Today’s Stars in Pre-Fame Television Commercials

A slightly younger and thinner Jack Black pitches Pitfal (the 10-pixel video game)

It’s hard for stars to hide from cheesy pre-fame television commercials when there’s YouTube, right?

Let’s enjoy a few of their early advertisements, which I’ve spent most of New Year’s Eve compiling for you (winner that I am)

  1. Jack Black doing Pitfall! (best ever)
  2. Lindsay Lohan in a Jello commercial in around 1996
  3. Keanu Reeves doing Kellogs Corn Flakes in 1980s.
  4. Seth Green doing a Nurf ad in 1992 (my favorite)
  5. Dick Van Dyke for Kodak film
  6. Greg Benson’s montage before Mediocrefilms/RetardedPoliceman fame
  7. Ronald Reagan Chesterfield cigarettes (photo not video)
  8. Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) in Burger King ad
  9. Tom Selleck sponsoring Right Guard
  10. Brad Pitt in Pringles ad (shirtless of course)
  11. Dave Spade and Chris Farley doing DirectTV (not exactly pre-fame)
  12. Jack Benny doing Texaco (too early of a reference for ya?)
  13. Leonardo DiCaprio doing Bubble Gum ad in 1988
  14. Ben Affleck doing Burger King delivery
  15. John Travolta doing a Safeguard soap commercial and promoting Tokyo Drink in this 1980s commercial (obviously he had already established some fame by then)

And two bonuses. Some actors better known for their television commercials than film or television careers. And David Letterman as a pre-talk-show weatherman.

Sources: Commercial Breaks (AOL), LiquidGenerationTube,

Play Cards With the Richest Deck: Financial Terrorists

Surely you remember the deck of “most wanted terrorist playing cards.” Now our very own Jan has come up with The Financial Terrorist card deck. Who wouldn’t want a deck of these on their table? Talk about a conversation starter… that might ultimately end up with a finished box of red wine, some cursing and tears of joy that our faces aren’t on the deck. 🙂

Parenthetically, Jan is looking for a partner to print and distribute this brilliant concept. Contact her via the blog…

Who's Your Favorite Financial Terrorist? Go Fish.

Why Online Video is More Like Radio than Television

Walter Sabo, Hitviews founder and former radio maven, makes it more apparent why radio people seem to have adapted more naturally to online video than television people. At first I thought it was simply that the radio people saw their boat sinking sooner than television people (some who vary their whistling melodies and choose a new route past the graveyard to show they’re flexible).

In fact there’s another reason that Sabo has attracted radio investments and a posse of former radio sales people, and it’s evident in his anti-standard piece and even more succinctly in his “Four Crazy Things My Dad Said About Media Buying”:

Every radio spot he (Sabo’s father and store owner) bought was a live read by personalities. Every print ad was endorsed by a local celebrity. Every TV buy at least had live tags even though TV was too precious to offer live spokespeople. On the Internet he would have bought a webstar video visiting the business and talking about it. We all buy products from friends.

Indeed radio and today’s version of online video are arguably more alike than online video and television. Why? The talent carries the show. You may like the tunes best, but you can’t argue with the facts: when a radio star jumps stations, the audience often follows. Is it any coincidence that one of YouTube’s hottest properties is a former disc jockey (yeah the fat guy- Shaycarl). If Shay loved beets I’d eat ’em.

Online video is about a charismatic human and people who enjoy them… unscripted reality and a fairly intimate relationship (as one-to-many goes). Like radio personalities, online video folks don’t mind plugging a good sponsor. And that doesn’t work as naturally on the boob tube, except for during an occasional talk show (where’d that format come from again) or that radio-like television show we call American Idol.

I’m not entirely unbiased about Sabo’s poetry (see below graphic to find the “Hitviews Pro” series on because I have a working relationship and friendship with the radio and online-video media maven… Still, I do believe he’s the Billy May’s of online video. He cuts through a lot of the jargon and states inarguable truisms, and it’s especially charming when he quotes his dad. Get on his good side, and he’ll give you a bear hug, make you feel special, and drive two states to bring you cookies when you’re having back surgery. Get on his bad side, and he’ll pinch your brain. Either way you’ll find him more interesting than the average human, and check your pulse if you don’t find this article about why records in automobiles failed (it’s not why you’d think).

Since my blog’s been a bit slow lately, here are 5 great articles by Walter “Regis” Sabo and Caitlin “Cathy Lee” Hill. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Sabo is his blatant disregard for middlemen, especially media buyers. (Just once I want a media buyer to tell me how prejudice I am, and prove me wrong).

Messin With Sasquatch

prank sasquatch bigfootThe other day I got an alert from MySpace that Sasquatch had an update. I was reminded of a post I wrote 2 years ago about a “Messing With Sasquatch” campaign for Jack Links Beef Jerky. Unfortunately, the original 2006 videos are missing and the 2007/2008 videos are a bit over produced and make Sasquatch a little more vindictive than the first year of the campaign.

In the campaign’s infancy, the joke was based on people stumbling into Sasquatch — rather than being terribly surprised — deciding to play a harmless prank on him. In the end, he got the last laugh but it was subtle. In recent years, he chases people, smashes car windows, tosses people into trees, and knocks over golf carts. And the pranksters are less opportunistic and more mean spirited. There are hysterical moments like when he summons birds or chases bunnies. But I want to care about him not see him thrash mean prankster.

Brilliant campaign, but if it continues in 2009 I’d love to see a more human side of Sasquatch. We need to care about him, not root for his vengeance on dick pranksters. Maybe he needs a girlfriend.