December 12, 2013

Dated celebrity endorsements

How old do you have to be to know what this group of actors has in common? Or even recognize them? And spot who is missing? Or remember when IBM made personal computers? (Click image to enlarge.)

The Personal System/2 from IBM was released in 1987. M*A*S*H premiered in the U.S. on 17 September 1972 and ended 28 February 1983. So the reference was already a bit dated, though reruns would have sustained the popularity of the series.

Maybe they thought having Harry Morgan (featured) with McLean Stevenson (not featured), and Wayne Rogers (featured) with Mike Farrell (not featured) would just be weird. Do actors hang around with the actors they replaced?

I can't remember Alan Alda doing much in the way of product endorsements and IBM probably didn't want to pay to persuade him. Ditto David Ogden Stiers, who does a lot of voice-overs for PBS. Alda was great on Scientific American Frontiers.

IBM exited the personal computer business in 2005 when it sold the division to Lenovo. That's the year I bought my ThinkPad. It still sported the IBM logo.

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# posted by Anonymous Dan
This is how you sell computers!

George: Dad, what's all this?

Frank: My computers. I've been selling them for two months now.

George: You're selling computers?

Frank: Two months ago, I saw a provocative movie on cable TV. It was called The Net, with that girl from the bus. I did a little reading, and I realize, it wasn't that farfetched.

George: Dad, you know what it takes to compete with Microsoft and IBM?

Frank: Yes, I do. That's why I got a secret weapon... my son.
12/13/2013 8:42 PM

# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
I recognized them! Before I read past the picture!

Oh, wait, what does that say about my age . . .

This week, one of my folklore students did his paper on the fad of disco; I think I was one of only 2 people in the room who got the John Travolta references.

On the other hand, after the presentation, I finally understand jokes about the Village People.
12/13/2013 9:22 PM

# posted by Blogger Joe
I remember those ads in general. I also remember how baffled computer people were about them.

Looking back, I suspect someone in the ad department was a fan of MASH and used this as an excuse to meet them. Something I think happens quite a lot.
12/15/2013 10:57 AM