Craig McNamara blogs and podcasts about advertising and working in advertising
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):
Craig McNamara, writer, has over 25 years experience in creating advertising, including 14 years at several of Minneapolis' best-known ad agencies. His work has won awards in both local and national award shows. He's also the author of a book on Minneapolis/St. Paul history and culture. You can find out more about him and view his portfolio at craigmwriter.com.
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