The commercials that stick

Today I was showing my wife one of the classic commercials from my childhood (and yes, I am dating myself here): the 1975 ad for the Chrysler Cordoba, starring the wonderful Ricardo Montalban and his rolling Spanish accent. His reference to “soft Corinthian leather” — which he apparently ad libbed during the filming — became a catch phrase embedded into American culture and forever associated with that car.

It’s fun to watch the ad now, especially the part where Montalban calls it “this small Chrysler.” The thing is huge! He’d never be able to park it in Portugal.

(Note: very bad video and sound quality.)

This was also most of middle America’s introduction to Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

Then my wife was reminded of one of the catchy commercials from her childhood, featuring Bic pens. The clear pens (crystal) had a normal point, while the orange pens (laranja) had a fine (fina) point. She sang the jingle, which made me laugh, and then we hunted it up on the web. So here, for the benefit of my Portuguese readers, is a piece of your youth:

I can see why it was a classic! Now it’s stuck in my head, too. “Bic, bic, bicbicbic…”


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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9 Responses to The commercials that stick

  1. syrin says:

    Probably THE most iconic commercial of my childhood
    is now so very ironic…

    • oregon expat says:

      Is it ironic now because nobody in Portugal can afford chocolate for Natal this year? (Or the next, or the next…)

      • syrin says:

        Could be. But no, I was actually talking about the story the grandfather is telling his granddaughter:

        “Depois estava o peixinho, veio o gato e comeu-o. Mas veio o cão, e o gato teve de se esconder. Depois, veio o coelhinho…”

        So basically all those animals are eating / scaring away the others, and in the end… came Coelho. (as in… our current PM). But the story could work in every country, because politicians blaming the one who preceded them and continuously screwing with our lives is, unfortunately, universal.

        • oregon expat says:

          Totally did not make the Coelho connection! (Besides, in the ad it’s a coelhinho…)

          In that case, who is the clown? 😉

          • syrin says:

            Well, according to the little girl, he went with Santa Claus (Cavaco) and the clown (Vitor Gaspar/Durão Barroso/any and all politicians) to the circus. In the end, they all leave the sinking ship with our Christmas bonuses on their brand new TGV, while we’re left at home, crying and pennyless.

            At least, this is my spin on this old Christmas classic.

  2. Ana_ñ says:

    LOL, that is so funny!
    1) In those times, my father had an immense Dodge Dart, station wagon
    2) We had the same commercial in Spanish!
    You can hear the differences:

  3. Catherine says:

    speaking of dating herself : the commercial of my first years (for peas) with its small character Pipiou, the green chick

  4. Kitty Montana says:

    So this advert (commercial) was before my time, but I only discovered it in recent times and its one of my favourite things on the internet! (its a go to feel good youtube clip, along with “model falling on runway”, though its more the newscasters laughing and the slow motion reply…but I digress). For those who understand, imagine my delight to hear Khan from Star Trek saying the words “Soft Corinthian Leather”….love it every time and I only know one other person who loves it as much as I do….until I read this post of yours!!! Awesome.

  5. bdot says:

    Corrrrinthian leather! How could you forget that? My first introduction to cruise control was in a Chrysler New Yorker. Huge car. But man was it a smooth ride.

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