We typically avoid marketing memes about “dead” and “dying,” such as the (now very old) one that claims “the 30-second TV spot is dead.” But every time we come across another article by The New York Times advertising “guru,” Stuart Elliott, we can’t help but feel they are right when they say “newspapers are dying.”
We’ve featured the stolid, stultifying, turgid prose of “dear” Stuart many times, even predicting two years ago The Times would put him out to pasture. Alas, he continues, phoning in another in a long line of warmed-over press releases about new campaigns for mind-bending products like cookies, cereal and bacon.
Worse, he rarely fails to start each column with an arcane reference to years gone way, way back, most typically the 1950s. We’ve highlighted several of his dopey columns and opening paragraphs before, but Stuart has been on a roll this year.
His time-warp machine is in overdrive.
He Posted About Postum !?!?!
In a May article about Ritz Crackerfuls, Elliott opened with: “The new campaign also includes television commercials, banner ads and video clips produced by Funny or Die that feature a devilish character who personifies hunger, much the way Mr. Coffee Nerves stood for caffeine jitters in ads decades ago for Postum, a coffee substitute…”
Do we need to tell you that the Mr. Coffee Nerves spots ran in the 1950s?
You Dirty, OLD Rat
In a July article about Levi’s, Elliott opened with: “Levi Strauss has a new message for the proud young men and women who hope to change the world, which echoes a line that James Cagney delivers in the movie ‘One, Two, Three’…”
Stuart was a couple years off on this one. “One Two Three” was released in 1961.
Speaking Of Hot Air
In a July article about General Mills, Elliott opened with: “General Mills, a marketer whose brand-building efforts date to the days when housewives listened to radio shows while vacuuming…”
Father Knows Best (1950s), anyone?
“Fire” Him !
In an August article about Firestone, Elliott opened with: “Decades ago, cars made by De Soto with model names like Fireflite, Firedome and Firesweep roamed American highways. That may have been as close as anyone could have come to driving a Firestone – until now.”
Would you be surprised to know that all three models were released in the U.S. in the 1950s?
Is There A Doctor In The House?
In a September article about Oreos, Elliott opened with: “If, as the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what, if anything, does an ad a day do?”
Remember when doctors made house calls? No, no one else does either.
In an article just two weeks ago for Truvia sweetener, Elliott opened with: “Decades ago, campaigns from brands like Tetley and Chesterfield celebrated, respectively, tea leaves and tobacco leaves.”
Elliott’s trusted phrase “decades ago” is once again spot on – you can purchase a vintage print ad on eBay showing the “Tetley Tea Tester” running around the globe looking for the best tea leaves. From 1957.