Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Power of Advertising

I have told you before that I was practically raised by a television... I think it is time to tell you what I meant by that.

My parents were divorced when I was 5... we moved from California to New Jersey in the summer of 1969, which is the same year that I entered kindergarten.

When I was a kid, when we got home from school (I had to walk home with my older brother) it was TV time! I had a few hours of TV time, mostly to myself, since mom was working and wouldn't be home until after 5.

We were, what later became known as, latch-key kids... but this post isn't about working moms, stay-at-home-moms, or the perils of single parenting. It's about advertising.


If you lived in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Tri-State area in the late 1970's to the mid 1980's you will immediately recognize this commercial.

If you didn't live in this area, or aren't old enough to remember, please believe me when I tell you that this is the pinnacle of a brilliant ad campaign.

"Crazy Eddie" was a retail electronics chain that had stores throughout the tri-state area, and was know for it's low prices. It was even better known for it's frenetic radio and television advertising, mostly done by this man:

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His name is Jerry Carroll, the radio DJ who became the voice and face of "Crazy Eddie"

From around 1979 until 1985, you couldn't avoid seeing the wild "Crazy Eddie" commercials on television, and the Ad Campaign alone has reached cult status.

Mrs. G can support my claim to how deeply this advertising touched yours truly, as I have been singing this commercial jingle, and waxing poetic about all of these commercials since we met in 1992.

The "Crazy Eddie" chain went down the tubes in the middle or late 80's because of large scale fraud. Sam and Eddie Antar, were eventually convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison.

As of this writing, Sam Antar is considering reviving the chain of stores.

I, for one, can't wait.


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Janet said...

I think everyone has local ads that they remember fondly, or just because they were always there. The main one for people from Detroit my age has to be Mr. Belvedere. That wasn't his name, but it was what we all called him because he was the president of Belvedere Construction. Mainly what I remember is his face and the jingle, "Call Tyler eight seven one oh oh, for your home improvement date." The mere fact that they used Tyler insted of the first two numbers dates me somewhat, but oh well.

More recently the best, most beloved commercials to me were Leon's commercials. Leon's is a Canadian furniture and appliance stores whose ads ruled the Nineties on the CBC. You can find some of them on Youtube, but my favourites, the werewolf showtunes or the mattress carols, aren't there. So sad.

While searching for those I found a classic that I had forgotten from a Detroit appliance store.
I cannot tell you how many times I quoted this commercial with my sisters in my youth. I have to stop this, now.

Cori@SAHMbles said...

I worked in advertising for many years, mainly in media. We had an ad one year for a furniture company that showed Santa being shot through the ceiling after sitting in an old lazy boy recliner. We had so many calls from the parents of distraught children that we could only run the ads after 8 pm.

Oh and I can't wait to try your chicken recipe, I'll let you know how it turns out!

Cori@SAHMbles said...

Ugh, I totally missed the bottom of Janet's comment. The furniture company I was talking about was Leons!

Gunfighter said...


(Janet, whn I was a kid, our prefix was Murray Hill)

Brillig said...

Not being from the area (or that decade...) I'm not familiar with Crazy Eddy, but I do hope he makes a comeback. haha. We had a nutso advertiser around here who also just went out of business and was convicted of fraud. Hmm.... do I see a pattern?