Buy your Color TV at the Howard Johnson’s?

This commercial from the early eighties is pretty straightforward. A great retro graphic (see above) and a fast talking salesman giving the skinny on an upcoming sale of what are probably used color TVs in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If it is so straightforward, why do I love this little snippet of retro advertising? Because my family used to go to floor model and remaindered electronics sales all the time hoping to score a cheap entertainment or life-improving option. Most of the time this ended badly for us, since they tended to make “all sales final”. Yes, it turns out a $99 air conditioner is usually too good to be true, but my first “walkman” came from such a sale and when I could afford batteries that thing ran like a champ for years. So results were mixed.

Nowadays I reckon they advertise a lot of sales like this online. That’s a shame because when you pop a fun graphic and throw it on the TV, a sale of potential junk at a Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge common room seems a lot more glamorous.

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