Monday, July 30, 2012

1980s Wendy's Salad Bar & Tabletops

Wendy's Garden Spot or salad bar was big in the 1980s

Wendy's - Three Fun 1980s Vintage Memories 

Growing up, my parents were convinced that Wendy's was the healthier fast food choice. Mom took us there a few times a month, and trust me, we never complained. Her rule was that we not order fries, but opt for the broccoli and cheese baked potato. She also encouraged us to order the salad bar.

You'd think I'd be a health nut today. Too bad something went wrong there... ;-) Anyway, remember these three things about Wendy's fast food restaurants from back in the day? Note, I purposely left out, "Where's The Beef?" since it's an obvious '80s memory.

1. Wendy's Garden Spot 
Known as Wendy's Garden Spot, the salad bar was where it was at if you were watching your figure. They even had commercials highlighting just the salad bar and how you could enjoy under 300 calories and look fabulous in a swim suit. Here are two vintage Wendy's Garden Spot commercials to refresh your memory.

2. Cool vintage or retro ads on Wendy's Tables
Remember the cool Wendy's tabletops? They featured old time ads and it gave you something to read and enjoy while your folks were waiting on line, placing your dinner order. 

Wendy's old time tables - loved the cool,  retro, vintage ads.

3. Breakfast!
In 1985, Wendy's made a huge announcement. They'd serve breakfast. And they did! However this actually lasted only for about 9 months. According to a 1986 LA Times article, the reason Wendy's originally failed at breakfast, was because they offered made-to-order omelets. Something impossible to keep up with as a fast food joint. I only recall French toast and egg platters - similar to McDonald's. Today select Wendy's restaurants are serving breakfast to keep up with the .

Remember this 1985 Wendy's breakfast commercial? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

McGruff The Crime Dog - Take A Bite Out Of Crime

McGruff the Crime Dog celebrated
25 years in 2005

Don't ask me why, but growing, up PSAs and TV commercials were a huge part of my world. Perhaps that's how I ended up in the advertising/public relations industry. In prior posts, we've talked about NBC's One To Grow On campaign, Reading is Fundamental or RIF, and the famous, "I learned it by watching you, Dad" anti-drug PSAs ... Somehow, I've managed to overlook McGruff, the Crime Dog.

McGruff was a cartoon dog version of a "plain clothes" police man, cop or private investigator. Born in 1980, McGruff, the Crime Dog was developed as a way to reach children and provide tips to keep kids safe. Developed by the Ad Council for National Crime Prevention Council, raspy-voiced McGruff (originally voiced by the "Take A Bite Out of Crime" moto creator, Jack Keil) warned us kids about everything from the threat of kidnapping, to drugs ("Users are Losers"), to peer pressure.

McGruff was awesome. In 2005, a new ad campaign was created to celebrate his 25th birthday. His messages have slightly changed to suit today's issues ... These days, he advises kids about the dangers of cyber bullying and offers suggestions on how to handle mean girls. Who remembers McGruff, the Crime Dog? Watch these old TV commercials. Hopefully it will spark a memory or two.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

David Hasselhoff Cumberland Farms Ads

Don't "Hassle The Hoff" at Cumberland Farms

What kid in the '80s didn't love Knight Rider? What kid in the '90s didn't love Baywatch? David Hasselhoff, also known as "The Hoff", has become a household name among three generations of pop culture-lovin' youth. 

Knight Rider rocked!
This morning NPR announced that Cumberland Farms latest ad campaign has seriously "taken off" thanks in part to images of David Hasselhoff urging customers to enjoy a refreshing iced coffee. Cutouts positioned in about 570 stores throughout New England, California and Florida are such a hit with customers, they're stealing them. Who wouldn't want a life-size cutout of The Hoff in a tank top, sipping a delicious-looking iced coffee in their living room? I know I sure would love it. 

In California alone, 550 stores have seen the David Hasselhoff cutouts vanish from Cumberland Farms convenience stores. Is the company pissed? Hell no! "We want everyone to enjoy the Hoff," said their strategic marketing specialist, Kate Ngo. How cool is this? I love it. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1970s Inchworm Riding Toy Then & Now

Romper Room Inchworm from the 1970s

Remember this riding toy from back in the 1970s and/or 1980s? If you were too small for a Big Wheel, you were most likely chuggin' along on this green slow-moving happy crawler. With yellow wheels, yellow matching seat and cute cap -- every kid on my suburban block couldn't resist him. "You could ride up and down, and up and down. Inchworm, I love you!" It was so sweet. The commercial sounds a bit dirty now looking back as an adult. Oh well...

Check out the Inchworm Riding Toy available at Target. The price is up about $40 and Radio Flyer red has replaced the yellow. I think I prefer the original Romper Room version as opposed to this modernized Radio Flyer model.

Today's version of the Inchworm by Radio Flyer $53

Thursday, July 5, 2012

BJ and the Bear | Greg Evigan TV Show

Between 1979 and August 1981, youngsters everywhere enjoyed a somewhat unique TV show called BJ and the Bear. The 60 minute NBC comedy focused around a handsome young trucker, BJ  (Greg Evigan) and his travel buddy, a chimpanzee named Bear.

The two cruised around the highways in a big red and white rig while BJ's nemesis, Sheriff Lobo (Claude Akins) relentlessly tried to arrest BJ. The show was very similar to Dukes of Hazzard.with Rosco P. Coltrane chasing after Bo and Luke Duke.

Here's a clip of BJ and The Bear.


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