Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where's the Beef? . . . 1984 advertising campaign featuring Clara Peller



Back in 1984, Wendy's came up with one of the most memorable ad campaigns of all time.  The phrase "Where's The Beef" caught on like wildfire . . . the connotation being that a Wendy's Hamburger was a comparatively bigger value than that of their competition. 






The slogan is a definite part of our pop culture . . . it is still part of present day slang as a saying for questioning the substance of any proposal, idea or product.  It was also used by Walter Mondale in the 1984 Democratic presidential primary campaign to critique the insubstantial proposals of one of his opponents, Gary Hart. 




The theme of the ad campaign was a disgruntled old lady who trotted into a non-Wendy's fast food restaurant, bought a hamburger with a "big bun," and griped, "Where's the Beef?"



The disgruntled old lady was Clara Peller, a retired Chicago manicurist.  She clearly represents Andy Warhol's "15 minutes of fame" adage as she went from obscurity to star after being discovered at the age of 81 . . . she passed away from natural causes in 1987 . . .





Her uniquely husky voice and quirky mannerisms caught the attention of an ad agency working on an advertising campaign for the then struggling Wendy's fast food chain.  The rest is history . . .















The advertising campaign was a huge success, finding Clara herself on a number of tie-in products . . . coffee mugs, t-shirts, posters, puzzles, bubble gum, a "Where's The Beef" game and on and on . . .












A single was even released based on "Where's The Beef"







Here are some of the television commercials . . . seems like yesterday!














A bit more nostalgia . . .






The advertising campaign ran for two years, although it seems longer . . . but left a lasting impression for pop culture historians.





No comments:

Labels

1950s (2) 1960's (2) 1960s (4) 1970s (3) 1980s (3) 50s (1) 70's (2) aging (2) Alyssa Milano (1) American Bandstand (1) Anna Magnani (1) Annette Funicello (1) atari games (1) baby boomers (1) Back to the Future (1) beach movies (1) bicycles (2) bill murray (1) Board Game (1) board games (1) boomers (1) Burt Lancaster (1) cartoon (1) catinthehat (1) cheech and chong (1) chevy chase (1) christmas (3) Christmas ornaments (1) christmas tree (2) Christopher Lloyd (1) christopher-reeve (1) Clara Peller (1) comedy (1) commercials (2) dan ackroyd (1) Davy Jones (1) dick clark (2) Disney (1) dogs (1) Donnie and Marie Osmond (1) dr. seuss (2) drive-in movie theater (2) drug culture (1) Ed Sullivan (1) eddie van halen (1) edward scissorhands (1) Elvis movies (1) elvis presley (2) family (2) family dinner (1) Fire Marshal Bill (1) Follow That Dream (1) Fran Drescher (1) Frankie Avalon (1) freddie boom boom cannon (1) Freddie Prinze (1) free love (1) frisbee (1) funny movies (1) games (1) generations (1) George Carlin (5) gilda radner (2) green eggs and ham (1) hippie (1) holidays (1) hula hoop (1) hula hoops (1) In Living Color (1) jane curtin (1) jane-seymour (1) Jim Carrey (1) joanne woodward (1) john belushi (1) johnny depp (11) Jonathan Winters (1) Judith Light (1) Katherine Helmond (1) Kevin Costner (1) kimora lee simmons (1) King Biscuit Flower Hour (1) Kmart Blue Light Special (1) Leave It To Beaver (1) Love-Story (1) Madonna (1) Marilyn Monroe (1) Marlo Thomas (1) Michael J. Fox (1) Mickey Mouse Club (1) Midnight Special (1) Mill (1) Monkees (1) Mork and Mindy (1) Mouseketeer (1) movies (3) music (4) na-nu na-nu (1) New Years Eve (1) OfficeSpace (1) one day at a time (1) Pam Dawber (1) paris hilton (1) paul newman (1) paul revere and the raiders (1) Payday Board Game (1) pillsbury dough boy (1) political correctness (1) Rick James (1) Robin Williams (1) romantic movies (2) Ryan Seacrest (1) saturday night live (2) seinfeld (1) Shelly Long (1) silver christmas tree (1) sitcoms (2) society (1) somewhere-in-time (1) soup nazi (1) Taco Bell Dog (1) television (9) television commercial (4) Tennessee Williams (1) That Girl (1) The Beatles (1) The Bodyguard (1) The Money Pit (1) The Nanny (1) The Notebook (1) The Rose Tattoo (1) tim burton (1) Tom Hanks (1) tom petty (1) Tony Danza (1) toys (1) Up In Smoke (1) valerie bertinelli (1) van halen (1) vincent price (1) vintage postcards (1) vintage stuff (1) wedding (1) weight problems (1) Wham-O (1) where the action is (1) Whitney Houston (1) Who's The Boss (1) winona rider (1) Wolfman Jack (1)