Dr. Pepper

Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 97: And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Episode 97 Website CoverThey’re the 30-second segments you fast-forwarded through, ignored, or used for a bathroom break, but when you think about it, you know them better than you realize.  They are commercials.  In this episode, I talk about advertising and commercials that I remember, both fondly and not so fondly.  I begin by going over what makes a good and a bad commercial and then make my way through a bunch of commercials that I can’t get out of my head.  From cereal to fast food to toys to local car dealerships, it’s so much advertising that it’s … INSANE!

You can listen here:

iTunes:  Pop Culture Affidavit

Direct Download 

Pop Culture Affidavit podcast page

As a bonus, here are links to past blog posts about commercials.

“Your Winds Song Stays on My Mind”:  Wind Song perfume.

“When Clothes Shopping Became Cool”:  Kids “R” Us.

“Because Rock Should Make You Feel Good”:  The as-seen-on-TV compilation album Feel Good Rock.

“Why the green M&M’s have always been my favorite”: An M&M’s commercial featuring little leaguers.

“Coke Is It!”:  A 1980s Coke commercial.

“The Taste That’s Gonna Move You!”:  Juicy Fruit gum.

“Fuzzy Memories of Summer Camp”:  About local summer camp commercials from the NY tri-state area.

“Just ‘Round the Corner!”:  Long Island-area furniture store commercials.

“All You Have to Bring Is Your Love of Everything”:  Sandals, Mount Airy Lodge, and the Commack Motor Inn

“The Yearbook Myth”:  A post about yearbooks and yearbook DVD music from the mid-2000s that also features a 1980s McDonald’s commercial called “Great Year!”

“XOXO”:  Tic-Tac-Toes canned pasta from Chef Boyardee.

“Heaven in a Can”:  Franco-American gravy.

“Just What the Dr. Ordered”:  Dr. Pepper commercials from the early Nineties.

And here is a playlist of the commercials used in this episode …

 

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Just What the Dr. Ordered

1980s-1990s Dr. Pepper logo

If I were to say “Dr. Pepper commercial,” your first thought would probably be of David Naughton (star of American Werewolf in London and the horribly underrated Midnight Madness) singing “Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?”  And that’s understandable because that ad campaign is right up there with the Big Mac ingredients commercial as one of the most memorable of the last 40 years.

But in the early 1990s, Dr. Pepper decided to revamp its image and by creating a sequel of sorts to its iconic “Be a Pepper” campaign.  I guess in an age of MTV, the old commercial was too friendly and not aggressive or cool enough, maybe even hokey.  So, we got “Just What the Dr. Ordered,” a series of commercials that like most sequels, pales in comparison to the original and has more or less been forgotten by everyone in my generation (except me, of course).

This was in an era where the soda being advertised in commercials seemed to bring about unbridled awesomeness and happiness, and the people who developed “Just What the Dr. Ordered” decided to find someone cool and awesome to lead us to the caffeinated promised land.  The guy they hired was some random dude wearing a white T-shirt and jeans who sang about the ills of the world and how Dr. Pepper cures them.  He was basic, he had common sense, and he knew exactly what to do. His name is Terry Gatens (thanks to Patty, who commented below and is Terry’s sister), and over the course of four commercials from about 1990-1992, Dr. Pepper made him go out of his way to get more cool points than Fonzie ever dreamed of having.  If I had to name the guy he’s playing in the commercials, it would be Nick (because Nick’s a real name. Nick’s your buddy. Nick’s the kind of guy you can trust, the kind of guy you can drink a beer with, the kind of guy who doesn’t mind if you puke in his car, Nick! … Oh, vomit. I’m sorry. Vomit.) but I don’t want to confuse the two people reading this, so I’ll call him Dr. Pepper Guy II, or DPII (out of respect for David Naughton, the original recipe Dr. Pepper Guy).  I don’t know the order in which these commercials aired, either, so I’m listing them in rank of DPII’s awesome effect on the world.

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