Sure, every company out there has a social media manager who can do wacky things now, but once, it was harder. They had to do it in a commercial if they wanted to do it at all.
A post on Reddit reminded me of the old Rax Roast Beef Restaurant chain and a commercial they had in the 80s where, if you took a Polaroid of their ad and brought it into the store, you got a free sandwich. I was jealous because we didn’t have a Polaroid (not that my parents ever took me to Rax anyway).
And that then led me to this memory-
What advertising gimmicks do you remember from yesteryear? I imagine a lot of them are from more local commercials too, but there were definitely national chains that caused a brief media stir with something they came up with.
And now I’m going down the rabbit hole. The campaign has an interesting history.
The contest was that most of the records had the chorus failing to complete the song, but somewhere out there was a record where they got it right, and if you had that one you’d win a million dollars.
However, in my personal experience, I never saw one of these records. I didn’t know anybody who did. In fact, I didn’t even know about the record part until just now when I went to look this up. What we knew were a series of commercials where people sang the song in the restaurant, like this:
And the rumor that went around was that if YOU did this - if YOU sang the entire song at the order counter - you’d win. Which even to us fifth-graders seemed suspicious. Who would judge and verify that? How annoying is it for people to do that in line ahead of you when all you want is a shake? We figured there would be a tournament competition scheduled, and there’d be local, state, and national championships. So we worked on learning the song and waited for news of when we could put that work to use. Well it never happened, and that’s why I was not a child millionaire.
Also I never got through the entire song anyway. But it’s better for me to blame the lack of corporate communication than my own shortcomings.
The one I remember was the NFL view master premium from 1972, where you’d mail in a number of Chequita Banana stickers for the prize. The stickers were just out there to grab at the store so, you know…
Now, I wasn’t a total thief, I’d buy a banana, but put a bunch of stickers from other bananas on it. The store clerks never said anything when they saw all those stickers on one banana. lol