01.12.12 The Decline of Work-related Gum Ads




Sorry; better now. Yesterday just felt like swimming in a pool filled with nails and bones. The only cure, as noted, is work, and by “Work” I mean “doing lots of things that drown out the nattering gremlins of doubt and despair, as well as the one in charge of making certain you know not to doubt despair, because it’ll be along soon enough. Sure, it’s been absent for years, but you know what it’s been doing in the intervening time? Working out. Dude’s buff.

It is a busy day, but there are compensations. You look down the page and think
Oh no, not a dreaded YouTube bleat. Hear me out; these are commercials, which means they’re short. I have a hard time watching anything longer than three minutes on the web. Ten seconds is about right, but too short unless it’s done well, like a double-bill of five-second movies. Thirty seconds should not tax your attention span, and this is interesting. There’s a point here. At least I hope one comes to me by the time I’m finished.

I’ll take them in reverse. They’re ads for a Wrigley’s gum that isn’t sold in the states, as far as I can tell; I only found out about it because of an ad I uploaded to the 1930s Ad section (five updates today; links later.) The ad had all the top Wrigley’s products - Spearmint, Doublemint (which is what? Spear- and Pepper-? I checked wikipedia, and within two minutes of link-clicking I was here:






And “here” is Hazard, Kentucky. The link between the picture and the gum is simple: in the 1970s, the Doublemint Twins of the era, the Barnstable Twins, visited Hazard to promote the opening of a store, a grim-looking piece of late 60s / early 70s architecture that tells you everything about the mood of the era. Poked around to find the old shots of downtown, here. All that life, all that metal. The google street view version, as you might expect, depicts a considerably less energetic place. Everyone’s at the Wal-Mart.

As for the Virginia theater, here’s a picture of the old marquee - when they had a Rubber Drive. Been a while since anyone had a Rubber Drive. Can't think of a modern analogue - is there anything around the house, or in the garage, we might contribute for a war effort? Reminds you how it must have felt - everyone involved, everything diverted, starting from behind. If you have to ask people in Kentucky for old tires, you're not exactly overflowing with materiel.

Anyway. Doublemint is primary peppermint, says wikipedia, although the exact formulation is a secret many Bothans have died trying to recover. The ad also had Juicy Fruit, which leads us to my favorite wikipedia entry, EVER:

Which fruit serves as the model for its flavor is kept vague in advertising, though in 2003 BBDO characterized it as a combination of banana and pineapple.[1] According to two books in the Imponderables series, peach is one crucial flavor among many others.[2][3]

It is likely that the chemical used for flavoring is Isoamyl acetate, a carboxylic ester.

Killjoys. The fourth gum in the ad:


Eh? What? It’s not sold here anymore; seems to be a European / Aussie / Kiwi thing now. Which leads us to the ads.

The 1990s: Don't worry, mate. You can have sexual relations after eating garlic bread:




1989: The Gum of Choice of the New Zealand Air Force!



Share a little piece of New Zealand! Or, if you're Dutch in the 80s, it's the gum to chew after you've applied cherry-red lipstick, among other pleasures of the Miami Vice era:



1980 downn under looked at lot like 1980 here, too.



Now let's go back to the Sixties.



Remember where this sequence started? Why does the last one seem so different? Because it has productive adults doing work. This is no longer the objective of life; the objective is swimming and putting on lipstick.

Tonight after karate we were driving home, and heard a song I like whose lyrics express a point of view that ruins the song entirely. Reminded me of all the times I’ve nodded along to a tune, really enjoying it, until I come up to the moment of Lyrical Divergence, and then you either ignore it or carry on - but if it’s the latter, you feel false. It’s not the same. Damned meta-brain, observing from on high; can’t I just enjoy something?

It’s like that with Western Civ these days: I love the song. It’s got a great beat and you can dance to it. But the lyrics can spoil the mood in a second.


Today: 30s ads. Two of them, here. And two more here, and one more here. As for Oswald, : #4 is now repaired, and has the proper text.) Enjoy; see you around.





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