https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mkr3GureeA

They say that music is the soundtrack of your life; the moment you hear a song written from previous years, you can instantly recall people and events associated with the time that song was popular. Well, commercials are a lot like music in that regard. If you lived through the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s it would be all but impossible to have missed the commercials featured in the clip above. What’s far more likely is that you not only recognize just about every one of these commercials, but you can recite the words or sing along with the jingles as if no time has passed at all! Come on, if they say, “Two all beef patties, special sauce…” you probably know the rest of the jingle now, don’t you?

But beyond that, you probably can conjure up all sorts of memories you associate with the commercials and products–perhaps with family members, your friends, where you were living, and what you were doing way back when. You might remember how much you loved your cat at the time and so you bought Meow Mix hoping your cat would be as animated and joyous as the singing cats on the commercial. Would your cat be just as happy with the novel idea of putting three different meaty flavors mixed up in one cat food box? Did you ever attempt to count the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll? If you didn’t, you likely know someone who did. Do you remember how unique the Dr. Pepper commercial was when it was released in comparison to the other soda ads at the time? Maybe you can recall singing and jumping off curbs with your friends, and asking them, “Are you a pepper?” Maybe your family uncharacteristically bought a few six packs of that strange brew about that time, and your sense memory is kicking in just about now. And it’s a bit of a shocker to remember just how prevalent commercials for alcoholic drinks were in previous decades.

So many people used to jump up to change the channel–yes, many of these commercials took place before the high-tech remote control was created–just to avoid having to watch the commercials as maybe they preferred to see what happened next after Marcia Brady’s nose got bumped, or to catch the next comical moment of The Three Stooges–or whatever show was preferred back then. But in hind sight, it’s hard not to feel nostalgia when viewing these advertisements.

Besides Super Bowl commercials, television ads are not always given a whole lot of artistic credit. But I’d argue that they are more meaningful to everyone’s lives than we probably realize. Hey, if you weren’t even born when the above commercials were made, then it might take you a while to realize there’s something comforting about all of the current intrusive and sometimes annoying commercials. Who knows? Time will tell.

But just remember, when you’re cast in a commercial, you’re likely going down deep into the collective memories of local or national audiences–and deeper than you probably realize. These commercial actors do make an impact. So enjoy every minute of it!

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