Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A brief history of TV Spokesmannequins

You've seen 'em by now -- those ubiquitous, annoyingly "Supermodelequinns" spots for Old Navy, which simultaneously portray both store mannequins and "Old Navy" shoppers as vapid, soulless, hunks of sculpted plastic:



Of course, the SpokesInaminateObject concept isn't particularly new. In fact, for several years now, we've had to endure the pointlessly disconnectedness of the Travelocity Gnome:



And of course, before that, we had the disturbingly cherubic Buddy Lee non-action figure in this Lee Jean campaign starting in 1998:




Oh, and let's not forget the skin-crawlingly plasticized expressions of the Burger King starting 2003:



...which in itself, seemed to be a minimalist version of not to mention those creepy "Putterman" family members in this Duracell campaign of the early 1990s:



And around the same time, the frozen-faced icon of the 1990s "Jack In The Box" campaign:



But I think you can trace the lineage of all these spots back to this inanimate celebrity and Boomer icon (and naturally, contemporary pitchman):

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