December 11, 2020

32 retro metro Detroit TV commercials that will make you feel old — let's watch


The year is 2020 and you can now “skip” advertisements when watching YouTube videos or when binging some drama on Hulu. But back in the day, the television commercial was not just a form of creative expression but an absolute must-have tool in getting people to buy expensive fur coats or pack up the station wagon to head to Bob-lo Island or the Detroit Zoo. For a blast from the past, step into our slideshow — er, time machine — and take a look at some of metro Detroit's both most memorable and cringe-worthy ads from yesteryear. Warning: you may or may not get the Tubby's jingle in your head, and we are not responsible for any madness that may occur as a result.

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32 retro metro Detroit TV commercials that will make you feel old — let's watch
Mel Farr Superstar: "And they cannot fly either!"
Though born in Texas, Farr played for the Detroit Lions, then retired from football and acquired a Ford Motor Company dealership. Though his business failed in 2002, he's still well-remembered for the commercials that cast him as a cape-wearing superhero flying over the city.

Mel Farr Superstar: "And they cannot fly either!"


Though born in Texas, Farr played for the Detroit Lions, then retired from football and acquired a Ford Motor Company dealership. Though his business failed in 2002, he's still well-remembered for the commercials that cast him as a cape-wearing superhero flying over the city.
Bob-Lo Island: "Let's Twist Again" 
Just before Bob-Lo closed, it ran this catchy TV spot over and over to try to outshine Cedar Point.

Bob-Lo Island: "Let's Twist Again"


Just before Bob-Lo closed, it ran this catchy TV spot over and over to try to outshine Cedar Point.
Detroit Institute of Arts Commercial: "You Gotta Have Art!"
This 1976 commercial borrowed the popular show tune from Damn Yankees to drum up business for the art museum.

Detroit Institute of Arts Commercial: "You Gotta Have Art!"

This 1976 commercial borrowed the popular show tune from Damn Yankees to drum up business for the art museum.
Detroit Zoo: "Zoo Stars"
This goofy little spot from local agency Doner earned many a chuckle, with the menagerie's animals cast as temperamental performers experiencing the jitters before a big show. Silly, yes, but if you don't giggle you don't have a heart.

Detroit Zoo: "Zoo Stars"


This goofy little spot from local agency Doner earned many a chuckle, with the menagerie's animals cast as temperamental performers experiencing the jitters before a big show. Silly, yes, but if you don't giggle you don't have a heart.
Father & Son Construction Company: "No job too big ..."
The friendly jingle and the somehow likable animation make this spot a keeper in heavy rotation through the 1980s.

Father & Son Construction Company: "No job too big ..."


The friendly jingle and the somehow likable animation make this spot a keeper in heavy rotation through the 1980s.
Walt Lazar Chevrolet: "Super, Super Dealer"
Speaking of jingles, the Walt Lazar Chevrolet jingle gets a reprise in this old spot, though not with the big finish. Search a little beyond this spot and you'll find some wag has remixed it for some laughs.

Walt Lazar Chevrolet: "Super, Super Dealer"


Speaking of jingles, the Walt Lazar Chevrolet jingle gets a reprise in this old spot, though not with the big finish. Search a little beyond this spot and you'll find some wag has remixed it for some laughs.
Highland Appliance: "Practicing the Piano"
A kid so gawky-looking he could give Napoleon Dynamite a run for his money has a problem: His mom wants him to practice the piano, but his friends want him to toss the pigskin around. With a little help from Highland, everybody will feel they got their way.

Highland Appliance: "Practicing the Piano"


A kid so gawky-looking he could give Napoleon Dynamite a run for his money has a problem: His mom wants him to practice the piano, but his friends want him to toss the pigskin around. With a little help from Highland, everybody will feel they got their way.
Ray Whitfield and Alan Ford: "Here, Dog"
The cartoon hillbilly with the banjo and the 10-gallon hat urging his dog to go to the dealership was used so often that sometimes the voice got overdubbed for another dealership.

Ray Whitfield and Alan Ford: "Here, Dog"


The cartoon hillbilly with the banjo and the 10-gallon hat urging his dog to go to the dealership was used so often that sometimes the voice got overdubbed for another dealership.
 Faygo: “Comic books and rubber bands” 
What Faygo has to do with this creepy boat ride, we have no idea. But this earworm from the ‘70s is as sweet as high fructose corn syrup.

Faygo: “Comic books and rubber bands”


What Faygo has to do with this creepy boat ride, we have no idea. But this earworm from the ‘70s is as sweet as high fructose corn syrup.