I really wish we had fewer political differences. I want the war in Ukraine to end. I’m glad to never hear the word COVID again, even the word “China” in the news makes me a little nervous now. So please forgive me for being a little frivolous in this column.
Summer is almost over and I’m not happy about it. I love summer golf, motorbike rides, freshly manicured lawns, ice cream parlors, sun waking, al fresco dining, delicious BBQ food and the “everything is good” sound of the waves lapping and seagulls chirping on the shore.
Everything seems to be fine in summer. It’s been a playground, cedar beach pool, and traditional charcoal family picnics at local parks since I was a kid. By the way, a propane grill will never outlive the smell of old-fashioned charcoal burning.
On Saturday, we watched Summertime at the pier, a great music show from the legendary early ’60s steel pier. The same marina in Atlantic City hosts a daily live show featuring a horse jumping from a high platform into the ocean. Obviously not today’s entertainment concept.
When I was a kid, my mom would take our huge family to Atlantic City for a few days most summers. My father can’t come because he “works” in the family business. I think it’s too comfortable that he hasn’t been with seven crazy people in a few hotel rooms for five days. For me, he missed the best moments of his life.
The sound of the busy boardwalk, the chirping of seagulls, the smell of roasted peanuts in the Planters store and “they don’t do that” in the beautiful bustling lobby of the Hotel Chalfonte-Haddon Hall.
I always get pleasure from commercial summer songs. It was “Tan, don’t burn, get a Coppertone tan!” Phillies had Baseball and Ballantine, and now we have Becool eat a Rita’s, which are great songs that drive sales and remind us that good times are coming. You’ve heard these commercials over and over while listening to your favorite radio station and DJ on a tiny transistor radio.
I’ve always loved clever advertising campaigns. They can have a huge impact on the success of our culture and products. Let me give a few examples that I remember.
Brylcreem: A little will do. Brylcreem, girls are going to haunt you,” and it just kept going from there. All that makes crazy straight ’50s men’s hair look greasy.
Burger King: I love this quote: “The bigger the burger, the better the burger, and the bigger the Burger King’s burger.” Hearing this made me hungry when I was young, I could eat this food without risking life-threatening.
Tastykake: “A tummy tuck is so much fun.” I used to love Tuesdays because that’s the day fresh Kreamies are delivered to my hangout, the Campus Shop. After 10 cents, I’m a happy camper.
Almond Delight: Who can argue with, “Sometimes you feel like a lunatic and sometimes you don’t.” Plus, they taste really good.
Winston: Incredible, but the cigarette ad would be over by then. The one that killed me (well, not literally) was, “Winston’s tastes good, like a cigarette!” Nothing hits those taste buds like the goodness of tobacco smoke.
I’m sure you have your favorites and I’d love to hear them. I draw inspiration from classics like Clara Peller’s Where’s the Beef or Brooke Shield’s controversial but very effective Me and My Calvin Klein (Calvin Klein)” or “Hey Mickey!” He loves it” for Life Muesli.
Products come and go like we advertise them, but heck, if they make us smile and don’t repeat them every minute like some of today’s commercials, I’m all for them. Because in the good capitalist world, there is always competition. Where there is competition, only the best products can survive and thrive. Who doesn’t want to taste, drive or use the best product? It’s a challenging world and I’m all for anything that makes us smile.