I’ve mentioned these commercials a few times before, and if you were craving to know what the hell I’m talking about threat no more. For I finally decided to do an article on this rare series of commercials that had three different representatives from three different establishments. Which were Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, & KFC; a pizza delivery company, a taco company, and a chicken company worked together back in the late 90s something that was never done before for either of the three mentioned establishments and has never been done again since 1999. Why did these companies worked together for these series of commercials? I’m glad you asked it was because all three of them sell Pepsi drink products and since Pepsi was doing ads for Star Wars Episode 1 so did the eatery establishments themselves. So these commercials were made and I’ll tell you these were the best Star Wars Episode 1 commercials to ever watch on TV.
I’ll exclude my warnings about posting neglected comments on Episode 1 since all of you know I love the movie and loathe people who look at the pet peeves of the movie and not see the great quality The Phantom Menace had to offer. So let’s discuss the content of these commercials. The first commercial starts with the voice of Queen Amidala channeling her distress call telepathically to a statue of Col. Sanders at the Col Sanders Museum. She tells the statue that planet Naboo is being invaded and needs help fighting off the Trade Federation that’s occupying the planet. Then the statue of Colonel Sanders comes to life and immediately jogs to his white custom convertible with a chicken hood ornament. After we see the deceased Colonel come back to life, we then see a Pizza Hut delivery woman receiving the same message(and it appears she’s the only one who can hear the Queen) and starts to dash to her jeep and drives off to a leveled parking lot where she parks her jeep. She then leaps off of the leveled parking lot and lands right in the Colonel’s car. They drove to a Mexican night club to pick up one last companion. Which was none other than the Taco Bell Dog! Once they were together the Colonel’s car jumps into light speed as if it has the same mechanism as the light speed jumps on the space ships of the Star Wars universe. The commercial concludes with the ad for Episode 1 and showing the logos for the three companies that are promoting the movie. The other commercials involved the three characters doing a spoof of the original poster for Episode 4 the New Hope and fighting off Battle Droids on the fields of Naboo. Along with promoting the kids meal toys, game medallions, and a chance to win a million bucks.
My comments on the commercials, they were really well made and I love how the three different fast food establishments agreed to use each of their mascots just for this occasion. Course during the 90s, there were hardly any KFC commercials, but since the Colonel is very iconic he has no trouble being recognized by the public. While the Taco Bell Dog was still popular at the time these commercials were made. Since I already did an article on him last week, I felt it be appropriate to talk about these commercials in a separate article rather than include them with the standalone Taco Bell Dog commercials. The one thing that baffled me was the Pizza Hut Delivery Girl in these commercials wasn’t an actual mascot compared to the other two. I mean yes, Pizza Hut has had it’s fair share of commercials using delivery people but I don’t ever recall seeing this woman used for any such commercials. I was surprised that Pizza Hut didn’t use Pizza Head for these commercials cause he’s more of a mascot than the Delivery Girl we see here. But since it be a real drag to have Pizza Head be carried around by the Colonel or the Dog around in these commercials, I guess that’s the reason why Pizza Hut decided to use an anonymous delivery woman for these commercials. At least Pizza Head did got to promote Star Wars when he was still used as a mascot for Pizza Hut. Like Marphalump, these mascots weren’t used again for the promotion of Episodes 2 & 3. But despite that they were only used for just this movie’s promotion, I still regard these commercials to be memorible and a must see for any Star Wars fan.
Anyways those were my thoughts on the commercials. To wrap this article up I provided every single KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut related commercial I could find. For next week I decided to do an article on a long forgotten series of Carl’s Jr. commercials. Noticing I haven’t done one yet, I’ll gladly do one for next. Until then enjoy the commercials below.
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.
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.
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?
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.
First off unlike most bloggers, message board users, and the Nostalgic Critic. I happen to love The Phantom Menace, I know this is the opposite of what you’d expect to hear but I loved it since I was 11 and still do today. Since this article is about the advertising of Episode 1, I don ‘t want any negative posts about the commercials, the movie, or Jar Jar Binks. Doing so will have the post deleted. I don’t want to lecture about how annoyed I was about people comparing The Phantom Menace to the same level as Battlefield Earth. With that being said, on with the article.
With the release of Star Wars on Blu-ray, I feel it be appropriate to talk about a character who’d be from the Star Wars universe but was only used for commercialism. Marphalump was exclusively created for the Pepsi campaign on Star Wars Episode 1. Other marketers that were involved were KFC, Pizza Hut, & Taco Bell. Funny thing is KFC, Pizza Hut & Taco Bell had cross over commercials which featured The Colonel, Taco Bell Dog, & a Pizza Hut Delivery Woman(An article on those commercials another time). Marphalump is an alien who is obsess with Star Wars. So obsess that he would use the collectible cans of Pepsi to reenact the whole movie with the 20 some characters that appeared on various cans of Pepsi during the movie’s release. The funny thing about that commercial is that Marphalump ad-lib two scenes and quotes that weren’t in the movie. Cause there was no scene in the movie where Anakin told Padme he loves her. That wasn’t expressed deeply until Episode 2 which featured a much more developed relationship between the two. While Darth Maul didn’t had his brains spilled out, he was just cut in half without saying a word. My guess is that Marphalump did it on purpose to deceive viewers who haven’t watch the film yet. But since it’ was a prequel it was obvious which characters survive at the end. Much similar to how it was obvious what became of Master Miller, Huey Emmerich, & Big Boss after the events in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker.
The second commercial shows Marphalump living in his parent’s basement which is filled with Star Wars merchandise. He didn’t feel like being at home so he goes into his escape pod and is blasted off to the planet Couresaunt for the premiere of Episode 1. Since the planet is one gigantic city, it’s bound to have a million theaters playing the movie. He flies right into the theater lobby, grabs a Pepsi and is just in time to watch the scrolling prologue of the film. He keeps chanting I’m not worthy only to be hush by Jake Loyd who happens to be sitting right next to him. The interesting thing about this commercial is revealing Marphalump’s parents to be humans and not aliens. I’m guessing he was adopted and his real parents are either dead or weren’t able to keep him so they abandon him at an orphanage. Which ever the case maybe, I found this commercial to be interesting despite the fact that his parents aren’t four armed aliens.
The final commercial depicts a couple trying to find a taxi only to hitch a ride in Marphalump’s pod racer taxi. Marphalump puts his taxi in full throttle and the couple find themselves flying through the New York sky. Marphalump keeps ranting on how cool the pod racing scene is in the movie. Which I do agree that it was my most favorite scene of the whole film. When they meet their destination the man and woman are wiped out from the ride while Marphalump tells them they at least got a review of the movie. The commercial ends with a Gran yelling at Marphalump for being a crazy alien. Which is ironic for him to say that outburst when he’s a Gran(an orange skin three eyed alien).
Marphalump wasn’t used for the advertising of Episodes 2 or 3, but I found it to be cool for Pepsi using a one time idea of the concept of an alien worshipping Star Wars like it was a religion. In closing here’s three commercials and a rare making of featurette. The featurette has a split second of the Coke logo being destroyed, just a heads up for those who didn’t notice the first time viewing it. I didn’t bother to read any of the posts for any of the videos cause they’re bound to be spam and hatred. So just watch them off of this page without any posts that contain nothing but neglect.