Category Archives: Commercials

Daily Trivia – 9/28/11

Question: What two Matt Dillon films did Francis Ford Coppola shoot back-to-back in Tulsa?


Last Question: What mints were hyped in ads that boasted: “Fresh breath speaks for itself”?

Answer: Certs

Certs have been a fixture at grocery and convenience store registers since 1956.

Here is an old commercial where people would argue whether Certs was a breath mint or a candy mint. Then the announcer would resolve the issue by proclaiming that Certs is both – it is “Two, two, two mints in one!”.

They used this advertising strategy for years. Then they got lampooned on Saturday Night Live in this classic skit:

Maybe it forced them into this “Fresh breath speaks for itself” campaign:

Daily Trivia – 9/21/11

Question: What beach town near L.A. was home to Jack, Janet and Chrissy’s pad on Three’s Company?


Last Question: What beer ran U.S. ads with a slogan mistranslated into Spanish as “filling, and less delicious”?

Answer: Miller Lite

Lite Beer from Miller; everything you’ve always wanted in a beer…and less

Miller Lite’s long-running “Great Taste…Less Filling!” advertising campaign was ranked by Advertising Age magazine as the 8th-best advertising campaign in history. However, according to Time Magazine, in an attempt to appeal to Spanish-speaking Americans, they ventured into Spanglish to promote their beer – which translated into “filling, and less delicious”

But the commercials were great as they starred many actors and athletes. Sometimes the commercials were more entertaining than the shows that they were interrupting. Here is a great example:

Daily Trivia – 9/19/11

Question: What Eddie Murphy movie was originally slated to star Sylvester Stallone?


Last Question: What bubble gum brand was hyped by a Wild West “gumslinger” who calmly noted: “Big bubbles, no trouble”?

Answer: Hubba Bubba

Hubba Bubba promoted their gum as being less sticky as other brands. The earliest series of TV commercials for Hubba Bubba that aired in the U.S. were set in a Wild West town and featured a character known as the Gum Fighter, played by actor Don Collier.

Collier was known for being in television Westerns in the ’60s. He played U.S. Marshal Will Foreman in the 1960-1962 NBC series Outlaws. He had also appeared in Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Leter on, he also appeared in The Waltons and Little House on the Prarie.

But for us, he will always be known as the Gum Fighter. At the end of each commercial, the Gum Fighter declared, “Big bubbles, no troubles.”

Daily Trivia – 9/1/11

Question: In The Breakfast Club, what is the janitor’s name?


Last Question: What phrase did Fred the Baker mutter in Dunkin’ Donuts ads?

Answer: “Time to Make the Donuts”

Fred the Baker was played by Michael Vale. He and his “Time to Make the Donuts” catphrase was featured from 1982 to 1997. By the time he retired in 1997, Vale was featured in more than 1,300 commercials. He died of complications from diabetes at age 83 in New York City on December 24, 2005.

Daily Trivia – 8/29/11

Question 1: How many studio albums did Michael Jackson release as a solo artist before he passed away?

A. 10
B. 6
C. 9
D. 8

Question 2: How many children did Katherine, Michael’s mother, give birth to?
A. 9
B. 10
C. 7
D. 8

Question 3: Michael Jackson publicly posed with all of the following cartoon characters/mascots except which one?

A. Sonic
B. Snoopy
C. Popeye
D. Mickey Mouse


Last Question: What delivery company aired ads featuring a fast-talking executive named Mr. Spleen?

Federal Express

Fast-talker, Mr. Spleen, was played by John Moschitta. He caught the eye of Federal Express’ ad agency when he appeared on a 1980 episode of That’s Incredible!.
Here is a 1983 People Magazinee article about him:

When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Be Fast and Furious, Call Motor Mouth John Moschitta

Peter Piper, with his peck of pickled peppers, has nothing on Pittsburgh-Peter’s pal. You know, “Peter-you-did-a-bang-up-job-I’m-putting-you-in-charge-of-Pittsburgh-I-know-it’s-perfect-that’s-why-I-picked-Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh’s-perfect-Peter-may-I-call-you-Pete?” Inhale.

The man with the lightning delivery on the Federal Express commercial is John Moschitta Jr., the fastest talker in the world, or so he says—and he says it so fast he’s hard to argue with. Moschitta has been clocked at 530 words per minute, roughly three times faster than average, faster even than a speeding slicer-dicer commercial.

Moschitta is scheduled to put his motor mouth to good use this week when he appears on the Oscars as star of the evening’s traditional low point, reciting Academy Award rules. He will dispose of the whole thing—the voting, the tabulating, the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse, all that boring stuff—in a dizzying 15 seconds. It usually takes two to five minutes. He’s been practicing his spiel for the past six weeks, starting off every morning with a warm-up exercise in the shower: “Mama’s a mean mama, daddy’s a dear daddy, baby’s a bad baby,” 20 times, fast.

Moschitta, 28, discovered his loose tongue when he was 12, growing up on Long Island. He wanted to set a world’s record as part of a local cerebral palsy benefit. “Most of the records,” he recalls, “were for things like riding roller coasters, sitting on top of flagpoles for weeks or eating cars. At that point the Guinness record for world’s fastest talker was 500 words a minute. I figured I could teach myself that.” And he did, driving his family—father John (sanitation chief for Hempstead, N.Y.), mother Carol and five sisters—nuts in the process. “I was a terror of a brother,” he admits.

His mouth hasn’t made Guinness yet—”I’m waiting for them to catch up with me,” Moschitta says—but it did eventually land him a career. After acting off Broadway, doing production for Qube cable TV in Ohio and a stint as Dom DeLuise’s secretary and cook, Moschitta got his break: a 1980 spot on That’s Incredible that caught the eye of Federal Express’ ad agency. Before you could say “higher tax bracket,” he was cast as Mr. Spleen, the executive in overdrive.

Moschitta’s dynamo delivery won him a 1982 Clio award (the Oscar of advertising), earnings of nearly $150,000 a year, spots on Madame’s Place, Matt Houston and the upcoming Zorro & Son (as Corporal Cassette, a human tape recorder), and enough potential business to keep the phone in his small Santa Monica home ringing every 10 minutes. No sweat. He can handle plenty of phone calls; in fact, he could’ve read you this story in 54 seconds.

Daily Trivia – 8/11/11

Question: What classically trained harpist couldn’t appear in the movie Spinal Tap because being an MTV VJ took up too much time?


Last Question: hat less controversial Coca-Cola flavor debuted the same year as the New Coke debacle?

Answer: Cherry Coke

This was the first flavored Coke. Coca-Cola tested Cherry Coke on an audience at the 1982 World’s Fair. The drink then entered mainstream production in 1985.

Here are some early commercials:

Daily Trivia – 8/1/11

Question: Can you name the 5 Original MTV VJs? And who was your favorite (there’s no wrong answer for the second part*).


Last Question: What Cyndi Lauper chart-topper was later adopted by Kodak for an ad campaign?

Answer: “True Colors”

Here are some of the commercials that you may remember:

Kodak also sponsored the Disney attraction, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience at Epcot, where “True Colors was also featured in the preshow:

*Unless you don’t pick Martha! 😀

Daily Trivia – 7/28/11

Question: What Not Necessarily the News regular coined the word “sniglet” for “a word that should be in the dictionary, but isn’t”?


Last Question: What chewy candies were hyped in ads where folks were conked by giant falling fruits?

Answer: Bonkers!

“Bonkers! Bonks you out!” Bonkers! were made by Nabisco in the mid-80s. They have discontinued the Bonkers line of candies. But we were left with these memorable commercials:

They even had chocolate:

Daily Trivia – 6/6/11

Question: On The Golden Girls, what fictional Minnesota town was Betty White’s character from?


Last Question: What was the catchphrase in Bo Jackson’s Nike ads?

Answer: Bo Knows

Bo Jackson, the first athlete in the modern era to play professional baseball and football in the same year, was the spokesman for Nike’s cross-training shoes. The campaign ran in 1989 and 1990.

Coincidentally, the first time the commercial aired was during the commercial break immediately following Jackson’s lead-off home run in the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985. He was drafted first overall in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, Tampa Bay gave Jackson an ultimatum to choose wither baseball or football. So, he decided to play baseball for the defending champion Kansas City Royals.

Since he did not sign with a team, he was eligible for the next football draft. he Los Angeles Raiders selected Jackson in the 7th round with the 183rd overall pick. Raiders owner Al Davis supported Jackson and his baseball career and got Jackson to sign a contract by offering him a salary that was comparable to a full-time starting running back but allowing Jackson to join the Raiders only after the baseball season ended.

He was very successful in both sports, until he had a hip injury in 1990. This ended his football career, and he needed to have hip replacement surgery. Jackson was able to return to the Chicago White Sox in 1993, and in his first at-bat, against the New York Yankees, he homered on his first swing.

For the 1994 season, he was signed as a free agent by the California Angels for one final season, where he hit another 13 home runs in 201 at bats, before retiring during the strike.

Daily Trivia – 5/25/11

Question: Sure, we know ALF stand’s for Alien Life Form, but what was ALF’s real name?


Last Question: In 1984, what beer company began featuring a dog named “Alex” in TV commercials?

Answer: Stroh’s

Before Spuds MacKenzie, there was Alex the Dog. Alex was a very smart dog, who apparently was also an alcoholic. Here is proof, from one of his most famous commercials:

The dog who portrayed Alex was Banjo, who was part Golden Retriever and Irish Setter (of course there had to be some Irish Setter in him – freakin’ stupid stereotypes!).

At the peak of his career, Alex appeared in parades, on Good Morning America, and the Today show. He even inspired a series toys, posters, cologne, shampoo and hand lotion.[2] Hip-hop artist Tone Loc referenced Alex the Dog in his song “Funky Cold Medina”.

In 1999, Stroh sold its labels to the Pabst Brewing Company and Miller Brewing Company.

Here is one more commercial: