1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #27

(New to the countdown? Catch up here.)

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 10.39.54 AMTime to visit the Duke.

Let’s dispatch this commercial break quickly so we can get back to the videos sooner rather than later.

We kick off with the eighth appearance of the frequently played promo for “Big Bang ’89”: live performances from Robert Plant, Poison, Winger, Cameo, Hall and Oates, Escape Club, Bobby Brown, and Vixen. “Five number-one hits in your face and more!”

Then, the even-more-frequently played commercial (fourteen times and counting!) for The January Man. Man, Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, and Danny Aiello were young once.

A Gillette ad for their Astra razors. Lots of slow-motion footage of well-groomed men: businessmen, astronauts, and for some reason, the Los Angeles Rams. (Yes, I’ve been recapping this countdown long enough that the Rams have relocated to L.A.)

A commercial for Michelob Dry. The first half, the typography has serifs and both upper and lower case; the second half, it’s all bold sans-serif caps.

A quick spot for Willow on VHS. “At last, a family epic with heart to match its spectacle.”

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 10.38.53 AMSomething shiny and new and seventeen seconds long! The word ONLY in large white capitals on a black screen. A vintage shot of a Sputnik-era satellite. The words WORLD WIDE, and then ALREDEDOR DEL MUNDO, followed by what I assume is the equivalent message in kanji. A quick montage of world maps saturated with color, followed by an array of satellite dishes with ominous clouds moving behind them. The soundtrack is humming modem-type noises with some teletype clacking. Then some photo negative faces, the words MUSIC VIDEO, a close-up on a mouth blowing smoke, a quick flurry of computer graphics and maps, and the word NETWORK before we end with the MTV logo.

posted 5 June 2018 in 1988 and tagged , , , , , . 2 comments

2 Comments on 1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #27

  1. Chris Molanphy Says:

    I’m wondering how far along in the history of VHS sell-through this Willow release falls. In late 1986, when they priced Top Gun at 30 bucks to sell direct to consumers instead of pricing at $90–$100 retail (less wholesale) so only rental shops would buy it, it was a big, big deal. (I was reading Billboard regularly by then, and they made a big deal out of it.)

    Three years later, the whole sell-through video market must have gotten pretty well settled if they’re promoting a title as second (third?) -tier as Willow as direct-to-own. Of course, seven–eight years after this, the launch of DVD, where everything was $30 or less, would blow up that whole model and essentially launch Netflix.

  2. Gavin Says:

    I sometimes marvel at the fact that I have lived through the rise and fall of DVDs.

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