12/17/14

SPICY MEATBALL RAVE-UP



Re: my two previous posts containing Alka-Seltzer commercials, above I've posted what is certainly Alka-Seltzers most famous commercial and probably one of TV's most beloved stupid commercials ever. The "Spicy Meatball" ad first aired in 1969 and, like most classic cinema, was initially considered something of a disappointment. Apparently sales of the antacid decreased as most people thought the ad was for the spaghetti sauce pictured on the table and not the medicine which is loudly touted in the voiceover that closes the ad. Jesus. Aside from that, the ad is notable for being 'self-reflexive', or in the words of modern-day literary criticism "performative". It is about the making of the commercial itself; the scripted commerical becomes the real life predicament of the actor; the use of the props (in this case the meatballs) causes the actual heartburn that makes the product a necessity to the performer; the director and camera assistant are all acutely annoyed at the difficulty the actor is having for a variety of reasons (early on it's revealed that they've gone to at least twenty-eight takes) and thus it can be assumed that they are suffering their own heartburn. Perhaps the crew indulged in an Alka-Seltzer rave-up after wrap, substituting the antacid for the usual beer/wine/vodka party on the camera truck. If so, it is a certainty that a belching contest ensued, the winner probably being the prop guy...

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