Category Archives: Retro Ads

Babyland General: Cabbage Patch Kids

Today is #TBT or ThrowBackThursday, if you were a child of the 80’s or had a child in the 80’s you must remember the Cabbage Patch Kids. Here is a #vintage commercial for your enjoyment.

The following video gives you look inside Babyland General Hospital the “birthplace” of Cabbage Patch Kids located in Cleveland, Georgia. Is shares the back story of the doll that was originally called “Little People.”

Xavier Roberts was a ten-year-old boy when he discovered the “Little People.” When he was a 21 year old art student he created the soft sculpture dolls. The doll brand became one of the most popular toy fads of the 1980s and one of the longest-running doll franchises in America.

They were first licensed to toy manufacturer Coleco in the 1980’s. Hasbro took over the rights to produce Cabbage Patch dolls in 1988 when Coleco went bankrupt. In 1994, Mattel took over the brand, including production. In 2001, retailer Toys “R” Us took over the Cabbage Patch brand from Mattel. The Toys “R” Us line lasted until Play Along toys obtained exclusive licensing rights in 2003. JAKKS Pacific acquired Play Along Toys and assumed the master toy licensee in 2011. Wicked Cool Toys is now the current master toy licensee for the Cabbage Patch Kids.

Did you know:

  • In 1985, Cabbage Patch dolls did $600 million in business.
  • They made the cover of Newsweek on December 12, 1983.


It’s your turn. What do you think? Do you have an idea that has been with you since childhood that could set the world on fire? It could be your purpose, what are you waiting on? Act now! It’s never to late too fulfill your destiny. Your destiny, your choice!

Need to flesh out an idea? Contact me. I enjoy a di’namic creativity brainstorming session.

NOTE: No idea ever comes to anyone ready to go and straight out of the box. It starts as a kernel of an idea, as inspiration, that with passion, enthusiasm and a great deal of attention and imagination blossoms into the living breathing creation. Be patient and loving to yourself and your ideas as they grow. When the season is right, they will blossom if they have been cared for properly.

To borrow a quote from Mission Impossible, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it,” live the life you were meant to live. Breathe life into your dreams and passions and share them with the world.

Until next time … Live Bold and Be Di’namic!


Verizon Wireless: “Can You Hear Me Now?”

It’s #ThrowBackThursday and today’s #vintage video is a look back on Verizon Wireless: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good!”

The ad campaign ran for nine years from 2002 until 2011. Below is the first spot where Paul Marcarelli appeared as the Test Man in the campaign commercials.

In the first two years, the campaign helped Verizon gain market share and reduce customer turnover. The number of Verizon subscribers increased from 32.5 million to 37.5 million in 2003. By the start of 2004 the number of subscribers increased to 43.8 million.

With its ‘‘Can You Hear Me Now?’’ campaign, Verizon followed other advertising campaigns that had reached iconic status by asking questions not meant to be answered.

Kicking off the question campaigns was McDonald’s, when they made ad history in 1997 with its question, ‘‘Did somebody say McDonald’s?’’ Then Wendy’s joined in, achieving contagious success with its ‘‘Where’s the Beef?’’ campaign in the 1980’s. After the 2000 Super Bowl Anheuser-Busch joined with their ad campaign, ‘‘Whassup?’’

Verizon Wireless may be the only one that asked a question and responsed to it, “Can You Hear Me Now? Good!”

It’s your turn. What do you think? “Can You Hear Me Now?” Are you one of the millions of subscribers who joined Verizon during this campaign? Are you still paying for their premium service? Or have you joined another network to save money based on price wars? If so, which network? How is their service quality and coverage working for you?


Retro: The Sharp Wizard Organizer

Today is Retro Thursday and I decided to do a post on a piece of electronics that the iPhone [smartphone] has replaced. I started my research and stumbled on The Sharp Wizard Organizer from 1989.

sharp-wizard 02

I started digging on YouTube for commercials unfortunately, I couldn’t find one dedicated to just The Sharp Wizard, but I did find this little charmer. The Wizard segment is 18 seconds in:

I also found this video by Chris Pirelli. He did all my heavy lifting for me today. He covers everything there is to know about the device. He doesn’t compare it to a smartphone but after listening to his video, we all know our phones out perform The Wizard. LOL!

Chris is a very funny guy. If you have never watched any of his video’s or you’re not familiar with him, today is your lucky day. You’ll get a blast from the past and a new found treasure in Chris Pirelli. Enjoy!

It’s your turn. What do you think? It had apps and memory and connected to your PC … did you have one? Were you a geek in 1989? Does in make you laugh or bring a smile to your face because of a memory?


Magnavox Commercial Starring the Smothers Brothers

Today is #TBT, and looking back at Magnavox’s Escort Camcorder brings a smile to my face. If you don’t remember wanting one you might remember your parents having one.

After all they were, fully automatic, had instant playback, weighted only 3.5lbs and were so simple to use everyone had to have one.

Yes, I know, it’s not on our ‘want list’ today.

According to Pew Research Center, 61 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That means that 61 percent of us carry a fully automatic, instant playback, simple to use ‘camcorder’ in our pocket that now weighs less than 4.6oz’s based on the iPhone 6.

In this 4.6oz package we now have in our pocket at our immediate access: a digital camera, GPS device, voice recorder, iPod, radio via iTunes / Pandora / Spotify, a library through Kindle e-reader or iBooks, we can stream movies and TV via Netflix / Hulu or even HBO. You can even use it as a remote control to your TV, DVD and Blu-ray players, stereo equipment and even some air-conditioning systems.

Let’s not forget home security systems, morning alarm clock, newspapers and magazines, games, photo album, level, calculator, flashlight, stopwatch, pedometer, compass, timer, watch, calendar, phonebook, and mirror.

You could even add a low end laptop to the list because of our ability to run apps like Evernote, Notes and even versions of Keynote, Numbers and Pages on the iPhone.

Life is a funny. The one thing that is consistent is change. People change. Things change. You could call change evolution. We evolve to keep up and stay current.

Magnavox has changed their product offerings to stay current with todays trends and  is focusing on smart TV’s, Blu-ray’s and home cinema’s. One thing that remains consistent is their tagline: Magnavox … Smart. Very Smart. It hasn’t changed since 1988.

A footnote for everyone to young to remember “The Smothers Brothers,” Tom and Dick, were American singers, musicians, and comedians. In the 1960s, the brothers frequently appeared on television variety shows and recorded several popular albums of their live performances. They also had their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Tom’s signature line was, “Mom always liked you best!” Dick, was the straight man in the act.

It’s your turn. What do you think? Are there more items our smartphones have replaced that I missed? Does Magnavox tagline, “Smart. Very Smart.” still work after all these years?

“Where’s The Beef?” Wendy’s Ad

Remember this 1980’s commercial?

Still funny after 31 years.

Wendy’s had one of the best commercials from the 1980’s. This classic commercial kicked of one of their biggest advertising campaign on January 10, 1984. This memorable TV commercial starred character actress Clara Peller, at the age of 81, asking “Where’s The Beef?”

The line instantly became a catchphrase across the United States.

Here is a little “did you know” fact? The original line was, “Where is all the beef?” However, Peller had a breathing problem, so they shortened it. You have to wonder, would the original question have made the same impact?

Sales for Wendy’s rocketed 31 percent in 1985 worldwide. Wendy’s then Senior Vice President for Communications, Denny Lynch, was quoted as saying, ”With Clara we accomplished as much in five weeks as we did in 14½ years.”

The phrase became associated with the 1984 U.S. Presidential election.  Democratic candidate and former Vice President Walter Mondale used it to sum up his arguments against his rival, Senator Gary Hart.

Promotional items were endless, including bumper stickers, frisbees, clothing patches, t-shirts and more. Where’s the Beef even became a Milton Bradley board game.


As popular as the advertising campaign had been, it had a short life and ended in 1985. Peller not understanding her non-compete contract with Wendy’s, signed a contract with the Campbell Soup Company to appear in an advertisement for Prego Pasta Spaghetti Sauce. In the commercial she declares, “I found it! I really found it.” Wendy’s fired Peller. Denny Lynch released the following statement, “Clara can find the beef only in one place, and that is Wendy’s”.

After reaching an all time high with the “Where’s The Beef?” campaign, Wendy’s hit a two year low after dismissing Peller.

Peller died on August 11, 1987, in Chicago, one week after her 85th birthday.


It’s your turn. What do you think? Do you remember the 1980’s commercial? Would the original question have made the same impact? Should Wendy’s have fired Peller?

Footnote: The cover art of the game box was done by none other than Jack Davis of Mad Magazine fame. I grew up on his work! Love it!!