I have hours and hours of old commercials, most of them in sad shape, and I’ve decided to plow through them to learn how they used to sell bread. Answer: poorly.

Well, that’s not fair. They sold Sunbeam bread by appealing to rambunctious boys who wanted Cowboy Energy - not a term they used, but it’s suggested. Bread = energy , and Hopalong Cassidy approves of this bread, ergo: Sunbeam it is.

Look who’s on the package!



Our old friend.

Bread's okay, but the cola / drink ads are the best. The Seven-Up Bird, who we first met here years ago back in the comics ad section, seems to be a Disney product. (Google confirms.)



More on him in a bit.

The DVD has Kool-Aid ads with Bugs Bunny, and they are wrong. He’s up against Elmer Fudd. Bugs cheats at a contest to get Kool-Aid. I know there’s bad blood going back a long way with those two, but in order for Bugs’ deviltry to work, he has to be provoked. He has to have a reason. Otherwise he’s just a jerk, and Bugs’ appeal rests on the fact that he’s not a jerk. He’s clever, he’s resourceful, he’s cool in the pre-hip sense of the word. Fool him and he’ll moiderize you, but for him to cheat right away just for Kool-Aid seems contrary to the character.

Then came the Hawaiian Punch ads, wherein Punchy hops along humming a tune, asks Opie (also known as the Oaf) if he wants a nice Hawaiian Punch, and then he cold-cocks him. After a few variations, the commercial below came up. To set this up: it starts with the punching sequence, which the original ads didn’t. The first ads were longer spots that ended with Punchy. By the time this ad ran, people knew the ad, and were looking forward to the punching.

The ad goes from the punching to a TV studio, where a woman says something you don’t quite catch, and then turns to a guy and says “remember that?” He says he doesn’t, but he likes it when the Oaf says “sure,” cracks him up every time. Then they play the new spot.

Okay. Watch.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


1. What was the pitch on this ad? Behind the scenes in a TV station, showing how the ad has lasting buzz. People talk about it, even the jaded souls who see everything.

2. What does she say? “Red and Yellow, catch a fellow.” It’s an old saying I’d never heard before.

3. Do you recognize her? At first I thought it was Virginia Gregg,, who did a lot of old-time radio and Dragnet TV shows, and that made me wonder if the guy to whom she's talking might be a voice-over guy as well. Maybe he's the voice of Punchy or the Oaf. He jokes about the Oaf, after all. Is this commercial really a sly way of showing us the people behind the ads?

Thenn I thought no, that's Virginia Christine, aka Mrs. Olsen of Folgers Coffee fame. But I still wondered about the guy. Googling around, I find that the voice of Punchy was Len Maxwell, who did lots of voice-over work, including most of the voices on Woody Allen's "What's up Pussycat."

But wait. This page repeats the line about Len Maxwell, and has one comment that begins “Your information is totally wrong.”

My name is Jean Guy Jacques. I was the animation director for the famous Punchy commercial.

In 1962, the Atherton-Privett ad agency created a 20-second commercial to advertise Hawaiian Punch drink.The commercial was produced by John Urie and Associates in Hollywood.  Jean Guy Jacques was the animation director. Bob Guidi, a West Coast graphic designers and John Urie designed the two characters, Punchy and Oaf. Ross Martin, from The Wild Wild West TV series did Punchy's voice, "Hey! How 'bout a nice Hawaiian Punch?" and John Urie did Oaf's line, "Sure".

Ross Martin? Really ?Jean Guy Jacques says the same thing here at Cartoon Brew, in a post about UPA and Magoo.

As for John Urie's studio, this guy was their commercial director. Ed Martin.

A picture from hs website, as a young man in 1949, and a still from 15 years later:



I can go back and forth on that and say Yes, No, Yes, No. But if I'm right . . . then who cares? But it might shed light on the competing stories, and that would mean John Urie's studio did animate the spots, contrary to the Wikipedia entry, and Ross Martin, aka Artemis Gordon, did the voice of Punchy.

I've sent an email to the fellow who wrote those clarifications, and he's welcome to respond in the comments. If he emails back, I'll tell you what he said on Monday.

About Fresh-Up Fredde: the ad ends with party balloons spilling out of the house, which is rockin' with a Party.





Seven . . . .UP.


A batch of Wards 1961 up, right here. See you Monday!







blog comments powered by Disqus