Monthly Archives: March 2013

Cadbury Rabbit Try Outs

Today’s Easter so why not some Easter commercial for once. I didn’t do any last year so I’ll make it up with you with this article on the most recognizable mascot for Easter commercials: The Cadbury Rabbit. Since they still advertise this rabbit from time to time, he’s not quite a character time forgot as of yet. So I’ll just focus on these pair of commercials which are in takes of auditions, or in this case auditions to be the next Cadbury Rabbit. I know it’s “Bunny” but I prefer “Rabbit” to make is sound less silly to discuss.

For the first ad I never actually seen this one cause it was made a year before I was born. But since it’s similar to the second one, I couldn’t refuse to include it on this article. The commercial takes place on a small stage where various rabbits are auditioning to be the new Cadbury Rabbit. They are all being judge by an unseen observer who will decide if any of them can out perform the current Cadbury Rabbit. The first rabbit croaks like a frog, the observer shouts out “Next!” Curtains are drawn and another rabbit tries out by barking like a dog. The observer says “Sorry” as the curtain draws down once more. Least this observer is less violent than the Moogle from the Final Fantasy 3 commercial. We see yet another rabbit trying to audition and we hear a Narrator say “This year, lots of bunnies are trying to be the Cadbury Bunny”, and then the rabbit contestant makes an elephant sound. The curtains draw again and the narrator informs us with “But there’s only one Cadbury Bunny” and we see the rabbit himself clucking like a chicken. Showcasing a basket of Cadbury candy. One being Mini Eggs and my personal favorite Cream Eggs. The commercial ends with the tagline “Nobunny(not a typo) knows Easter better than Cadbury’s”.

The second commercial is the one I remember since childhood and was my introduction to the Cadbury Rabbit.  The location takes place on a much bigger stage than the other one and we see various contestants trying out to be the next Cadbury Rabbit. Except this time instead of rabbits we now have a different animals trying to impersonate a rabbit. Starting with a pig wearing bunny ears who clucks like the Cadbury Rabbit. Next a lion who give out a loud cluck, but I think he’s better off going to the MGM try-outs cause they haven’t used a new lion for their logo since 1957. Next is a cat who isn’t doing the role justice. The final contestant is a white llama, but unfortunately the one and only Cadbury Rabbit still holds the position as Cadbury’s mascot. The commercial ends with the same tagline as the other commercial.

These ads are very memorable and represent how good an Easter ad can be without seeing the same old theme each year. I give the second commercial most credit for giving the whole “Cadbury Rabbit Try-Outs” a spin by having anonymous animals trying out for the role. While I enjoyed the one with the elephant noise making rabbit, I cast my vote for the rabbit-ear wearing Lion commercial as my personal favorite Cadbury Rabbit commercial. Every Easter I always think of this commercial or whenever I eat some Cream Eggs. Very few people I talk to ever talk about the ad for some reason, so figure I shed some light on it so that way all of you out there can spread the word that there exsists a commercials where a lion try-outs out to be the Cadbury Rabbit. Anyways for next week I’ll be doing an article on the Woody Woodpecker Show for next time. Until then Happy Easter and if you don’t celebrate Easter then Happy non-Easter.

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Davey & Glitch

Like the KB & Friends PSAs I’m sure a lot of you 90’s kids remembered this one. It aired on various networks that had cartoon line ups particularly Saturday Morning Line Ups. In fact I remember they use to air this just as frequently as the KB & Friends PSA along with dozens of other PSAs giving us kids a positive message about the dangers of drugs and other issues that were common in the 90’s but sadly are still common today. Let’s now go over the summary of this PSA.

The PSA opens up with the logo of the characters you’re about to see, and then the logo gets pulled up like a curtain and we see a kid who addresses the audience with “My name is Davey, and I want to tell you about my friend Glitch”. He pulls the background to the side where you see a Canine like animal who is Glitch by the way putting on roller blade gear. Davey who is now narrating tells us “He’s done some pretty dopey things like roller blading down a roller coaster” Where we then see Glitch roller blading down a generic roller coaster you’ll find at any fair or amusement park. I bet Glitch got banished for pulling a stunt like that. Next we see Glitch in a wrestling ring where Davey tells us “He even thought he can be a pro wrestler”. Which we then see Glitch get flatten by someone who looks like the Crusher from the Looney Tune shorts “Rabbit Punch” & “Bunny Hugged”.  The scene changes again where Glitch jumps out of the plane and Davey informs “Then he thought he could fly”. Where we now see Glitch trying to flap his arms in hope that he can fly down to the ground safely. This can be really if it didn’t kill him which it didn’t since he resembles a cartoon character from slapstick genre where characters don’t get hurt no matter how much damage they received.  Finally we see Glitch being harassed by a group of anonymous drug addicted kids who are crowding his space with smoke and keep showing him joints in hope that he’ll join them to get high. Davey then says “And once, some kids try to get him to do drugs”. Glitch was frustrated by the uneducated kids and then goes “BEAT IT!” so loud that the smoke and the drug addicted kids all flew away like the wind. Glitch tells the audience that “I’ve done some dopey things, but I’ll never do dope!” Davey joins his friend and they both said “Drug free is the way to be!”. Ending the PSA with the logo.

No other PSA was made on Davey & Glitch, this is the only PSA I know of that they’ve starred in. In my opinion it looks like something that would have a series of 10 PSAs like other average PSA commercials. Regardless of it being a one shot PSA, Davey and Glitch hold a special place in my memories of the many PSAs I grew up with as a kid. I’m not sure who did Davey’s voice, but I’m really positive that Jim Cummings did the voice of Glitch. Everytime I hear Glitch’s voice I kept thinking of Bonkers. I can’t think of any other possible actors for the role of Glitch so it may very well be Jim Cummings. Looking back at it I always found the “BEAT IT!” line to be humorous. I wonder if Glitch does that during other situations besides drugs, like being annoyed by persistent salesmen, the neighbor’s guard dog, or the co-worker at the office space who never shuts up when you want him to. Just shout out two simple words “BEAT IT!” and your problems are over. Not to mention that Glitch would do stunts like roller blading on a roller coast, getting flatten by a wrestler, and jumping out of a plane with no parachute, but he’ll never smoke joints or do any form of drugs. I guess it beats being at a drug rehab when healing from receiving various broken limbs is better for Glitch. Anyways I would like to go on with this article but since this PSA is only 30 seconds long there isn’t much to say about it. For next week will be an old Easter commercial on the Cadbury Rabbit.

Wendy’s with Clara Peller

Here’s an ad I could have done in the past but with so many other ideas for what should be discuss for articles, I decided to withhold until I felt like it. But today I decided to do this Wendy’s commercial since I didn’t get around to doing an article last week. Besides the ads with the Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas as the spokesperson, these ads were the other memorable ads that Wendy’s had to offer back in the day. All of these ads contain an elderly woman named Clara Peller who became the mascot of Wendy’s during the 80’s. What is so great about a woman you probably have seen shopping at the corner store? Well she became famous for saying the line “Where’s the beef!?” A phrase that put an impact on American culture for a lifetime.

Clara Peller was a small time actress and a manicurist, at age 80 she was hired as a temporary manicurist for a filming set at a Chicago barbershop. Noticed by her no-nonsense attitude and unique voice, the agency offered her a contract for a line of different commercials including one for Wendy’s. She sign on to the agreement despite that she’s hard of hearing, had emphysema, and cause her to be unable to speak long lines of dialogue. On January 10, 1984 Clara Peller first appears on a Wendy’s commercial where she’s accompanied by two other elderly women go to a fictional fast food restraunt called “Big Bun” where they order a burger that has big buns except the meat patty is very small. Upon the unsatisfied order she received Clara then demands with the line “Where’s the beef!” We don’t blame you Clara, no one deserves to get a burger that offers more bread but less meat. After the commercial aired on TV, the three word catchphrase was a hit to the public and Clara became a cult star. It also did wonders for the business at various Wendy’s across America. The most success the fast food chain has done in 14 and a half years.

Clara received $317.40 per day for doing the commercial, She stated in a People Magazine interview that she received a total of $30,000 for doing the first two commercials while Wendy’s claimed that she received $500,000 for doing the commercials which Clara denied she ever received that much money. Besides Wendy’s Clara was allowed to star in other commercials particularly an ad for Prego Pasta Plus sauce. In this ad she said her line “Where’s the beef?” only to discover that the sauce does have meat and she says “I found it! I really found it!” This ad became one of her biggest mistakes cause Wendy’s didn’t like how she found beef somewhere other than Wendy’s so they destroyed her contract and thus was the end of her success at Wendy’s. Clara didn’t like how she got sacked for advertising beef for another company and said this for a statement: “I’ve made them millions, and they don’t appreciate me!”. After getting rid of Clara, Wendy’s use of catchy ads didn’t get revived till five years later where they came up with something else to replace Clara Peller which involved humorous situations with Dave Thomas at Wendy’s.

After her short success at Wendy’s Clara went on to doing other things until she passed away on August 11, 1987 at age 85. She was buried at the Waldheim Jewish Cemetery in her hometown of Chicago. Thus was the end of the life of an elderly woman who didn’t receive any fame until towards the final years of her life. About nearly 30 years after the end of the original run of the Where’s the beef ads. Wendy’s brought back the slogan except they revised it to having a guy who is between late teens to mid 20’s wearing a Where’s the beef shirt and is asked the question in several different languages. Nothing too special about the ads, to me it worked better with a short old woman than using some dude who you probably see working at the mall cause that shirt he’s wearing looks like it could have been sold at a Hot Topic or any gimmick/commercialised shirt stores. Anyways that’s all to say about Clara Peller for next week I’ll talk about another Drug Free PSA from my childhood that is as memorable as the KB and Friends ads.

Volkswagen with Speed Racer cast

I’ve never done a car commercial up to this point for my blog, so I decided to do one that is fun to talk about. Cause while average car commercials are gimmicky, there’s also the kind that just showcase the car and nothing else. For today I will be doing an article on a mid-90’s Volkswagen commercial with the Speed Racer gang. It’s one of the fewest Speed Racer commercials I know of in existence and when it comes to Speed Racer it’s the most commercially known anime in America. Even more commercially known than in Japan cause despite the series being a hit back in the 60’s, it didn’t do much in its native land compared to it other Tatsunoko counterparts. Not to mention there’s more spin-offs of the series in America than over in Japan. The only one I recalled enjoying was the 2008 live action film by the Walchowski Bros.(or Walchowski Siblings ever since Larry Walchowski became a woman). Those who enjoyed the anime would also enjoy that movie cause it captures the essence of the original series more than the Speed Racer: Next Generation cartoon series which I must confess was a let down for a sequel to the original series. But for someone like me to have seen all 52 episodes of the original anime, I could go on for hours on why it rocks. So let’s talk about the commercial.

The commercial opens up with a title card reading “Sabotage” in front of the tires of the Mach 5 being in motion. Strangely this isn’t the same fashion as how the title cards were down for the show itself. But I’ll let that detail slide just this once.  We then cut to Speed, Trixie, Sparky, Pops, Spritle, and Chim-Chim observing the sabotaged Mach 5 with the hood up cause the radiator is over heated. Speed exclaims “Oh no the Mach 5 has been sabotaged!”. By whom you may asked, it was never revealed and they never mention this throughout the rest of the commercial. With the huge list of enemies Speed has made over the years, I could say just about anybody would want to try to sabotage the Mach 5 in order to ruin Speed’s reputation. Pops Racer is throwing a tantrum and demands to his son with “Speed! If you don’t win we’ll lose everything!” Then Inspector Detector shows up and hands Speed with a pair of car keys which Speed is introduced to the Volkswagen GT-I and even acknowledges the car itself when the Inspector is kindly letting him race with the GT-I as the Mach 5’s substitute. Either for temporary purposes or the Inspector is actually giving the Racer family a new Volkswagen as a gift. I’m not certain which is the right answer, but Speed now has a car to race in.  So Speed is now racing in the GT-I along with Trixie who resides on the passenger’s side. While strangely Pops & Sparky are also residing in the back row of the car. After wining the race Speed comments – “The GT-I is amazing!” His dad then says – “And it’s got room for four!” Only to be corrected by Spritle who says “Make that six!” who is sitting in the very back with Chim Chim. Rather than scolding towards the troublemaker and chimp they all laughed. The ad concludes with Speed doing his trademark pose with a closing tagline that goes “On the road of life there are passengers and there are drivers”.

Billy West did the voices of Speed, Pops, and Inspector Detector for this commercial. I’m not sure who did Trixie and Spritle though it could be Corrine Orrs who is the original actress for the two characters. But that wouldn’t make sense when I’m sure Peter Fernenaz and Jack Grimes would have provided the voices of their own characters for this ad. Though other than his laugh, Sparky said nothing in this ad so Jack Grimes spending a couple of seconds of recording one laugh would have been pointless unless they just grab an archive clip of him laughing from whatever episode of Speed Racer had Sparky laughing. Anyways besides the ad not officially containing anyone we know from the original English dub of the show, it was still a fun ad to watch. I’m even satisfied with the job Billy West gave as the voices of most of the male characters for this ad. And this is the same guy who provided various voice work for Ren & Stimpy, Doug, and Futurama. And also turn down the chance to reprise his role as Doug for Brand Spanking New Doug and Stimpy for Ren and Stimpy Adult Party just to save his career as an actor. We all salute you Mr. West for not accepting either of those opportunities.

On my next article I will discuss the woman who couldn’t find the beef from Wendy’s.

Sega Dreamcast with the Dreamcast Thief

The final Sega console to ever be made. This is it folks, this is the last console Sega ever made. It first came out in Japan back in November 27, 1998 & September 9, 1999 for US. Which was a big deal back then that it was release on 9/9/99. The console was the first of the sixth generation consoles predating Playstation 2, XBox, & Game Cube. The lauch of the console was meant to be a comeback in the gaming market after the disaster of the Saturn. With a stronger marketing plan and reformed studios to create a variety of games, the Dreamcast was well received at the start of its release. It even had a cool commercial for the introduction of the console which I’ll describe on the next paragraph.

The commercial opens up with a Japanese female thief trespassing at a highly secured building somewhere in Japan. She’s using some highly advance computers in a dark room. The lights turn out which she then reacts quickly by handing on the ceiling when the watchman enters to investigate why the computers are on. When the watchman lowers his guard, the thief lowers herself from the ceiling and knocks the guard out cold before he even knew what hit him. The thief un plugs a device that she’s eager to get away with but this causes the whole building in an all state alert. She quickly puts the device into her brief case and dashes through the building hoping to escape. Much like the final level of Tomb Raider: Chronicles except Lara Croft is British. The thief escapes the building before the armored gates closed in. She runs through the city only to discover that she’s being tailed by security cameras that are keeping tabs on her location. She then tries to escape by motorcycle, however the company that wants that device back rigs the traffic light so that way she ends up crashing at a passing car and then she finds herself landing on the hood of a police car where she’s not too happy that she’s going to jail. The device she tried to steal was revealed to be a Sega Dreamcast, where we see inside of the console revealing to be a whole civilization of Sega character cheering that the thief got caught with Sonic shouting “We got her!” Ending the commercial with the slogan “It’s thinking” which can be heard towards the end of most Dreamcast commercials.

The sales for the Dreamcast were really good during the late 90’s. However when Sony released their Playstation 2 the following year, more people were buying that console over Dreamcast. Sega eventually realized that they did not have the resources compete against Sony due to financial reasons. By March 30, 2001 Sega discontinued the console which is a lot shorter than the life span of the Saturn. In Japan production of the console was continued until 2007. The console also received homebrewed games much like for Atari’s earlier consoles. And as of today the console has a fan following despite that it couldn’t keep up with the competition it had when it was still in production.

So there you have it, I reviewed all of the Sega consoles, all of the famous and all of the infamous ones. I know I’m leaving out Game Gear, but like the Atari Lynx, it’s a handheld console so I’ll save it for a month when I’m doing handheld console commercials. After Sega finally called it quits on making new consoles, they decided to just focus on making games for their competitors. And before you know it, Sonic is now seen on Nintendo, Sony, & Microsoft related games. A decade ago no one would believe that would ever happen, but now and days anything is possible when it comes to video games. Right now there’s only three competitors: Nintendo, Microsoft, & Sony. But someday one of them will be making games for one another and thus no more competition. Until that day comes there’s three different game consoles to choose from in the market. For next next week I will be doing an article on an old car commercial with Billy West voicing Speed Racer.

Sega Saturn

The Sega Saturn was the first true console from Sega in a while. Not an add-on like the CD & 32x I mentioned last time. The Sega Saturn was first released in Japan back in November 22, 1994, while the US release was a year later on May 11, 1995. It’s 32-bits much like the 32x and uses cartridges as the main media. So it uses the technology used for the 32x except they decided to make it a console rather than another add-on. Cause there’s nothing more Sega can do for the Genesis so it was time to move on to something entirely new. The console was in development since February 1993, it was top-secret at the time so it went under the code name “Aurora” until it was later revealed it was named after a planet. There was rumors that the Saturn was going to contain only one processor in its hardware but they decided to add another one after hearing that Sony had a console in development at the time that was going to exceed the capabilities of Sega’s own console. Sega even went at as far as making the then new 3DO console(I’ll do an article on that one soon) look bad by stating that they have a new console in development that is more powerful than the 3DO itself.

By 1994, the 16 bit era was about to end when 32-bit consoles were at the rise. At the 1995 E3 convention, Sega showcased their newly released console and even declared the day as “Saturnday” as they believe they have a winning chance in the gaming market when Sony’s Playstation won’t be available for purchase for another 4 months. The whole thing backfired for various reasons. One the Saturn was $399.99, while Sony announced at E3 the same year that Playstation will be $299.99. Two, the Saturn was released much early than expected, it was meant to be September 2nd, a week before Playstation’s release date. Three, only six games were available at the launch, because most of the third-party game companies were still developing the games for the upcoming September second release date. And fourth and finally, only four retailers were selected to sell the console: Toys “R” Us, Babbage’s, Software Etc. and Electronics Boutique, excluding Wal-Mart & KB Toys from selling the product. Both Wal-Mart & KB Toys felt betrayed for not being able to sell Sega’s Saturn console at the lauch date. Even when Sega try to get the console sold at those two stores they ended up getting the cold shoulder. The same will happen for the Dreamcast(next article). KB Toys was so angered that most of their retailers ended up not supplying anything Sega related and only include Playstation & Nintendo products. The console did poorly in the market when Playstation out sold more units than the Saturn did. While Nintendo was about to put their Nintendo 64 into the market by next year. Leaving Sega on the bottom of the competition when Nintendo now has Sony as the new competitor. A competition that has been going along smoothly since then.

In the end, the Saturn only sold 9.4 million consoles before it’s demise which was August 10, 1998. Three years is barely a qualified to be called a good life span for a console. While the console did had some memorable games, it unfortunately didn’t stand a chance against Sony who became a new face in the gaming market. While Nintendo was doing just swell cause they rarely had anything backfiring on their market. During the same year the Saturn discontinued, their next console the Dreamcast was released. Check out my next article to see how the most struggling game company finally threw in the towel in the console wars. Also be sure to check out these commercials which shows Sega destroying the Nintendo 64 & Playstation in various ways.