1990’s Celebrity Spokesman

1990’s Spokespersons | Mr. T : Hulk Hogan : Tony Little ; Chuck Norris

The 90’s were, believe it or not, more than: Ninja Turtles, the pudding peddler: Dr. Huxtabel, Nintendo, Full House, West Coast Rap and those slap bracelets that wrapped around your wrist – you know the ones that were banned from schools because they, incomprehensibly, were responsible for the death of a child – I digress.

We are going to take a gander at some celebrity sponsorship’s that do not fall into the typical celebrity/company mold. These sponsorships were fleeting moments in the world of marketing and advertising but should not be forgotten. We will journey down a foggy and dimly lit back-alley-way of the 90’s called memory shame.

Mr T and the “Flavor Wave”:


The Rundown:

Mr. T enters the set by breaking down the door in a red, Kool-Aid punch bowl fashion. The dust/asbestos is clearly agitating T. It looks like he wants to sneeze but can’t. When Darla, the host, states “Mr. T, you could have used the door knob.” Mr. T responds in normal human-being fashion by stating: “Sorry Darla, a hungry guy like me just couldn’t wait that long.” Mr. T, are you trying to say: a guy that may of taken too many blows to the head can’t wait that long? It’s a door knob, man – not a secured bank vault.

Hey Mr T! WTH man? Who's fixing the damn door!? Fool.

Spokesman Rating: 7 of 10

I admire the diverse demographics of Mr. T’s fan base. I understand why Mr. T is adored. Even without the gold chain, Mr. T exudes the cool, calm persona required of a successful spokesperson. The kind-of guy that makes an elderly woman in a wheel chair start a tiny clustered standing ovation.

That awkward moment when you realize that not everyone is giving a standing ovation

Why it Failed?

Come-on now, marketing – this was an epic failure. Now if you had named it something like The Mr. T Fool Roasting Machine your company may actually have a Wikipedia page. I personally own a functional Flavor Wave that I would use more frequently than the Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine if it were not so difficult to clean.

I pity the cow...

Tony Little and The Gazelle


The Rundown:

Tony, Tony, Tony. Where to start? So basically, we’ve got this guy – Tony Little, who clearly takes coffee intravenously. He’s pitching a fitness product called the Gazelle. Most people have seen short clips of this infomercial circulating online. They are short for a reason. Tony is like an illicit substance – best taken in small doses but in reality, the world would be better off without. The clip starts with “You know, the Gazelle could be good for your love life.” Darla responds “How’s that?” Tony, being the class-act he is, mounts Darla and the Gazelle and now we have tandem-Gazelle. Yes, that is the same Darla from the Mr. T Flavor Wave infomercial.

Oh geez... I am really missing Mr. T right now

Spokesman Rating: 8 of 10

Okay, so I don’t like the guy. I think the product is bogus, his hair is longer than his female counterpart, he wears tube socks and I have a sinking suspicion that Tony may be injecting other things into his body besides coffee. This is, however, a bottom-line blog. The man is ripped. He’s having his way with our sweet Darla from the Mr. T infomercial. Tony is not selling the Gazelle. Tony is selling a lifestyle and minus the ponytail and the superficiality it is the perfect “hot button.”

How the hat and ponytail coexist is a mystery

Why it Failed?

It did not fail. Tony has continued to evolve his product line with the Gazelle Edge and sold over 40 million products. His catch phrase “you can do it” was a national phenomenon along the lines of “I’m kind of a big deal” and “How you doin.” He has also partnered with Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong Foundation.” Hey Tony, if you stumble upon this, send me a message. You really need to upgrade that Yahoo! store – Dude, you are Tony Little.

I love this job... I hate this job - It's really just about perspective

Hulk Hogan “Right Guard”


The Rundown:

“In trying to make an artistic statement On should be careful not to let ones personal aroma do the talking…. a sublime pallet of odoriferous emanation; after all a true artiste should be remembered for his inspiration, not his perspiration.” Odoriferous emanation? Wow, someone had their thesaurus handy. besides the poor picture quality (how the hell did we watch TV in that resolution – no wonder so many people need glasses) I wouldn’t be able to tell if this was filmed 10 months ago or 10 years ago.

Hey Hulk, you can't snort that

Spokesman Rating: 9 of 10

Hulk Hogan is funny, timeless and iconic (before he did that reality show). It’s Hulk Hogan! I’d buy Hulk diapers for my kid if he pitched them. Hulk is the closest thing to a real-life super hero out there. Hulkamania is immortal – Brother!

When I retire, I will become an artist - of postcards?

Why it Failed?

It failed between the target demographics of 18 and 24. Only 14% of the targeted demographics gave “highly favorable” responses. NW Ayer & Partners were the minds behind the marketing and advertising program. Compare for a second Mr. T kicking in the door and Hulk Hogan doing… well, whatever it is that he is doing. It’s not what you would expect. Most important is what he is saying: Translate all those fancy words and what you get is: You can be an artist at whatever you do. Behind the facade is hard work, blood, sweat and tears – so put some damn deodorant on! If Flavor Wave and Right Guard had switched their strategies you may have a Flavor Wave instead of Foreman Grill in your kitchen and Right Guard instead of Old Spice in your bathroom cabinet.

Chuck Norris: “Kick Drugs out of America”


The Rundown:

“That’s why I formed the Kick Drugs out of America Program… My foundation and will arrange for you or any member of your family to receive a martial arts trial program free of charge. Just call the school nearest you and ask if they support my Kick Drugs out of America Foundation.” Okay – I would be scared if I was a drug. This is Chuck Norris, who by the way, also did a Right Guard: “Anything else would be uncivilized” ad.

Chuck Norris doesn't do drugs. Drugs do Chuck Norris

Spokesman Rating: 10 of 10

Okay, you heard it directly from Chuck Norris. Pick up your phone and call the nearest school and ask “do you support Kick Drugs out of America Foundation.” If the answer is no – withdrawal your child asap. If the answer is yes – Jackpot! I highly doubt that any human would lack the where-with-all to go against the infallible word of Chuck Norris. This program is not just for the children either – scratch grandma off the Christmas list. Just think about all those AOL minutes you can purchase with the money you saved.

Why it Failed?

Are you kidding me? Chuck Norris is not scared to make a difference. Differences are scared of Chuck Norris.

– David Fernandez

If you enjoyed this, please repost. This took forever to write.

One comment

  1. Ha Haaaa! I love it! Reading this took me back to the good ole days! The 90’s were the time of In Living Color and The Wonder Years.. We had The Legend of Zelda and Sailor Moon. Ghost Busters and BEETLEJUICE!!! (sigh) Hulk Hogan was the closest thing to a real live super hero– Back in the day when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore , but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.

    “That awkward moment when you realize that not everyone is giving a standing ovation!”

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