1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #23

(New to the countdown? Catch up here.)

MTV visits the Duke.

First, the stoned intern in the control room has cued up the Bon Jovi promo again. It includes footage from the “Wanted Dead or Alive” video–and an actual lighter being held up at a concert! Only a few years later, that would feel anachronistic.

Once more, Earth, Wind and Fire promote Coca-Cola Classic with glittery outfits and silver spacemen in helmets. This ad was clearly an uncredited inspiration for the Black Eyed Peas’ Super Bowl performance.

Unsurprisingly, this commercial break includes the spot for The January Man. The MGM lion roars, as it does so rarely these days. A little research informs me that MGM has been using the same lion (“Leo”) since 1957. Which reminds me, as far too many things do, of a decade-old Onion story. In this case, it’s “6-Year-Old Cries When Told MTM Productions Kitten Dead By Now.”

A new ad! In a suburban garage with a basketball hoop, two guys in their twenties are packing up a car, excited about the fact that it’s snowing. “It’s our first trip to America’s premier ski resort!” one of them says. Man, that actor should get paid double for making that line sound semi-believable. One of them shows off his new black snow jacket, doing a dorky little seduction dance. “Black, huh?” says his pal. “I can see you working the main lodge tonight. There in the romantic glow of a roaring fire, your dandruff takes its toll.” Yes, this is the worst-written dialogue of the countdown, and it comes in an ad for Head and Shoulders. The pal removes a shampoo bottle from his duffle bag and tosses it across the roof of the car. The inevitable punchline: “You use Head and Shoulders? You don’t have dandruff.” There’s a general air of “problem solved,” although Mr. Black Jacket is still going to have white flakes tonight at the ski lodge.

Another repeat: the 15-second spot for License to Drive, starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. In one shot, all the hubcaps come off a car simultaneously.

A giant orange M looms over a black-and-white 1950s American city. People turn and run, in footage swiped from an anonymous monster movie. Then the M (maybe three stories high), marches down a street and collides into an electrical wire–the resulting shock produces the letters “TV,” completing the MTV logo.

posted 9 February 2011 in 1988 and tagged , , , , , , , , . no comments yet

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with new comments on this post via RSS.