Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Medium is the Message

Anyone who actually knows me likely understands that my interests in the media, flow of information, advertising, propaganda and marketing are really all rolled up into one big fascination that drives how I define, critique and understand the popular culture around me.

Like most Generation Xr’s, I grew up around TV, maybe even partially raised by it. Assailed daily with large amounts of information, I came to understand and appreciate the influence that media, and the message as delivered, could have – both personally and en masse. I came to believe that I would need to understand this phenomenon more if I was to escape, albeit only partly, a complete consumption of myself within it.

The first add I ever really totally remember was a Budweiser Beer commercial in the 70’s. At the time Budweiser had these beer commercials that featured a big rig with their slogan trademark on the side that would drive around and the air horn sounded like “BUD! BUD!” You may even remember this. Also at this time, Rainer Beer had some commercials where they had replaced the gearing up of a fast motorcycle with the sounds of “Raaaaaaiiii – nnnnneeeeerrrr – beeeeeerrrr”. This particular commercial I am referring too, started out like a typical Rainer Beer commercial, but as the motorbike rounded the corner, you heard “BUD! BUD!,” a crash, and then the big Bud Truck drove around the bend into view. It was brilliant! It made a huge impact on me. The commercial only aired a couple of times before complaints had it taken down, but I remember it even to this day. I appreciated the ingenuity, the cleverness, the risk and overall, the influence. I never ever drank Rainer Beer.

Today I was watching a commercial that Trite had posted on his site, and it made me remember how much I like the ideas and processes behind the marketing of a product or idea via commercials. If you regularily read my site, you have seen me post some of my more favourite commercials as I come across them. The Cat Herders, the dancing Bacardi Cat, the brilliant UnBrand America July 4th spot. I could write an entire thesis, or book on this topic… (thinking)… But, I digress…

So this media/TV/radio motivated era has endowed us with a plethora of references, little ditties and taglines stuck not only in our heads, but also firmly implanted within our pop-cultural consciousness – where they have stealthily infiltrated and exist, in some instances, even beyond the actual product or original message that accompanied them.

I thought it might be fun to take a little quiz, which I have prepared below for you to share with me. You will find the answers in my comments, in case you can’t remember what they are from. If you are like me, some of these trips down memory lane will make you smile, although for the life of me I don’t really know why.

AND I have the Purina Meox Mix song in my head and can’t get it out. Sigh.

1. “Everyone knows it’s slinky”

2. "Where’s the Beef?”

3. "I can't believe I ate the WHOLE thing."

4. “Kills bugs dead”

5. "Gotcha... four across"

6. "Im a pepper, you're a pepper, wouldn't you like to be a pepper too."

7. "My bologna has a first name it's O-S-C-A-R, my bologna has a second name it's M-A-Y-E-R, Ooh, I love to eat it everyday and if you ask me why I'll say, cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A."

8. “Take me away”

9. "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R' Us kid. A million toys to choose from, that I can play with. From bikes to trikes and video games, its the biggest toy stor there is. GEE WIZ! I don't wanna grow up, cuz baby if I did....I wouldn't be a toys r' us kid!"

10. "Milk. It Does A Body Good."

11. “It keeps going, and going, and going…”

12. “Catch the Wave”

13. “Pardon me, might you have some grey poupon?”

14. "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"

15. “Give it to Mikey. He eats anything”

16. "Pizza! Pizza!"

17. "Priceless."

18. "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!"

19. “'New York CITY?”

So what did I miss?

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