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The Pizza Head Show

Party at Pizza Head's.

Out of all of the pizza mascots out there I believe this one is the most unique of all. Besides Little Caesar, I was a huge fan of Pizza Head the star of his own series of commercials called The Pizza Head Show. If you remember seeing these commercials under the age of 12 then you’re between the ages of 22-31. If you were born after the mid 90s, then there’s no way you could have remember this. So for those who remembered and those who don’t, I present to you an article dedicated towards the one and only Pizza Head Show.

Hey, he's no chef!

The Pizza Head Show was a collection of commercials created by San Francisco’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners and all of the commercials were directed by Walter Williams the creator of The Mr. Bill Show. He directed a all of the commercials of Pizza Head from 1993-1997. During this period the company tried to attract kids and pre-teens to their business by using a character to create the promotion that Pizza Hut is weird fun. All of the commercials are similar to a Mr. Bill skit. Pizza Head was Mr. Bill, Pizza Cutter Steve was Sluggo, & the unseen Narrator was Mr. Hands. Every single commercial starts off with Pizza Head doing an activity, promoting a new pizza at Pizza Hut, or mentioning what merchandise Pizza Hut was offering at the time. The Narrator would then introduce Pizza Head to Pizza Cutter Steve who is always seen disguised as a Chef, Coach, Referee, etc. Pizza Head always sees through the disguise and says “Wait, he’s not a real (insert occupation)” but the Narrator would always reassure Pizza Head by telling him “Sure he is”. Then the Narrator & Steve would get Pizza Head into a jam by putting him through various tortures. Most of the commercials would feature a model of a Pizza Hut restraunt being destroyed by something.

It's Pizza Time.

The commercials were an instant hit to the kids and for the next four years Pizza Head would be seen in at least 16 commercials in total. Pizza Head has been seen prompting Streetballs, Marvel Comics/Cards/Cups, K’Nex, Autographed baseball bats/balls, Rawlings Basketballs, Star Wars Posters, Goosebumps Glow/Tell Story Card Sets, & Real Adventures of Jonny Quest toys. Just thinking of these merchandises makes me think of the 90s. I mean when was the last time you heard people talk about Goosebumps, K’Nex, & the Real Adventures of Jonny Quest series. The thing that made Pizza Head most appealing is the idea for all of the commercials having sets & locations that were used that gave the commercials a low-budget look to them. Out of all of the commercials, my all time favorite commercial was the “Pizza Head Flies High” skit. The one with Pizza Head being on a plane and gets attacked by a jet piloted by Pizza Cutter Steve. The whole scene was a parody of the Helicopter scene from Apocalypse Now that popularize the score “Ride of the Valkyries”. Ever since that movie came out almost every aircraft related scene in a cartoon, TV show, video game or movie uses “Ride of the Valkyries”. Course who doesn’t love hearing that score?

You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

Pizza Head and the rest of the cast vanished sometime in 1997 without any explanation to why. As Pizza Hut ended up marketing commercials with different gimmicks that aren’t entirely aimed towards kids as they went for a different approach in their marketing as hinted in their recent commercials. I’m surprised they dropped Pizza Head as their mascot, cause I was disappointed when he wasn’t teamed up with Colonel Sanders & Taco Bell Chihuahua for the Taco Bell, KFC, & Pizza Hut team up commercials for Star Wars. I know I mentioned this commercial before, but give me more time to consider doing an article on that one. I still think of Pizza Head to this day as he was the very character I associate with when it comes to eating Pizza at Pizza Hut. It be really cool if Pizza Hut used Pizza the Hut from Spaceballs for their own commercials, least that’s a commercial I’d totally would make if I had the opportunity. Anyways hope you enjoyed this article as much as I do, cause Pizza Head deserves more from what he accomplished for Pizza Hut.

Well, if it isn't Lone Star. And his sidekick, Puke.

references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pizza_Head_Show

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The Noid

He destroys pizzas.

Let’s talk about another Domino’s mascot, only this guy is partly forgotten and partly well-known unlike the reputation Dr. Cravin had. And the mascot I’m referring to is The Noid. The only Domino’s mascot who has received popularity, satires, parodies, and video game deals. The Noid first appeared in 1986, he was created by Phil Kneesi and voiced by Pons Maar a famous puppeteer who previous portrayed two dinosaurs in his career including Roy Hess from the Dinosaurs & Theodore Rex himself. The commercials were created by Group 243, an advertising agency for Dominos while the animation was made possible by the Will Vinton company before it was changed to Laika Inc. after Will Vinton lost control of his company in 2002. The creative team for the TV campaign consisted of Ernie Perich (creative director), Gary Bastien (art director), Dave Larson (producer), & Matthew Thornton (producer). The Noid was a villainous red suit character with rabbit ears who is known for being the reason why pizza would get cold or get smashed. He’s constantly seen succeeding in destroying non-Dominos pizza and would do the same toward the Dominos brand. Throughout all of the commercials he would constantly try to ruin anonymous deliveries of Domino’s pizza. However his attempts would back fire when the announcer tells the viewers that Domino’s guarantees good quality pizza because they “Avoid the Noid”(which was the slogan for the character) and unlike other pizza brands their pizza is immune towards damage and tempurture(or so they claimed).

Walking like a dinosaur.

The Noid soon became a popular icon with the flow of merchandise for kids or die-hard commercial fans. He’s appeared as a toy figure, a shirt, as well as two product placement video games. The first called “Avoid the Noid” made back in 1989 for the Commodore 64 & MS-DOS. While the other was called “Yo Noid” made back in 1990 for the NES. The Noid would no longer be seen destroying pizzas some time in the early 90s. This created a boycott after it was discovered that Dominos dropped the character without saying why. The boycott in bring the Noid back was unsuccessful and the character ended up being a thing of the past. To be honest I never remember seeing the Noid as a kid, I didn’t know his existence until the year 2000 where my sixth grade science teacher has a collection of Noid napkins for some reason. The character wasn’t entirely forgotten as he’s made cameos in a hand full of cartoons and sitcoms particularly the two episodes of the Simpsons where he appears as a parade balloon and in person.

His first game!

The only controversy on the character involved an incident in January 31, 1989. Where Kenneth Lamar Noid thought these advertisements were an attack towards him due to his last name being Noid. So he went to a Domino’s in Atlanta, Georgia and held two employees hostage with a gun for 5 hours. His demands were a pizza, $100,000; a getaway helicopter, and a copy of The Widow’s Son. He eventually surrender to the police, where the police chief at the time filed him as paranoid in the police report. Mr. Noid(as in the lunatic not the one who destroyed pizzas) was about to be charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, extortion, and possession of a firearm. However he was found not guilty due to the whole thing being an act of insanity. It’s unknown if Mr. Noid was placed in an asylum or not. I am sure that he’s banned from entering any Domino’s establishment for the rest of his life, cause there’s no way in hell Domino’s would allow someone like that to ruin their image. Plus I’m surprised Mr. Noid didn’t try to sue them, but even if he did Domino’s would be the ones winning the case and not him. Much similar to how Uri Geller famous for bending spoons with his mind tried to sue Nintendo over claims that they made a Pokemon out of him which was Kadabra who is known for carrying a bent spoon. That case was drop when Nintendo told Uri they didn’t name any Pokemon off of any existing person to their knowledge. Despite what Uri claimed, he should have learn that you should never sue a company for claiming that they created a character who happens to be a psychic with a bent spoon. Then again some people are so stupid they think they’ll win in court over claims they made up just to get some money.

For the NES!

Back in May 2011, the Noid has made a comeback on Domino’s Facebook page. A stuff toy of him was promoted for a one topping pizza deal towards the end of the month of May. During the Noid’s 25th birthday a new product placement game called “The Noid’s Super Pizza Shootout”, the first new Noid video game in 21 years! I think it’s good that this character was given another chance from Domino’s who are giving the Noid the appreciation he deserves. I managed to find every single Noid commercial known so far. So enjoy watching them, and be sure to check out my 25th article next week on the California Raisins!

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noid

http://noid.freeservers.com/history.htm

http://newhandsweepstakes.com/2010/06/28/the-curious-case-of-kenneth-lamar-noid/

7Up Pac Man

Gotta drink something after eating all those pac-dots.

I notice I haven’t done any video game advertisement articles yet, so let’s discuss one that advertises both soda and a video game at the same time. In this case Pac-Man and 7Up paired together in a way you never seen Pac-Man before. This 7Up Pac Man commercial was made during the craze of when Pac Man first arrive on American shores back in October 1980. This commercial was made back in 1982 when there were only four different Pac-Man games which were Pac-Man Original, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, & Pac-Man Plus. The commercial starts off with a camera panning an actual arcade cabinet of the game and we see a gamer starting to play the game after drinking a bottle of 7Up. Instead of the same old game, we see Pac-Man colored red instead of yellow and drinks 7Up to eat the ghost’s clothes instead of eating power pellets. Instead of pretzels and cherries in the maze, it’s lemons, limes, ice cream cones, tacos, & pizza slices for Pac-Man to eat. Which sounds like tastier snacks to go with all those pac-dots he always eats which Dr. Zoidberg claims that the dots tastes like stale marshmallows. The commercial concludes with Pac-Man and the four ghost all drinking a bottle of 7Up and then a title card appears with a slogan that says “The difference is clear”. Which was the slogan for 7Up at the time this commercial was new.

Wait, since when were there five of us?

Let’s discuss the content of this commercial. The game design to resemble a parody game is a different approach for Pac-Man compared to everything else he appeared in for commercials. The 7Up theme made this look like an advertisement of a product placement game rather than the game itself. Ironically 7Up did make their own product placement games which were the 7Up Spot games, which I mentioned in the previous 7Up article some time ago. Though in my opinion an actually 7Up theme Pac-Man game does sound cool and would make an excellent product placement game. Since Namco has over the years came up with alternate game plays for Pac-Man to be in. Cause it be boring if Pac-Man is doing the same thing over and over again for 30 years straight. I have played various pac-Man games over the years including the cross-over games where Pac-Man and other Namco own games team up. But I know I haven’t played all of them as of yet. I know the existence of the cartoon version made by Hanna-Barbara, except I never seen an episode of that series excluding seeing the Holiday special which aired on Cartoon Network numberous times. I don’t ever remember seeing the cartoon series on TV, cause it was made before my time and it was never shown on reruns from my knowledge of TV cartoon watching.

Yum, stale marshmellows!

My comments on this commercial, it’s a cool idea for its time and it’s unlikely you’ll talk to many people who knew Pac-Man was associated with a soda product. I think the guy who created the 7up Spots might of gotta the inspiration of this commercial for the Spots themselves. It’s just it’s too much of coincidence when Pac-Man almost resembles the 7Up Spot in this commercial. Besides Pac-Man being red to resemble the spot on the 7Up logo, I notice the ghosts don’t have the same colors as they did in the games. The only ghosts to appear in their original colors are Blinky, Inky, & Clyde. While Pinky is blue instead of pink. Course this was a common thing to happen in video game commercials where the creators of the commercials aren’t given any blue prints on how the characters should look. I’ll eventually do another article on a commercial that just advertises the video game, but for now enjoy the commercial which is a true time capsule on how interesting the 80’s were.

You know the Spot was cool.

Dr. Cravin

Sadly comes with everything you see here.

This is one of the most unrecognizable pizza mascots of all time. Right next to Domino’s Domino & Sunny the Monkey(I’ll save those two for another article). Dr. Cravin was an action figure who stalks Domino’s Delivery People whether by bike or car. Every attempt always leads to failure for Dr. Cravin. I only remembered three commercials on this guy. That includes one with him in a car, one with him on a bike, and another where he ended up in a pig pen. Dr. Cravin was only 5 inches tall and his occupation is a spy, but he isn’t that good at stealth or stagedy when attempting to steal a pizza box. He also sounds a lot like Solid Snake from the Metal Gear franchise, but not sure if there’s any connections or just simply coincidental. But I do know he was created by the Character Shop the same company that created the Budweiser Frog characters. While the idea of Dr. Cravin might have been inspired by KaBlam’s Action League Now due to the similarity in the use of chuckimation(mix of stop motion and live action). I found only the car commercial from a youtube video that shows commercials shown during Keenan & Kel(which was a cool show back in its day). The video is better than nothing and proof I’m not fabricating the existence of these commercials. Anyways due to lack of origin on Dr. Cravin I’m only able to speculate on what went on in the minds of the Domino’s company higher-ups at the time. To me it was like Dominos attempted to promote an action figure that also serves as their mascot. But I got no info if there was any production of Dr. Cravin action figures. If so, where are they? Are they located inside the warehouse next to the Ark of the Convenant? Or are they located in someone’s basement along with the long-lost “Spider-Pit” scene from the original King Kong? This is only a speculation so even I’m not sure if such a stash of action figures exist. If they did, imagine how awesome it would have been to own your very own Dr. Cravin? Anyways I manage to make this at least a paragraph for all of you to enjoy and next week I’ll be doing an Australian commercial. Until then enjoy the car commercial of Dr Cravin below. It’s after the TV ad for the 1998 Godzilla movie.

Crusty? or Crust for 3?

Not the Avengers.

references:

http://www.character-shop.com/cmerclfx.html