Winston Cigarettes with the Flintstones
Flintstones have been associated with various ads over the years, that includes cereal, vitamins, and auto care. But how about cigarettes? That’s right there was a time when the show did advertise cigarettes or in this case Winston Cigarettes. The company was established in 1954 manufactured under R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and then later by the RJR Nabisco. And the Flintstones was one of its sponsors for the early part of the 60’s. In today’s standards it be inappropriate for a G rated cartoon TV show to advertise cigarettes but keep in mind that back when the Flintstones first aired on TV it was listed as a prime time show when decades later it was rebrand as a kids show. Let’s talk about the ads themselves.
There are two ads made for the opening & ending for the show and two ads made during the commercial break for the show. You know the original opening the predates the more famous “Yabba Dabba Do Time” song? Well originally it was followed with Fred smoking a cigarette and advertises Winston with the slogan: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”. The other ad which is for the ending just shows Winston advertised on a stone carved billboard sign. In later years these segments were either censored out or were removed during reruns of the show on Boomerang or Cartoon Network. While the two ads associated with Winston is one about Barney & Fred taking a smoke break while Wilma & Betty are out doing chores. After they brag how much flavor Winston provides compare to other brands, they get caught for ditching chores and Wilma & Betty force them to do some yard work. The second and final ad I found features Fred visiting the Tobacconist named Rocky(voiced by Daws Butler) who uses a bird as the Smoke Shop’s ringing bell every time someone enters the shop. Wouldn’t it be easier to just have the bell attach to the top of the door rather than tying the bell to the bird? Also it will save Rocky some money on bird seeds. Anyways Fred buys some Winston cigarettes and expresses how he only buys Winston over any other brand that’s offered at any store.
These ads aired during the first two seasons of the Flintstones on the ABC Network from 1960-1961. But by the time the third season aired in 1962 the show became more geared towards kids by replacing the Winston ads as the sponsors with Welch’s Fruit Juice instead. After that Flintstones were never seen advertising cigarettes again. Of course you still see the characters smoke in the show but since the episodes don’t say Winston or any existing brands it’s ok. But in todays standards only animated shows geared towards teens and adults are allowed to show smoking. One more thing I should add is how could cigarettes exist in the Stone Age when the first cigarette was invented in the 9th century by the Mayans and didn’t became a sold product to Europe and soon the rest of the world by the 17th Century. Course the Flintstones is known for having a lot of historical inaccuracies like various appliances that wouldn’t be invented centuries later, the characters having stone related last names which is weird, electricity being commonly used when it wouldn’t be discovered by the 18th Century, Chirstmas being celebrated before the birth of Jesus, Dinosaurs living in the same age as man, and the English language being commonly used when it wasn’t first written until 100 AD. I know it’s just a cartoon, but these plot holes beg for an explanation.
Anyways enjoy the commercials and the next article on Circuit City.
8/15/13 Update: I like to talk about one extra commercial I discovered I left out, in this one it involves Barney repairing Fred’s record player. I totally don’t see how electricity can go through that so called wire that attach to the stone carved box. If Thomas Edison wasn’t the inventor of the Record Player then who was? It be as great of an answer as who was the person who invented fire and the wheel? I already bragged about the historical inaccuracies in the last paragraph so I’ll save this argument for another time. Anyways the record players uses a woodpecker(voiced by Mel Blanc) as the needle for a record player and a monkey to hold on to the record discs. People in Bedrock must have a savings account to put money aside to feed the animals who portray as appliances in their own homes. The record of choice is of course the Winston song and Fred pulls out a pack of Winstons and lets Barney have one upon completing the repairs.