Click on any image for supersized view.
Also interesting is the superhero theme in two of these three ads. Wonder Woman above, Superman below.
And speaking of retro drinks... Mello Yellow is coming out with a throw-back packaging design similar to the 1979 logo complete with a groovy new website.  Here's a pic of three of their can designs:

And here's the new packaging:
The reason I'm even including this in a blog post is that in this new re-design you have three of my favorite things combined into one:  1) my favorite soda as a kid, 2) logo design, and 3)... retro!  What could be better?  I know - a trip down the clay hill to the Mad Butcher during summer vacation with my quarter in hand to buy me a Mello Yello in a glass bottle (and usually a Whatchamacallit to wash it down).  After popping the cap off with the bottle opener built into the coke machine, I could chug the whole thing just standing there - probably because it was so good, but more likely so I wouldn't have to pay a nickel for the bottle deposit if I left the store.  Remember that - paying deposits on glass bottles!?  It worked both ways though... I'd often take a sack full of bottles that I had collected from the neighborhood down to the store & they'd pay me a nickel apiece.  Some easy coin.

That's all I got.  Another post in the can.

June 9, 2010

Gary Coleman | 1968 - 2010

I was involved with my grandmothers memorial service the week Gary "Whatch-you-talkin-bout" Coleman died from a severe head injury and I completely missed the announcement in the news.  Coleman and both of his TV siblings (Dana Plato and Todd Bridges) all had many troubles & rough lives after Diff'rent Strokes went off the air.  But during the show's run we all certainly enjoyed their characters (all only a few years older than us 88ers) and never would've imagined that their futures would have turned out so sad, including Plato's suicide in 1999.  Unfortunately, many child stars that we grew up with ended in disappointing and dreadful lives.

Here's a nice tribute to Arnold Drummond from a fellow 80's fan, including a couple of video compilations of his finest moments.

And below is the CBS news video of Coleman's death.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

June 4, 2010

Big Red

No doubt you've seen the Verizon commercial that parodies the classic Big Red chewing gum commercial from the 80's.  Ever since I first saw the Verizon ad, I've wanted to find the original and compare the two.  So, where do you go when you want to relive a tv memory from your childhood?  Why... YouTube, of course!!
Here's the current Verizon commercial:

And now a couple of originals:

There's a few obvious differences necessary to advertise the current product (using a chewing gum commercial to sell 3G wireless phones must've been quite a challenge), and it took me a while to realize they used several different commercials to pull from.  I'm still not sure where the concept of the couple on a horse came from, but the line in the jingle is epic, "You'll watch YouTube on a horse...!"  Kudos to the creators of this ad.
Wanna see more classic commercials?  Check out this YouTube channel.