Classic 80s Commercial Roundup
"Modern Love" or "Bowie's Brown Sugar Pepsi"-- David Bowie and Tina Turner
This advert for Pepsi featured Bowie as a mad scientist trying to build the perfect woman. Instead he got Tina Turner. That said, the song features two of the great voices of the day singing one of the better pop songs of the century and manages to fly in the face of conservative social mores about interracial love.
"Won't Strike Out with Mom" or "Cosby Hawks the Pudding Pops" -- Bill Cosby
Let's face it, if you have a bad Bill Cosby impression, odds are it involves plugging Jello Pudding or Pudding Pops. Man, just seeing this ad makes me wish that I could pick some up down at Kroger and go on a sugar bender.
"Trooper vs. Cherokee" or "Um, Uhhh, Just, Uhhhhh, Wow." -- Joe Isuzu
David Leisure's slimy Joe Isuzu character is one of the funniest creations from/social satires of the 1980s. That said, "how" the fudge did they get away with this commercial. I'm only 1/64th Cherokee and, hell, I'm offended.
"Mac Tonight" or "Bobby Darin Spins in his Grave" -- Mac Tonight
Only McDonald's could turn a song about a serial killer into a kid-friendly homage to fast food, complete with an anthropomorphic singing moon who used to scare the shit out of me whenever he was at the Crossroads Mall. This would set the stage for other inappropriate uses of classic songs to sell crap, most notably Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life," a song about heroin addiction, being used to pimp cruise packages on upper middle class (remember when we had one of these before the economy went to shite?) families.
"I'm Not Herb" or "How Did Burger King Think This Would Work?" -- Herb
When you are a business gunning for the industry leader, why on earth would you want to focus on someone who thinks that your product is crap? This failed marketing campaign cost BK a metric shit-ton of cash and probably more than a few ad execs their jobs. It wouldn't be until the early 90s, when college kids started smoking weed again, that BK would gain back the ground it lost from Herb the Nerd. (Fun fact: Herb makes an appearance at cameo-laden Wrestlemania 2 as the guest time keeper).
So what 80s commercials had you desperate to part with you cash? Which ones are still haunting your nightmares?