Can’t We All Just Get Along?

This is the Christmas version of the very popular Coke commercial from the Seventies. It’s sung to the tune of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” by the New Seekers. I like how the girl from Canada is wearing a t-shirt with the Canadian flag on it. That’s how you know she’s from Canada.

It’s a beautiful and appropriate message any time of year, but especially poignant during the holiday season. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays.


Music Monday – Merry Christmas Everybody

I wasn’t aware of this song in the Seventies. I was just a little kid listening to Donny Osmond and the Jackson Five on AM radio, so I didn’t yet know about amazing British music acts like David Bowie, Roxy Music, or Slade. But when glam-rock band Slade debuted this song in December of 1973, it became an instant classic. It reached Number One for Christmas week in 1973 and stayed there until February 1974. It is Slade’s best-selling single, and was voted the UK’s most popular Christmas song in a 2007 poll.

I know what I want for Chrismas this year – gigantic platform shoes!


Norelco Santa Commercial

I think everyone who was a child in the Seventies loved this classic commercial. It reminded us of the Rankin Bass Christmas specials that we eagerly awaited every holiday season. I guess I was so wrapped up in the commercial that I never noticed until now that the end credit read “Noelco” instead of “Norelco.”


Avon for Christmas

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I loved getting Avon products as Christmas presents. This ad from 1971 shows a dazzling array of Avon items, any of which I would have loved to get for Christmas. I think I actually had the Snoopy in the bathtub. This ad, like many in the early Seventies, reflects the growing diversity of models appearing in ads.


Ma Bell

Remember when there was only one phone company? And you had to rent your telephone from them?

For almost a century, Bell Telephone was the only phone company in the country. Of course, they invented the telephone. So consumers had no choice of who to go with for their local, long-distance, and local-long-distance needs. And in those days, people couldn’t buy a telephone like they can today (I know, young’uns, seems hard to believe). My parents, like everyone else, rented their phones from the phone company. We had the same telephone for sixteen years! These telephones didn’t plug easily into a phone jack like they do today. They were wired into the jack in the wall, and the telephone man had to come to your house to do it.

In 1982, the United States government decided that Bell Telephone had a monopoly. Using an anti-trust lawsuit, they forced Bell to separate into several smaller companies. Today the former Bell Telephone is known as AT&T, one of several telephone companies offering consumers a choice. And we’re free to go into any electronics store, or even Target for that matter, and buy a telephone that we can easily plug into the wall ourselves. Which in a way, is kind of a shame, because when I was young I really wanted a Sculptura phone (see ad above). Vintage Sculpturas are available online, but they’re not compatible with today’s phone jacks. Which means I’ll just have to reach out and touch someone with my boring modern phone.


Stir ‘n Frost

In the Seventies, before there was a microwave oven in every home and fast food was an occasional treat, baking a cake was a time-consuming process. If you wanted cake you either had to bake one yourself or run out to the bakery to get one. Even cake mixes in a box such as Duncan Hines took about an hour to make. Enter Betty Crocker and Stir ‘n Frost. Stir ‘n Frost was great for when you wanted something sweet but didn’t have time to bake an entire cake. As the name implies, the directions consisted of two steps: a) stir, and b) frost. Stir ‘n Frost was the cake you baked in a box because the cake pan was literally made out of cardboard. You poured the packet of powdered batter into the cardboard cake pan, added water, and stirred. How easy is that? But the best part of Stir ‘n Frost was the second step – “Frost”! The frosting came in another packet that you had to knead for a minute before cutting it open and squeezing it onto the cake after it was baked. There was something so satisfying about kneading that little packet of frosting. Although the yellow cake with chocolate frosting was good, I really liked the gingerbread cake with the vanilla frosting. To me it was different from the usual selection of cake mix flavors.

Today the need for instant gratification has taken baking cakes to a new level. Betty Crocker has one-upped themselves and created Warm Delights, a cake you can make in the microwave in three minutes, and which you can eat while it’s still warm. But Stir ‘n Frost was its predecessor in the instant cake department. And nothing today beats the fun factor of kneading that little packet of frosting.


Clairol Skin Machine

Clairol’s Skin Machine was a motorized facial exfoliating brush that gave your skin a deeper cleanse than soap and water alone. It was better than a washcloth too! In the commerical above (you’ll have to get through the Head Start hair vitamins ad first), you can see how versatile and convenient the Skin Machine really was. Use it while talking on the phone! Use it in your funky yet extremely tiny bathtub! Use it to take off makeup from the high school play! Heck, even the kids love it!

I had the Skin Machine when I was in 7th grade. I remember a commercial for the Skin Machine from around that time that featured a girl in a combat helmet, using the Skin Machine to fight the battle against acne. I think the Skin Machine came with a tiny bar of soap that was really drying. I used the Skin Machine with a bar of classic Neutrogena soap.

In the age of advanced skin care technology, Clairol’s Skin Machine may be obsolete, but the idea was innovative for its time. Without the Skin Machine, newfangled skin care gadgets such as the Clarisonic might not exist. It’s like the Sony Walkman paving the way for the iPod.