Here’s a series of commercials I never knew existed until a few years ago. Apparently these ads inspired the cult film “Space Jam” cause Michael Jordan is shown paired with some of the Looney Tunes characters. So for those wondering where the idea of Space Jam originated from it was from a series of Air Jordan commercials, where back in the day the shoes were the most commonly sold brand of shoes from Nike. Plus today’s generation may not understand this but keep in mind that back in the 90’s Jordan was at the height of his career and had a ton of collaborations with various companies like Nike. Thus came the invention of Air Jordan shoes, if a sports star has a product named after him then he’s considered a legend. And to this day he is a sport legend and has left a big impact on the 90’s culture. For those of you who are my age will feel nostalgic from these ads, but those of you born after the 90’s will be in for a good history lesson on the Looney Tunes involved with Nike.
The first commercial involves various basketball players practicing a few rounds at an auditorium. That auditorium happens to be above Bug’s home who is thrashed around on his bed due to the dribbling of the basket ball and the constant running. Out of annoyance, Bugs says “Can’t a rabbit get any sleep around here!”. So to put an end to the whole disturbance, he opens up a conveniently placed cover that happens to connect the entrance of his rabbit hole to the auditorium. Bugs shouts out “What up with the racket!?” Only to be ganged up by the tall B-Ball players in the same fashion as the Gashouse Gorillas did in “Baseball Bugs”. Bugs now knowing that the players are not meant to be provoked with so he gently says “Eh, What’s Up…” Only to get grabbed by the neck by one of the players and finished his line with a weak “Doc?” They twirl his ears around so that way it’ll make him fly off like a helicopter he says “I was only kidding” only to end up flying all over the auditorium. Screaming in pearl but pauses for a moment in mid-air with a “Gruesome, ain’t it?” like in the Tex Avery directed short films. And then proceeds to his screaming. Bugs lands inside a hoop, the bullying players laugh at him, Bugs however won’t sit idly while being mocked and says “Of course you know, this means war!” Always a classic to quote Groucho Marx from “Duck Soup”. So Bugs puts on a pair of Air Jordans and dubs them as “Hare Jordan” and gets some help from THE Michael Jordan himself. This made the bullying players shiver when Jordan goes “Who’d you expect? Elmer Fudd?” Then we’re cut to quick montages of Jordan beating the bullying players with ease, one point we see Bugs read a book called “Hare Care” while Jordan slam dunks and says “Nice Shot”. Jordan does the same thing when Bugs does a slam dunk. One of the players tries to make a shot only for Bugs to replace his ball with an anvil. He tells the audience “This falls them every time”. Then the player goes falling down to the floor leaving a body shape hole upon the impact of the anvil. Then Jordan & Bugs start throwing pies at the players, Bugs distracts the players by dressing in drag which they literally fall for it. I guess they’re turn on towards rabbits resembling blondes. Bugs hold ups a sign that says “Silly aren’t they?” More montages and Bugs pulls a guy’s short out and places a basket balls on the other end and says “Nice Shorts” as the ball is hurled towards the player in the same camera shot used in the boulder hurling scene from “Bully for Bugs” & “Bunny Hugged”. The players are all down and out leaving Jordan & Bugs the victors of the game. They both leave the auditorium with Bugs telling Jordan “That could be the start of a beautiful friendship” straight from the movie Casablanca. The ad ends with Jordan saying “That’s all folks” only to see Porky shouting “Hey that’s my line!”.
The second commercial has various news headlines about a mass theft of Air Jordan shoes. The announcer says “Across the universe people are asking: what fiend would steal Air Jordan?” And then we cut to Marvin the Martian’s observation tower on Mars. Marvin is spying the planet Earth with his telescope and after the last pair of Air Jordan shoes gets teleported to his station he says “Oh goodie! More Air Jordans for me!” While his dog K-9 says “Yeah me too!” Wow this is probably the first K-9 has ever spoken since “Haredevil Hare” cause he is usually silent in the other Looney Tune related cartoons. So Marvin & K-9 inspect the huge pile of Air Jordans they stole from Earth and upon gazing the pile Marvin says “Isn’t it lovely?” Why would Marvin need this many pairs of shoes? Maybe Mars was desperate for getting their own Air Jordans so the Martian council orders Marvin to steal all of Earth’s Air Jordans so that way the planet is set for life on shoes. Or maybe he wanted the shoes all for himself so that way he’ll never have to buy another pair of shoes again. Which ever case this ad should be nicknamed “Mars Needs Shoes” cause they need shoes more than moms. K-9 gets hurled into the air from the newly loosen soil on the Mars surface. Marvin inspects the newly dug hole only to get hurled into the air by a gold bag. Bugs comes out of the hole donning a stereotype golfer outfit and shouts “Pebble Beach!” who is also paired with Jordan on the trip. I guess they fell asleep on a satellite prop heading for Mars and then they started to dig their way out when the probe landed on Mars. That’s my guess cause it’s the only explanation I can come up with as to how they could possibly end up at Mars instead of Pebble Beach, CA. But when Bugs notices he’s not at Pebble Beach, he is surprised by the large pile of shoes. Marvin claims that they’re all his, but Jordan & Bugs know he’s responsible for the theft of the shoes in the first place. So they demand the shoes to be return only for Marvin to say no, and the it was yes, no, yes, no argument until Bugs and Jordan said no and made Marvin say yes and then says “Take these or else” while he did so he shows the shoe product close to the camera with K-9 holding a sign that says “Product Shot”. Marvin & K-9 now barefooted know they been duped with they briefly turn into “Suckers”. Marvin gets angry, Jordan & Bugs laugh at him. Marvin calls out his Martian birds from “Hare-Way to the Stars” short film by blowing his trumpet. The birds come hovering on a giant hover platform and all three of the birds are wearing their own Air Jordan shoes and they’re big. That’s what happens if you douse them with too much water. Jordan & Bugs are scared from the site of the giant birds as one of the bird picks them up with an angered look on his face. Bugs poke it in the eye sending him and Jordan falling down to the ground. The announcer states that this could be the end of the heroes and is about to end it on a cliffhanger.
However no cliffhanger occurred as Bugs tells the Announcer about some network agreement about not splattering on the floor from a great height so after a cheap edit. Jordan and Bugs appear n the galactic B-Ball court un harm and now donning their own Air Jordans in basket ball clothes. They compete against the giant birds in a game of B-Ball 3-2 which is uneven but Bugs and Jordan beat those odds by slam dunking the ball to the opponents hoop. Marvin tries to cheat by blasting them with a laser rifle. While bugs and Jordan cheat by erasing one of the giant birds with a giant pencil. However the birds are joined with two additional birds making the odds 4-2, but Bugs and Jordan put on popcorn vending outfits which contain dynamite and trick the birds into eating them. One of the bird is seen covered in smoke after eating the explosive popcorn. Jordan & Bugs ask for a doctor in the house in which we see the silhouette of a person saying I’m a doctor and then they said “Eh What’s up doc” straight from a scene from “Hare-Rising Hare” short. Then the climax has Bugs bowling the birds with a bomb exploding the galactic basketball court leaving Marvin hanging on the edge with the birds and K-9. While Bugs and Jordan flee from the hostile aliens on a flying saucer towing the stolen shoes back to Earth. The announcer says “That’s all folks” only for Porky again to get angry that someone else said the line instead of him and every shows his contract stating only he can do it. Ending the ad with the Nike logo.
The first ad was made back in 1992 while the other was made back in 1993. About three years before Space Jam was made, and had these ads never been made Space Jam would never have been a reality. There are other Nike commercials to talk about but I’ll do another Nike article another time cause there’s plenty of non-shoe commercials I’d love to do. Such as obscure Video Game consoles which will be for my five-part 100th article for next week!
I am a huge fan of the movie, and always dream about actually owning a replica of the board game featured in the movie. Unfortunately no such replica ever got made even during the hype of the movie back in the mid 90’s. All us 90’s kids got was a basic board game inspired by the one from the movie. When I say “basic”, I’m saying that it’s ordinary and doesn’t look as unique as the one from the movie. I remember the commercial for the game would play constantly though out the same year the movie was in theaters and up till it came on video. The commercial was very short and consists of brief clips of the movie itself including the animals that appeared from the game and clips of the board game featured in the movie. I couldn’t help but notice that they spent more time showing footage of the movie board game and only a couple of seconds of the retail board game. It’s like the company that made the board game acknowledges the movie’s board game to be superior towards their own version.
While there’s not much to say about the commercial, let’s just talk about the product itself and discuss how it could have been better. The board game is made of cardboard and is decorated in the same design as the one from the movie. It’s gameplay is intended for ages 6 and up, requires at least two players to play but no more than four. Each player uses a colored pawn to go around on the board with the roll of a triangular dice. It includes a couple additional pieces not included in the movie version such as a rhino figurine, an hourglass, and additional dices. With the product looking 60% different from the movie version it appear to please the board game community according to some reviews on Amazon.com. Though I for one, didn’t dare buy it cause it just look like an imitation of the game from the movie. Which why I’m going to list what could have made this product better.
1. The board game not being made of wood or look wooden. I can understand it would be an environment issue if we cut down so many trees to make so many Jumanji board games. But plastic would have worked fine, at least it would have been a better material than cardboard cause it just makes the product look more cheap and less fancy.
2. The absence of the animal pawns. In the movie it was an elephant, crocodile, rhino, & a monkey I think, used as the pawn pieces for the game. However for this product it’s just multi colored pawns straight from the game “Sorry”. There’s no excuse for not making the pawns look like the ones from the movie. Those pieces are what make the game so memorable in the first place.
3. The center orb not being green or crystal like. Since it’s obvious that the words can’t appear magically inside the center orb, I’ll excuse the product for using cards for a substitute. But could they at least make the orb green like in the movie? Today we can make the green orb illuminate words magically thanks to the wonders of the digital age.
4. The product not looking like it’s a relic. The game is meant to look aged and appear to have been around for centuries. That’s one of the characteristics that make the game recognizable is the aged appearance of the game itself instead this product polishes it and makes it look clean loosing it’s old like look that gave it a mysterious presence.
5. Last but not least the un attention to make the game look like the real deal. If a board game designer couldn’t make a Jumanji game look like a folded crate then all hope is lost. It’s like making a replica of Mouse Trap without making it look like a trap.
The game has become scarce for some time and prices for the game goes as high as $177 on Amazon.com. Totally not worth anyone’s money, and as of today no attempt was ever made in making a true replica of the game from the movie. I’ve seen die-hard fans actually make a replica that is so genuine that it would pass as the actual prop from the movie. It’s been almost 20 years since the movie came out, isn’t time for that replica to get made so that way fans can truly own their own Jumanji board game? Until that day comes enjoy the brief commercial below.
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.
The 90s, it was a golden era for Nickelodeon. The same can be said about the Disney Channel and Fox Kids. The reason being is that it was the decade when Nick finally got their own cartoons for their channel as oppose to airing Canadian, British, & certain Japanese cartoons. After the beginning of the 2000’s the number of good cartoons decline on that channel. I do admit I enjoyed SpongeBob which is one of the fewest good shows on the channel right now, but the rest drew no interest to me. I got nothing against kids who watch the shows today but it’s always cool that some of them become interested in knowing what aired on Nick before they were born. Which I hope this article will draw interest to those who like to know what Nick was like in the 90’s and those who were around during that era like I was to relive that part of childhood.
Fruit Roll-Ups as well as it’s counterparts Gushers & Fruit By the Foot had an abundance of commercials during the 90’s around the same time as the golden era of Nickelodeon. Now and days these products still sell in the market but without any commercials to go with them. If you were yearning for me to do an article on any of the old Fruit Roll Ups Factory commercial yearn no further. For those who don’t know what the Fruit Roll Ups Factory is, I give you a brief history on it. It was a series of commercials that focused on a new idea for a Fruit Roll Ups product, each commercial always takes place in a massive factory that is usually run by kids. There’s so many different kinds of commercials on that factory but today we’re only going to focus on one single commercial which is the Nicktoons edition of Fruit Roll Ups.
The commercial opens up with the announcer stating: “The quest for the new Fruit Roll Ups continues”. In which the camera zooms into a sliding factory door with Fruit Roll Ups Factory displayed on it. We then see Ren appear in pushs an on/off switch to on. He announces to his friend Stimpy with “Finally Stimpy, it is ours!” As he monologues we see Stimpy watching Ren from a distance along with Ickis & Krumm from “Real Monsters”, Rocko from “Rocko’s Modern Life” & Doug from “Doug”. Ren continues with “Don’t you know what that means?” “The creation of my very own stinky sweat socks!” Doug, Stimpy, & Rocko are all paired together with Doug finding the whole plan to be ludicrous and says “He’s gone mad!” while Stimpy shouts out to Ren: “No Ren!”. Ren now strap to a restraint table with his legs lifted to a large vacuum like device while wearing his socks as he plans to have the socks suck into the vacuum he shouts “Yes! Yes! Yes!” While Stimpy accidentally bumps a switch to the vacuum which was originally on normal suck to the third level suck. Ren not liking that Stimpy mess up with the mechanism to the vacuum and Ren shouts “Look what you done!” The vacuum sucks up more than just the socks as it sucks up Stimpy, Rocko, Doug, Ickis, & Krumm, along with Ren crying out “My plan’s ruined!” As they all travel through a suction pipe Ren called them all “Idiots!” Then an assembly line of Nicktoon fruit roll ups are made with the announcer saying “It’s Nickelodeon peels outs! Ren, Stimpy, Doug & more!” A factory technician kid tries one of the newly produced products as the announcer then says “Nickelodeon characters now on Fruit Roll Ups!” “What fun Fruit Roll Ups will we roll up next?” which the tagline for the end of each of these ads. After the kid ate a Nicktoon Fruit Roll Up he immediately starts spinning like a Tasmanian Devil. Since half of the Nicktoons used for the product fall under slap stick.
This commercial always got me pumped as a kid cause every time I see a Nicktoons product on TV I desperately have to buy it. It was a feeling that would last until the late 90’s know as the end of the era for the Golden Age of Nickelodeon when the original shows either went off the air or came back during one of those limited time reruns that Nick tends to do in this day and age. Luckily with TV show DVD sets being common Ren & Stimpy, Rocko, Real Monsters & Doug are all commonly available on DVD for those who either miss seeing them on TV or for those who missed out on seeing them cause they’re no longer on TV anymore. Either way they’re more commonly available than they were a decade ago. Now to say a few things about the commercial, every Fruit Roll Ups factory is usually compacted with detail with various factory machinery that makes you want to watch the ads several times in order to see all of it. I also can imagine that this ad wasn’t expensive to make when they only had Billy West doing the voices of Ren, Stimpy, & Doug. If Ickis, Krumm, & Rocko had speaking roles for this ad they would had to get Charlie Adler, David Eccles, & Carlos Alazraqui to do their respective roles. Overall it’s a great piece of Nickelodeon history here. I could do another Fruit Roll Ups article but my schedule is too packed to do another one as of right now so instead next week I will do an article on the first Sega Master system commercial the predecessor to the Sega Genesis.
This was one of my all time favorite toys I never own as a kid. It’s a toy car race track in which the vehicles are controlled by battery operated wired controllers. Even though I never own it, the commercial is how I remembered the product the most. Since I couldn’t think of anything that would be good for the subject of Halloween, I decided to do an article on this one cause it’s monster related so it’ll work for a Halloween article. Anyways now for the summary of the commercial.
The commercial opens up with a hole bursting out of the street and out comes a giant green monster who you only see his upper body but not his lower body. How tall he is entirely up to your imagination. Anyways the giant monster is a cross between the Grinch and Bonejangles from Corpse Bride. Mainly cause he’s able to remove one of his eye balls in a sort of fashion like Krumm from Real Monsters or Ragetti from the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The giant green monster isn’t in a good mood cause he hates it when someone is trespassing on his highway. So the best way to get rid of his intruders is by crushing them with his rolling eye-ball. The highway has a few obstacles like dead man’s curve and a grave yard. All the common elements to make a highway more horror related. Not to mention the intruders on the highway are two monster trucks. Yeah, that’s very uncommon to travel on a haunted highway by monster truck. Course I think they needed something to make the product sell better, and kids back then were crazy about monster trucks. Overall this product was well though up and has a memorable character associated with it.
I never once knew anyone at my school who actually seen this or own it. But I remember every Halloween, I would use this commercial as an idea for a make your own monster project at school. My teacher didn’t understand why a giant green monster would wreck cars with his own eye-ball. She clearly never saw the commercial or visited the toy car section at Toys R Us or KB Toys or what ever stores sold toys back then. But that just proves that the commercial left a lasting impression on me, if it didn’t I wouldn’t be making an article on it today. Sorry for the short article, but I promise that on Halloween the next article will be slightly longer cause it’ll be on a video game ad.
Well we’re coming to a conclusion to the marathon of Atari console commercials. This one is an infomercial rather than a regular commercial, so it spends some time doing a sales pitch while the other parts has a gimmicky story about an average joe being convinced that the Atari Jaguar will make his life a better one. While the previous four articles are on non-gimmicky ads, this one falls into gimmick ad all the way. Cause for a long period of not doing a gimmick ad for an article I deserve to do one for the first time in over a month. This is going to be a long article so I recommend grabbing a drink and snack to keep yourself occupied cause the infomercial runs at 30 minutes long. I hope you’ll all enjoy it, cause I’ll try to make it good by throwing in some funny comments and pics of James Rolfe to prevent it from being boring. Before talking about the ad, let me talk about the console.
After Atari’s many failed attempts with keeping up with the competition in the market due to Sega & Nintendo being dominate. They know they will need to come up with something that is nothing like anything else. It was the early 90s also known as the “Bit Wars” where each company will try to show case or improve their systems with more improved graphics. Or have the number of bits labeled on the console itself like the Turbografx 16. Since average consoles were between 8 bits to 32 bits of graphics, Atari decided to make a console that beats all the others by saying their new console is 64 bits of graphics. Declaring itself to be the first console to use 64 bits of graphics & instead of naming the system with a number it was named after a cat, or in this case a Jaguar. It was first presented in 1993, and went into the market by 1994. This seem to wow those who are interested in something that is nothing like any other console, only to discover that the console has little to offer and does not show actual 64 bits of graphics. Mainly because it was originally intended to be a 32 bit console called the Panther, but Atari decided rename it the Jaguar and threw in some elements to disguise it as a 64 bit system. The game developers who made games for the Jaguar didn’t had the proper programs to create 64 bits games cause the Jaguar contain software that is unique for consoles at the time. The controllers are big and regarded as complex with its huge selection of buttons. To make things even worse the console had no door covering it’s game slot which means you need to always keep a game inserted in it or dust will easily enter it. The console was a failure to start with yet for the next couple years Atari would try to find a way to get people to buy the system. And this infomercial was one of them, low-budget and had tons of people involved with it. And with that said, I proudly present to you the Atari Jaguar Cave ad. A special infomercial on Atari’s final game console.
So the ad begins with a simple intro of the Atari logo spinning around with a control board of a sound mix system in the background(I guess to make the logo more cool with an image of music equipment from a recording studio). We then see the words on the bottom that tell us that this is an Atari Studios production copyright 1995. That answers to our questions on how old this infomercial is, I was in the second grade in the year 1995. But that was only a year before I actually got to own my own game console. Anyways we then see the title card for the ad that lists the title of the infomercial, runtime, name of production company, tape id number, and date of release. Which we now discover that it’s November 13th of 1995(lucky for them that Friday the 13th was on a January & October during that year). After that we see the eyes of a Jaguar and the word Jaguar appears below them with the caption on the bottom saying “This is a paid program for..” Which we then hear a voice over read the caption out loud and completed the sentence by saying Jaguar. So after all of that we finally get to see the ad which takes place out in an alley of a city. We see a guy walk by and stops right behind a stand that has the package box for the Atari Jaguar along with the console and the controllers for it. The guy says “Every great story has a great beginning. And this story,our story, begins with this(He points to the console itself). The Atari Jaguar system and a guy named Bob”. The camera pans to the right to reveal the window of Bob’s home, while the Jaguar guy informs us with this: “Right now Bob’s waiting for his girlfriend to show up so they could go get something to eat”. The camera zooms into the front of the window in which we see Bob sitting on his couch. Revealing that he’s playing some video game in which we don’t see nor do we get to see what platform it is. The Jaguar guy then tells us: “He’s got the old 16-bit video system pop in and playing his little heart out. You gotta love ‘im” The scene switches back to the Jaguar stand with the know it all who now announces us with this: “Tonight I’m gonna show him something that will send him racing one side of Nervana back down the slopes of Shangri La!” He takes a deep breath and says “OK, so I won’t owe him a promise, but it will slap him around a little wake up his little life”. He then turns his head to the left with his eyes widen and says “Watch and learn”. Right now you are probably already starting to find this guy to be a bit of a show off, who believes he can change the life of Bob, an every day individual who just wants to play his 16-bit console and go out to dinner with his girl friend. I don’t blame you, I feel the exact same way as you do about some dude in a leather jacket who rants on about changing people’s lives.
The scene changes back to the outside of Bob’s home in which we still see him playing his game from outside of his window. We then hear the voice of the Jaguar guy out of nowhere who says “Hey Bob!, How’s that system you’re playing on?” The scene jumps to the inside of Bob’s living where the camera pans to the left behind Bob’s TV and then we see Bob who answers to the voice he heard with this to say “It sucks! the graphics are lousy, the color’s rotten, and…” He pauses for a moment and says “Wait a minute there must be something wrong with the connection”(Um Bob, connection problems only occur if the game doesn’t work not cause it happens to suck in game play) We then see the Jaguar guy appearing on Bob’s TV screen and says “Hey Bob, hello!, focus here for a second will ya!” Bob however wasn’t interested in focusing on some guy he never met before in his life, especially if it’s someone who’s able to access control to his TV. Yet Bob seems to find that normal for him, does that mean people access total control on his TV set all the time? Cause if it were me, I’d be like “You talking to me?” if someone on the TV screen was addressing to me. I don’t know maybe Bob’s been licking frogs during his spare time and hallucinate this sort of thing. So Bob says “Nah, I ain’t gonna watch this” and changes the channel the Jaguar guy was on to another channel which he sees a woman on the screen saying “Ooooh, Bob.” This caused Bob to drop his remote to the floor. The woman then says “Maybe you want to watch this”. Bob gets excited and says “Oh my!”. At least this woman is more bearable compared to the leather jacket dude. So the whole scene starts to morph and we then see Bob riding on a mobile arm-chair. Which stops inside a cave where we see a roaring Jaguar on another arm-chair. The Jaguar morphs into the woman we saw earlier, then she morphs into the Jaguar console. Bob then gets out of the chair and demands “What the heck is going on here!” People accessing your own TV is normal, but Jaguar morphing into woman who morphs into a game console isn’t normal? The camera zooms out to reveal the game system being attach to the arm-chair that is revealed to be a fancy rotating chair that is similar to Dr. Robotnik’s from the SatAM Sonic the Hedgehog series. We hear the voice of the know it all who says “Bob, I like you to introduce you to the Atari Jaguar. That button is your future.” Bob approaches the button which the Jaguar Guy rushes him by demanding “Go ahead press it” Bob presses the button and we then see a monitor that flashes several bright lights until the logo for the Jaguar appears. Bob sits on the rotating chair and we hear the Jaguar guy again “Think you can handle it Bob?” This is where Bob starts to experience what the games for the Jaguar are like.
The monitor displays the “Predator Vs. Alien” game, which Bob starts to watch it but it turns out he’s suppose to play it. The Jaguar guy reminds him of this by saying “Shoot Bob!” Bob searches for a controller, he finds one and starts to fiddle with the buttons in order to know which button does what. He manages to figure it out on how to use your weapon as a Marine in the game where he managed to kill off some Xenomorphes and a Predator. The Jaguar guy appears right behind Bob and tells him “Not bad, but next time there’ll be more of them”. Bob finally comes face to face with the guy he previously saw on his TV and then asks “Hey who are you?” The guy immediately answers his question with this quick response. “The names Jack.” Good now I can stop calling him Jaguar guy from this point on. So Bob who now knows the name of the know it all says “Ah great Jack, mind telling me what I’m doing here?”. Jack gives Bob this for an answer “You’re here Bob because somebody wants to help you, somebody who wants to show you a better way to play the game”. Bob doesn’t understand what Jack meant by helping him play the game so he asks “What game?”. Jack shouts out “The game of life! Bob! It’s time for you to grow up, got out, upgrade You know why the video game you played tonight sucks? huh? Cause it’s old technology Bob! It’s a 16-bit system! So-do-the-math-for-me-Bob! I offer you, a 32-bit system be a good thing will it?” Uh no, just cause Bob was playing a bad game doesn’t mean a 16-bit console is obsolete as oppose to a 32-bit system. There’s tons of 16-bit games that are good despite they lack the other 16 bits of graphics. So after Bob hears Jack’s monologue he says “Yeah I guess(don’t let Jack push you around Bob stand up for yourself!)”. Jack doesn’t like the response and says “Then I’ll show you a 64-bit system, something with more power, better graphics, that wouldn’t be a better thing now would it?” Bob still not standing up for himself says in a weak voice “Yeah, 64 will probably be better” Jack then says “This is the Atari Jaguar we’re talking Bob! In the next generation of video gamesters, 64-bit are raw gaming of power, CD quality, stereo sound state of the art graphics that’ll blow your whole system away!” Video gamesters? Really? Does Jack even hang out with any actual gamers or been to an arcade. He seems to spend more time with seeking games with better graphics than just playing them for what they are like any average American gamer at the time. So after he rants about the features the Jaguar has he slaps his forehead and says “I just had an idea Bob, I just had a brilliant idea Bob, why not use you life as a metaphor…” Bob was about to say something, but the a-hole Jack prevents him by saying “Ack! Great!” Bob however wasn’t amused that he doesn’t have anything to say in this. He’s probably thinking “Why me?” in his head. Jack instructs Bob with the following “Now, pay close attention to the screen and I’ll illustrate for you”. He points Bob to the screen towards his left which Jack says “Here’s your life at 16-bits”.
On the monitor Bob sees a Burger stand where we see a woman approaching the front to order something. A worker pops out of the opening of the window who is revealed to be Bob portrayed as a chef and says to the woman “Yes?” upon hearing what the woman wants for her order. The woman says “One hot dog please” Bob asks her if she wants fries with that. But apparently she’s only interested in one hot dog. Reverting back to the reality where Jack informs Bob who is watching himself in an alternate reality and informs him “And now, life upgraded to the 64-bit Jaguar”. Bob now sees the monitor displaying a different setting. Which we now see Bob as a CEO sitting in his own luxury office with suit and tie. A complete opposite to the other reality, instead of flipping burgers, Bob is flipping piles of money in this reality. A female secretary approaches him and says to him “Mr. McFearsum, I, I hope you don’t mind that I ordered you fries to go with your sandwich”(I guess Bob’s last name is McFearsum). Bob who is watching this other reality is stun by its features. Not to mention a generic female secretary who always has swim suit model listed in their resumes upon applying for office job. Trust me those office buildings always have those kind no matter what company it is. Bob after watching it feels like that he watched his own future and believed he will be successful in life. So he says to Jack “Is that really gonna happen to me?” Which Jack corrects him by saying: “Aaah, Bob! It’s a metaphor! It’s not real! It’s just a way to show you 16 bits and 64 bits!” even if it’s a metaphor it’s still a bad example on the difference between two different types of consoles. Less graphics doesn’t mean it looks like it belongs in the slums, that’s just prejudice right there. Bob seems to understand it a little better which Jack continues with this “Look, don’t take my word for it, let me introduce you to Melissa” and then Jack shouts out “Hi Melissa!” Which immideately the monitor behind Jack now displays live footage of a BMX bike track. And we see Melissa appearing on-screen riding on a BMX bike with someone else and says “Hi Jack!” Jack introduces Bob to Melissa by saying “This is Bob”. Bob waves at her, Jack informs Melissa with the following “He needs your help to be introduced to the 64 bit world of the Atari Jaguar”. Melissa takes her helmet off and says “Ah that’s great! I’m at the perfect spot!”. The camera changes from the location of the cave to the location of the BMX race track. So now we’re able to see Melissa better who then says “I’m at the Shanetra Super Sport Club and I’m riding today!” She holds on tight to the unnamed BMX Bicyclist, who starts up his engine and starts to ride his bike all over the course. A long with game play footage of “Super Burn Out”. And you thought that the whole BMX bike location is just for show, now did you?
After seeing some fast footage of the BMX bike racers and the “Super Burn Out” game. We jump to an interview with one of the racers who describes the game: “Super Burn Out is really cool, it’s intense, I like the crashes, especially when you go to the turns”. The next random dude to be interviewed on how cool the game is, is someone who looking like he’s ready to be cosplay as the Jim Carey Riddler. He says “Crashing in the game is a lot safer than breaking a bone or anything”(yeah anyone can agree with that statement). Melissa who interviews him says “Check out the bone he broke” and the red headed racer shows his right arm with a cast on. Another interviewee says “I could play it, the first time I played it..and not crash like crazy and have to play forever to learn how to do it”(it’s not a simulation dude!) Melissa back interviewing the first BMX racer who says to him “CD sound, hows that?” Upon hearing that the racer says “The sound I’m playing is born a part of it, it just seems like you’re going down much faster”. Melissa then interviews other BMX racers about which would they prefer 16, 32, or 64 bit. And each of them said 64 bit for the answer. Well what would they know, they just care about the accuracy on the use of the bikes in the game and nothing else. So after hearing rants from various BMX bikers, Bob starts to play some of “Super Burn Out” on the Jaguar. After he finished one race, a BMX racer appears out of no where and tells Bob that is was a great race and Bob tells him thanks. The BMX Racer drives out of the cave with Bob saying “Now that was very cool”.
Jack reappears and asks Bob if he’s going to get a Jaguar. Bob however still wasn’t sure about the console. Jack doesn’t like the answer and says “Look Bob, I’ll let you in straight cause you look like the guy that can take it”. So Bob askes what other games are availble and Jack goes over to a shelf of various games and throws out a ton of them and says the name of each title. Along with clips of the name given games to give us the idea of what they look like. Bob believes his old system is still for him, only to be approached by Susie who is wearing a cat suit straight from what looks like the cat suit Lara Croft wore in Tomb Raider Chronicles except dyed red. She tells him how Bob can’t possibly be satified with what he has when the Jaguar offers something a 16 bit systme doesn’t provide. After she askes him if he’s good enough to play a more compelx system, bob says “Yeah” and Susie immidately challenges him to a game of “Ultra Vortec” a genric fighting slide scrolling game. Susie wins and tells Bob that he’s better suited for a more simpler game cause she claims that only big boys can play a Jaguar game. Bob is a little down to be beaten, but Jack tells him he’ll get better upon practicing the game itself. So as Bob practices, Jack exits the cave and tells us about the offer we’re going to get that we won’t see in stores for the Jaguar involving calling up a number and pay for by credit card.
After that we get a voice over of some anonymous narrator and not Jack(or Jackass as I’d like to call him) who informs us about how the Jaguar can change our gaming lives forever and rants on the same B.S. Jack was ranting on not too long ago. Clips of the games available for it were shown and the narrator tells us it’s only $159 plus tax upon ordering by phone. Along with a second controller for free in case you have a friend who is crazy enough to play Jaguar with you. To make the deal even more exciting the narrator mentions that ordering the system will also include a free game which happens to be Cybermorph one of the most notorious games ever made for the Jaguar. The Narrator tells us how cool of a game it is, but fails to tells us how it’s just a poor man’s Star fox and the atmosphere in all of the levels are foggy cause mountains and building appear out of no where in the game as if you have zero visibility upon flying you aircraft. And let’s not forget the annoying green head woman who keeps asking you “Where did you learn to fly?” And the sales pitch ends with the info on who to get the Jaguar with sub notes that says “Christmas Delivery Guaranteed” and “30 Day Money Back”. Wow how much would you bet that a lot of people return their Jaguars after being disappointed by the games it’s accompanied with? Well after the sales pitch we are reverted back to the “pain in our butts” Jack the Jaguar Lover.
He gives us a recap on what happened for those who just tune in, those who did would be like who is this a-hole? He even goes as far as claiming that he’s a friend(yeah a friend you’d like to drop into an red ant hill). So he re enters the cave and gives bob advice that if “Ultra Vortec” isn’t your kind of game then try another game. So Bob chooses a Basketball title and we then see video footage of Melissa now at a basket ball court located at some beach and she interviews various b-ball players on why they love the jaguar. And like the BMX bikers, these guys care nothing more than the realise and accuracy of the game rules. Cause all these guys know about is Nike, Air Jordan, Lakers, and Gatorade. Though it is true that some famous basketball players are video game fans. But these guys however clearly know nothing about games.
After shooting some hoops, Bob is asked by Jack if he likes single player or multiplayer games. Bob isn’t sure so Jack lists some titles that Bob hasn’t played yet including the hideously made Cybermorph. And of course Bob had to choose it cause Jack claims it’s a cool Sci-Fi game. When Bob is about to play the game he is accompanied by a monitor that has the green face woman from the game. Yeah that makes things even more annoying when there’s two green women telling you you suck at flying cause everywhere in the game is foggy weather leaving you low visiblity towards mountains. Another thing that’s weird is that the monitor version of green woman reminds me of MAL from Captain Planet for some reason. Though atleast MAL wasn’t annoying towards Dr. Blight in the series.
So after experiencing the horror of Cybermorph, Jack cheers Bob up by telling him he’ll get better next time. And decides to do the 16-bit & 64 bit metaphor again, only this time with cars. In the 16 bit version Bob is seen driving an OK compact car. While the 64-bit version he is driving a really nice convertable accompanied by a woman. Again like I said before about the job metaphor, 16 bit games aren’t that bad to play. Just cause they lack the 48 bits of graphics doesn’t mean they belong in the dust bin. Any gamer would disagree with Jack’s way of thinking. Unfortuniately Bob isn’t smart enough to do so other wise.
Bob gets pushed over by a Susie now dressed like soldier who plays a little bit of the Jaguar version of Doom, the only console version of the game to duplicate what the PC version had, except with no music. Plus whenever we see a clip of gore it gets censored with a black bar with censored on it. It was eventually Bob’s turn and is going around killing enemies with a shotgun. While Bob’s busy Jack directs us outside of the cave again and still urges us to pick up the phone and call for a paid purchase of a Jaguar. We’re then given the same sales pitch as before with the narrator only this time we’re given different clips of games. We’re reverted back to Jack who is surprised that we’re back for more(or so he seems to think), he re-enters the cave and finds Bob exhausted cause he still can’t beat a woman in a Jaguar game. Jack gives him the same two metaphors we were given before and does a weird change clothing magic move that changes Bob’s set of clothes instantly. Susie returns now wearing winter clothes and challenges Bob to a skiing game. Bob beats her at the game and right when Bob demands another game to try out a video feed of Melissa appear who is at a laser tag game arena. Interviewing various laser tag players on what they think of “Tempest 2000”. Which is actually one of the better games for the Jaguar. So these guys expressing how they love it is a good thing when the game itself is a cool title.
Bob is finally suckered into the Jaguar and Jack loves his answer and tells him that there’s more games to play for it claiming that more titles are coming out for it. Yeah but not too many for the remaining year for the Jaguar. So Jack recommends “Iron Soilder” to Bob and wishes him luck upon inserting the cartridge into the Jaguar. So bob plays the game which is basically a polygon version of Evangelion or Patlabor or any generic mecha genre anime. After playing the game for a couple of minutes, Bob gets startled by a laser blast and sees Susie clade with a leather sci-fi like set of clothes. She encourages Bob to get the Jaguar if he likes it so much and gives what she likes to call a 64 bit kiss. Gee I wonder what a 128 bit kiss would be like? So after getting a real wet one from Susie a bright flash of light appears and we see Bob back in his home asleep. Muttering 64 bit graphics and powerful system until he wakes up and expresses how real the dream looked. His girl friend shows up and tells him he now owns a Jaguar which is right in front of Bob. I guess Jack came by and replaced the 16 bit system with the Jaguar and sold the 16 bit system to a used game store. So Bob and his girlfriend both ended up playing two player mode on Tempest 2000. We cut to out side and we see Jack who tells us how Bob found happiness with a new game system and told us we can be just like Bob by getting a Jaguar system today. Uh, no I doubt anyone else would be as gullible as Bob. We’re then given the same sales pitch of the Jaguar for the third and final time. With different clips of other games and the same cheap freebies we’re promise to get upon calling. We’re then given a chance to see Bob one last time and see that he wins a round of Tempest while his girlfriend’s eyes start to turn into cat-like eyes. Does she transform into a Jaguar or a cat humanoid. We don’t know it just ends there with the end credits.
So let’s sum up this infomercial, Jack clearly has nothing better to do other than kissing Atari’s but in exchange for going around town and tell every single person to buy a Jaguar. Bob now owns a Jaguar system in which he either still owns today or got rid of it cause he found better systems to go by as the years progressed, and his girlfriend is hinted to be able to transform into a Thundercat. That actually would have been cool to see, however the infomercial is low-budget so doing such an effect would be hard to accomplish. I’m curious what became of Jack after the Jaguar was proven to be a mistake? Does he still work for Atari, I certainly hope not when the economy today isn’t what it was like in 1995. If I didn’t know better I bet Jack is no working at some dead-end job and has a special room at his room which is a Jaguar shrine with all of the accessories and games for it. I’m also curious what the actors and staff members of this ad received for payment. Cause I can tell some money was invested to make this ad possible, but in today’s era no game company would go this far by doing an informercial and try to convince people to buy their product.
The Jaguar was officially disbanded by 1996 with only a total of 67 games. The shortage of third-party game developers and poorly received first party games were one of the reasons it was a commercial failure. Plus by 1996 Everyone was buying superior consoles including PS1, Nintendo 64, & Sega Saturn which all of them show cased better variety of games than the Jaguar did. Only 250,000 Jaguar consoles were sold and are either own by dedicated video game owners like James Rolfe or are on auction on certain online auction sites. A year after the introduction to the Jaguar there was the Jaguar CD which was introduced to the market back in September 11, 1995. This was Atari’s answer to their long promised CD game unit, however it’s not a console of its own. It is just an add on device for the Jaguar in which you insert it in the game slot of the Jaguar and allows you to play both regular Jaguar games and Jaguar CD games. Only 15 Jaguar CD games were made and got discontinued the same time as the Jaguar did. Which was a really dumb idea for Atari to create a CD add-on to a console hardly many people own, when it could have been its own separate system cause it requires its own AC adapter. Which means you would have to have two vacant plug slots for the console and Jaguar CD. The Jaguar would be known as the last U.S. made console until Microsoft would introduce their first console the XBox by 2001 and become the new face in the gaming world. So after failing yet again to satisfy their consumers, Atari pulled out of the console market and only focused on making games for other consoles or re-releasing older titles. By 2004, Atari would introduce a series of consoles called Atari Flashback which aren’t consoles consisting the same power as a Playstation, Wii, or XBox but just a console with built-in games with no requirement of buying individual games for it. They learned their lesson not to compete with the bigger companies that out rank them so they’re only doing what they do best which is making games for other consoles and re-releasing games from the past.
In conclusion, that is all of the Atari consoles to review as well as the overview of how Atari used to been a top ranking console making company but within the years they cared more about money instead of the quality of their own consoles. The only thing the Jaguar provided us is a history lesson on how better graphics doesn’t always mean better games. Since the console’s demise, we gamers see past the whole issue of the number of bits and that what mattered is that if the game is good to play then it doesn’t matter what the graphics look like. Well that’s all there is to say about the Jaguar. Yes I’m done and no next week will be a shorter articles I promise. There are plenty of commercials on the Jaguar, but I’ll do those another day cause a lot of them are humorous. For now here’s the infomercial, you all been dying to see.
I really appreciate that my blog is so popular in many third world countries. So I decided to do an article on a series of ads that aired in the UK as well as Japan. These commercials are of course made to advertise the widely known noodle product Nissin’s Cup-O-Noodle. To liven the product up it’s theme is prehistoric animals and hungry cavemen. There are tons of depictions of cavemen in commercials. Including many using the Flintstones as a sponsor but I’ll do Flintstone commercials another time. For today I like to talk about these commercials, cause there’s something about them that makes them stand out more than the other cavemen related commercials I’ve seen so far. So let’s dig in to the topic on why these foreign commercials should be viewed to a wider audience.
The plot for these commercials are mostly the same, a mob of cavemen try to take out an animal in order to have meat for a buffet but the plan would backfire some how. The cavemen are always seen a tiny ant like beings that talk in gibberish. They attack these animals like they were Pikmin, where the object of that game is the more Pikmin you have the better chances you have in beating the giant beasts. The giant animals are stop motion puppets which makes them look like they belong in a Ray Harryhausen film. At first I thought these commercials were done by him, except with further research it turns out to be false. Tough he did do some commercials during the days when he was a special effects marker, but I’ll do those for a future article on and undefined day and year. The last batch of commercials of this series is different in appearance but follows the same concept. While it does still have hungry cavemen, the cavemen are portrayed by costumed actors instead. Instead of a hundred tiny cavemen there are only three in full size. While instead of hunting giant animals, they are going for safer approaches like fishing, fruit picking, and finding carcasses of meat. The only wild animal in these ads is the saber tooth tiger, who would often be seen chasing these cavemen around. While these ads looks like they belong in a separate article from the giant animal articles, I made up my mind to include them cause they are made by the same team of people.
These ads were made back in the early 90’s. While they only aired in the UK & Japan, the production took place at the Chiodo Brothers Studio in L.A. Like the Will Vinton Studios(Now LAIKA Studios) which did the California Raisin commercials. The Chiodo Bros. Studio is also a stop motion company which has been providing stop motion animation to various commercials, TV shows, and movies since 1982. They were the company that allowed Tim Burton to do his first short film Vincent as well as the stop motion effects of his first feature film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”. The company also did the stop motion segments of certain episodes of the Simpsons such as the episode where Flanders and his sons watch an episode of Davey & Goliath where Davey was fed up with Goliath and the episode where Homer is watch a Christmas special with Johnny Carson reading a story to the misfit toys. Not to mention the company also did the stop motion effects for Killer Klowns From Space, the Stupids and Will Ferrel’s Elf. Yeah that’s right, they did the Stop Motion effects of that Tom Arnold movie that was so bad that it was good. The stop motion animals was animated by Kim Blanchette, and the ads were directed by Japanese directors. The cavemen were portrayed by live action actors with the speed and motion altered to make them look like they’re stop motion. While the number of cavemen used for the ads was just a handful of actors which with the magic of film, they film one set of actors performing their actions then film the same set of actors several more times and then splice the footage together to make it look like there is hundreds of them.
My closing thoughts on these ads, they are really good for top ramen commercials. This is also proof that America isn’t the only country that does interesting commercials. You should see the other ads that are made from Japan. I’ll totally do a Japanese commercial some point in time, cause I am a big fan of that country. Also this commercial was made some point before Jurassic Park was made which first introduced the world the breakthrough of using CGI as oppose to stop motion. I like CGI as much as stop motion, but this ad also reminds us of how dated stop motion animation is cause it’s time-consuming and requires a big team of people to put together. It may seem like a dead technique, however in recent years there has been a hand full of feature films that were done in stop motion proving to us that there are people out there who care for the genre. It also stands out more than the common CG films that have become more common since 2005. So in short when something becomes too commonly done by a lot of people, it leads to the decision of going back to something that hasn’t been done in a while. Which is one of the best things about ideas is recycling them into something we haven’t seen yet in the world. Anyways enjoy the commercials and be sure to check out my OnStar commercials with Batman.
Official Chdo Bros. Website – http://www.chiodobros.com/
Remenber how I previously mentioned that Carl’s Jr. did had a line up of gimmick commercials. Well this is one of them, which is bascially clips of Wimpy eating burgers follow by an ad for their featured burger. I would love to have done their other gimmick filled commercials including the three stooges and the banned Playboy celebrities commercials. Unfortunately I neither her have the commercials or screenshots of them at this point of time. So I’m settling for this one cause, it uses the same formula as the Three Stooges one. Which Carl’s Jr. got permission from Paramount to pain stinkingly pick several clips of Wimpy eating a burger. I don’t even want to know who’s job it was to find all of those clips cause there’s 231 different theatrical Popeye shorts and a 1960 TV show which either had Wimpy or didn’t had Wimpy. Now for the ad’s summary to begin.
The commercial starts with a montage of clips of Wimp eating a burger. I would like to name the shorts these clips came from, but that would take me forever plus I’d have to watch every single Popeye short film in exsistence, which I don’t have the time to do. We hear an annoucer tells us that wimpy has eaten 15 burgers a day, everyday for the last 73 years. And then we hear Wimpy’s trademark quote “I’ll pay you a Tuesday for a hamburger today”. Kids today wouldn’t even know what that quote even means, well according to Urban Dictionary it means “The phrase implies the underlying feeling that the person will unlikely actually pay for the hamburger (or whatever) on Tuesday (or ever, for that matter).” If you were puzzled by that quote for years, well now you finally know it’s meaning. Then we hear the annoucer tell us excatly how many burger wimpy eaten for 73 years which is the exact total of 399,675 burgers. But then the annoucer tells Wimpy that he might want to brace himself. Which we are then shown the Gracumole Burger exclusively from carl’s jr., ending with Popeye appearing on the Carl’s Jr. logo like in the openings of his cartoons.
Let’s go over that again: 15 burgers a day, for 73 years = 399,675 burgers! Let’s say all of those burgers were a Famous Star with Cheese(since we’re doing a Carl’s Jr. article), so if Wimpy ate 15 of those every day for 73 years it would equal to 271,779,000 calories, 15,587,325 grams of fat, 5,595,450 grams of saturated fat, 31,974,000 milligrams of cholesterol, 4.8,760,350 milligrams of sodium, 22,781,475 grams of carbs, 1,199,025 grams of dietary fiber, & 4,796,100 grams of sugar! Wow that means Wimpy ate 10,551.42 pounds of sugar, which is like emptying 581,547 sandbags. Keep in mind that what I just said to you might come in handing for your math class. But make sure your teacher will approve fast food as an example of for multiplication problems.
My thought on this ad, it was educational that’s for sure. Specially for someone who like the taste of beef for any occation. The style of the commercial is similar to some other ones for Carl’s Jr. Will I do articles on those, like I said if I don’t have the ad or atleast the screenshots, I won’t make on without either of those two requirements. For next week will be my first year anniversary article which will be about an old PSA about a Crying Native American and the warnings of littering our highways and streets. Wow, it’s been a whole year now, how about that? Until then enjoy the commercial below.
I’m sure anyone my age would remember these commercials. Cause I swear every Saturday Morning line up(back when all channels had Saturday Morning cartoons) aired these PSAs all the time. I’ve been holding out on doing an article on drug PSAs and it’s time to do one. Cause besides fire safety PSAs, these were the dominate PSAs due to drug abuse being a bigger issue than fire hazards. The reason I’m doing this one first is because it was one of the first ones I remember seeing on TV. The official title for this series of PSAs is “Partnership For A Drug Free America”, but since it’s mostly focused on a boy named K.B. I’ll call it “K.B. & Friends” for short. So let’s talk about this PSA.
These PSAs always feature light doodle drawings to make it seem it was drawn by a kid. This took place during the Generation X era, so you can tell the producers of this PSA were trying to stay up to date with the society. Something kids can relate to, and the results are flawless if the PSA captured the nature of the youth of that era. The first one would be about an unseen interviewer asking KB a question, “Who are your friends?”. He says his friends are Ocean(really you could name your kid after a body of salt water that covers 3/4 of the world?), his teacher Mr. Quip, his dog Donut, Marty, An un-named black boy who just says “Hey dude”(We never learn his name, but he does pass as a stunt double for Jonny 2×4)& Kelly(who he comments that she’s ok, a typical answer for a boy who isn’t into girls yet). We then see a Japanese kid who says “Hi, I’m Kai”(Either K.B. isn’t friends with him or he forgot to mention him to the interviewer). The interviewer then asked K.B. who are not his friends. K.B. tells the interviewer that the ones who are not his friends are Jesse & Jeff who are two kids who have blood-shot eyes and are completely stoned. K.B. mentions how they think their cool cause they are smoking joints. They try to convince K.B. and his friends to join them cause they’ll be cool. Or in the words of Jesse, “Hey, guys wanna have some fun”. Which K.B. and his pals say in response. “No thanks man” “Yeah get a life you guys”. Good answers kids, cause who’d want to hang out with two pre-teens who have a cloud of smoke surrounding them. And will likely to go juvy with all of the other drug addicts, shop lifters, bullies, and gang members. After that, the PSA closes with a black screen that says “Partnership for a Drug Free America”. There are two different versions of this PSA, only difference is that some of the characters were either excluded or newly added to the “Who are your friends?” introduction.
The other PSA is like the first one only the interviewer asked K.B.’s friends with this question “When others ask you to do Drugs, what do you say to them?” Kelly walk pass Jesse & Jeff and says “I ignore them”. Kai says “I rather stick anchovies in my ears” (Yeah, whatever Kai just as long as you know drugs are bad for you). Ocean says “No way man, I respect my body man”. An unseen kid says “I don’t want to look and feel like this” with a picture of a scribble silhouette of a neon like sign person like Neon Noodle from “Duck Tracey”. The Jonny 2×4 look a like says “Take a chill pill”, yet we still don’t know his name. And finally Donut who obviously can’t speak just grows as a response to what would he do if he’s offered drugs.(Glad the dog doesn’t welcome drug dealers). The PSA then ends with the same “Partnership for a Drug Free America” black screen.
Originally aired as early as 1991, and was produced by Roy Yokelson’s Antland Productions. While the music used in the background is stock music that can be obtained without asking permission(Gotta love public domains). My thoughts on it, it was one of the best Anti-Drug PSAs for its time. While I never did understood what it was about whenever I saw it on TV as a kid. the only thing I did remember about it was the animation. To think I’d only remember what it looked like but not what it was about. Much like the commercial for Final Fantasy 3, except I knew it was a video game when I saw it on TV. After I did learn what drugs were in the fourth grade, I found this PSA to be more understandable than I did back in the early 90s. Luckily I was never threaten to take drugs as a kid before or even after I was introduced to the D.A.R.E. program at my school. Thanks to that program I always think twice when it comes to drugs, I have no desires to die from cadiac arrest or an overdose any time soon. Anyways enjoy the PSAs below, and for next week will be my 50th article. Which will also be accompanied with four other articles cause the subject is too big to be one single article. The subject will be on the dangers of crack with five different celebrities saying their own opinions on the substance.