Tuesday Throwback: Liberty Mutual’s Beautiful Commercials Featuring The Music Of Hem

I remember these great Liberty Mutual ads debuting around 2006. They focus on people witnessing acts of kindness and then “paying it forward” by performing good deeds to those around them. I love the ads on their own, but what really puts them over the top is the beautiful music of New York band Hem. This particular Liberty Mutual campaign had a lot of spots, but I’ve just included a few of the classics, which feature the songs “Half Acre” and “The Part Where You Let Go.” It’s a campaign that seems like it could be even more apt now, considering our polarized and hostile political climate.

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Tuesday Throwback: Alka-Seltzer’s Infamous And Award-Winning Lifeboat Commercial

I hadn’t seen or heard about this Alka-Seltzer ad until now, as it just randomly popped up on YouTube for me. But wow, this one is memorable and darkly hilarious. Two men are stranded at sea in a lifeboat for apparently quite a long time. Then, we see some Alka-Seltzer being plopped alongside the voiceover “when you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have”…and there’s only one man in the lifeboat. Oof. This spot from London agency AMVBBDO won the Golden Lion at Cannes in 1997.

 

Tuesday Throwback: Sony Bravia’s Bouncy Balls

This is a fantastic Sony Bravia ad from 2005. It’s visually stunning…I mean how could 250,000 colorful super balls bouncing down hilly San Francisco streets not be? And the beautiful song playing throughout the commercial is Jose Gonzalez’s “Heartbeats.” It’s one of those spots where I wish I was writing this blog when it was released.

Tuesday Throwback: State Farm’s “And Can I Get A Hot Tub?”

Much like its famous Jake commercial, State Farm had a long-running hit with this spot. I believe it debuted back in 2010, and it had already been playing for a while when I started the blog. I wonder what exactly the black dude was talking about (“snatching stuff takes…”) when the baseball went through the window. It looked like he was in the middle of a good story. Then the State Farm agent appears! And the State Farm jingle magically brings a sandwich, the girl from 4E, and of course, a hot tub. “And can I get a hot tub?” was a fantastic line which this ad is best remembered for. Mane Rich Andrew plays the “snatching stuff” sandwich lover, Graham Rogers is the hot tub guy, and Holly Lynch is the attractive girl from 4E. Anyone know the identities of Dave the State Farm summoner or the agent?

Tuesday Throwback: Heroin Is Bad, And Rachael Leigh Cook Destroys This Kitchen

After starring in She’s All That, Rachael Leigh Cook had a brief period of being the “It Girl” of the late ’90s-early 2000s. But her first real claim to fame came in 1997, when she appeared in a Partnership for a Drug-Free America commercial. In the ad, she smashes an egg with a frying pan to simulate what heroin does to your brain. And then she goes much further, ultimately destroying the kitchen to show heroin does to the lives of users, as well as their friends and family. Was this spot effective? Who knows? But it was jarring, memorable, and honestly…strangely sexy. Last year, Rachael Leigh Cook and the Drug Policy Alliance created a remake for the 20th anniversary of the ad. It focuses on the disproportionate effect the War on Drugs has had on people of color.

Tuesday Throwback: Twix’s “Get The Girl”

A man (Adam Pally) and a woman (Abigail Spencer) are hitting it off at a party, which leads the guy to jump the gun and ask if she wants to go back to his apartment. She’s incredulous, and after chewing it over for a moment with a Twix, he clarifies and saves his ass. There was also a follow-up spot where the guy takes her to his shabby place and says he’s just staying there while his “uptown apartment” is getting worked on. Twix set this up as an interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure” campaign, where the guy’s answers lead to different scenarios. You can watch more here.

Tuesday Throwback: Pepsi Points Can Buy You Cool Swag, But A Harrier Jet?

In this 1996 Pepsi commercial, a teenager shows off the cool stuff he got from Pepsi Points. He has a Pepsi T-shirt, which was 75 points. He has a leather jacket, which was 1450 Pepsi Points. Shades were 175 points. And then, he rolls up to school in a Harrier Jet…7,000,000 Pepsi Points. This one is best remembered because a business student found a loophole and ended up suing Pepsi for his Harrier Jet. Spoiler alert: he lost. Though Pepsi did end up changing the commercial to 700,000,000 points for the jet.

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