Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Following on from my recent post about the animated TV series of Hanna-Barbera, I recently stumbled on an aspect of one of my favourite H&B shows, The Flintstones, that those of us who watched the programme in Britain never saw --- the sponsorship commercials advertising Winston cigarettes...

Times have certainly changed since the neolithic 'sixties!

How would one describe such a commercial liaison in this more politically correct age of ours? Yabba-Dabba-Doo? I think not

Today (as SharonM suggests in the comments below) it would be a more a case of Yabba-Dabba-DON'T! 


Good Dog said...

It was the second of the two ads that was being shown in the New York diner, without the final twenty-second sponsorship message.

What’s also quite astonishing about the two spots is that they run for a full sixty seconds. By today’s standards, that’s a lifetime. In over a decade working on animated commercials, I think I only worked on two sixty-second ads. And one of those (for Laughing Cow cheese) was constructed to it could be broken down into a number of shorter spots. And although the pack is in view, it’s incredible that the final five seconds aren’t devoted to a packshot. (Although of course the sponsorship segment took care of that).

Obviously it’s pretty dodgy, but at least it wasn’t Huckleberry Hound being forced to smoke it.

SharonM said...

Yes, more like Yabba-Dabba-Don't!

Brian Sibley said...

GOOD DOG - Yes, they're as interesting for the length and style of the ads as for their content. Incidentally, at some point (either before or after Winston) The Flintstones were sponsored by a drug company!

SHARON - Brilliant! I wish I'd thought of that! In fact I'm going to add it to the post - with credit, naturally!

Boll Weavil said...

I think the original 'Don't Look Now' advert for Peugeot (in 1996) was over a minute but it didn't get screened at that length too many times on TV.Similarly, this years new Golf ad - the 'Matrix' spoof certainly was but, again, it doesn't often crop up in its entirety.Both of those were art in themselves.
Bistion : An advert, very expensive in effort and money to make and of high artistic merit which makes receives much attention only because the public cannot remember what product it was advertising.

Good Dog said...

Oh, you'll get many live action commercials that run sixty seconds or longer. (That dreadful Chanel spot with frozen-faced Ms Kidman runs for... well, it seems like hours). Then after they've made a big splash they'll be trimmed by half or two thirds.

When it comes to animated ads, sixty seconds takes ages to put together. I've probably got the production schedules filed away in the cabinets. They would go on for months.

Phil said...

They didn't just smoke, they also said naughty words (although I understand the B word isn't/wasn't considered rude in the US):

Brian Sibley said...

Well, this is the infamous episode of The Flintstones in which Wilma asks Betty how Fred and Barney always manage to "bollocks things up..."

Interestingly 'bollocks' as a swear word wasn't known in the USA, but the phrase 'to bollix things up' was a commonly used slang expression meaning: 'to throw into confusion; botch or bungle'.

It's obvious that it comes from the same root - the Old English word for testicles, 'beallucas' - but it's equally obvious that the yanks had lost sight of that fact.

Similarly, they forgot that 'Jiminy Cricket(s)' was originally a euphemism for the blasphemous exclamation 'Jesus Christ', otherwise Disney would never have used it as a phrase in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or taken it as the name of a character in Pinocchio.