Ever since I was a kid, I knew two things about Seven-Up: I preferred it to other drinks, and it was kind of...well...weird. If you remember, the early 90's gave birth to the Seven-Up ad campaign which featured a surfing/bouncing/dancing, be-legged and armed red spot called "Cool Spot" that served as their mascot. While I was obsessed with the Sega Genesis game of the same name, you couldn't help but notice Seven-Up's ad man was not really, um, anything? Tony the Tiger, the Rice Krispie elves, and Sprite's, well, sprite all had some kind of mythological or actual creatures behind their commercial concept, but nooooot Seven-Up. Just take the spot of the label and give him some legs and arms! AND SHADES! We are good! Give him attitude! Even better!
It comforts me to know that the "otherness" of Seven-Up as a commercial entity is not without precedent. Looking through their ads in the fifties', "weird" seems to be one of the things they do best!
In this first ad, we're meant to believe these people are having a great time at a football game. I agree in that I love a good hot dog and a fizzy citrus lime drink almost as much as I love the colores in that girl's tartan cape. However! What is going on with her date? I understand the "That's Using Your Head" is supposed to clue us in to the fact that his head is the point of the ad, but what is going on?! Is it a football mascot-mask? A themed balloon? WHY IS HIS FACE OBSCURED? Whatever they're going for here could be just as easily accomplished with a handsome, crew cut guy as with a tiger-face balloon-object.
This ad's makes no bones about the idea it's trying to get across...give your baby Seven-Up. The "pure, wholesome" ness of Seven-Up aside, I can't think of anywhere but possibly Appalachia (where I'm to understand babies are fed Mountain Dew on a regular basis and the soda stands in for water in most recipes) where you would feed an eleven month old a sugar-drink made for an adult. Is whiskey next? The text actually intimates that you should add seven up to the baby's milk to encourage them to drink it. Because who doesn't like a Seven-Up and dairy cocktail. EEK! The "family drink" aspect of it is nice, but the lamb and baby's beach ball peeking out from behind the soda bottle is somehow sinister. Did I mention the tag line of Seven-Up is "You like it...it likes you"? Simmer on that for a minute, I might come back to it.
Tennis balls are yellow. Just so you know. As if it weren't creepy enough to have an anthropomorphic soda who has human feelings about me, let's throw two albino tennis balls on a racket and have it eyeing the bottle with mute lust. I just don't know about these people. And the text of this ad features the just plain terrible wording: "This sparkling drink removes the very cause of thirst by stimulating the natural flow of moisture in your mouth." So, if you were thinking about sweat because you're playing tennis, you're now thinking about "stimulating the natural flow of moisture in your mouth". Which, I'm sorry, sounds disgusting. Strike three, Seven-Up! Strike three!
This one I don't really have a problem with, besides the fact that the guy's refrigerator seems to be primarily stocked with jello molds and weirdly packed meats. I often get up thirsty in the middle of the night and drink a diet Sprite by the sink, squinting without my contacts, wondering if, in my half awake and blind state of vulnerability, this will be the time some masked assailant chooses to break into my home and put me on Dateline. I think diet Sprite and sleep deprivation encourage my paranoia. At any rate, fried chicken leg and Seven-Up? We might be heading in a healthier direction in terms of how I feel about your product!
But then you had to go back to this. "For your dryness, you highness!" says the bobby soxer to the GIANT basketball player in enormous Chuck Taylors and the shortest, satinest, PURPLEST shorts I've seen on a man since Liberace. Well. It was the fifties'. I may give you a pass. But nothing about this ad is very attractive. I mainly get a vibe from this that the guy on the right is going to grind that poor pert girl's bones to make his bread.
Is it just me? Do you think these ads are creepy? Maybe it's the continued sleep debt, but I was like, "WHAT IS GOING ON?" for the majority of these.
Watch out for balloon-mask tiger people, and I'll see you tomorrow for Photo Friday.
PS: Check out how cool that game was. Bab and I played through it last summer the whole way! While drinking its intended product, of course.