Since the holiday season is here, many of us may overdo the merry-making and should heed the words of the Candy Man himself, Sammy Davis Jr, from this 1979 Alka-Seltzer holidays campaign, “Don’t let an upset stomach and headache turn you into a Scrooge! Take Alka-Seltzer! The sound of fast relief!”
Sammy Davis Jr. was the Alka-Seltzer celebrity spokesperson for many years in the late ’70s. His charismatic, “Mister Entertainment”, stage persona was used to its fullest in the commercials, and were usually set within a nightclub or production studio. In 1978, Sammy Davis Jr. appeared in this Christmas-themed Alka-Seltzer advertising.
What made the 1979 campaign something special was that it focused on the holiday season almost completely and had changed Sammy Davis Jr’s persona of a flamboyant stage performer into a magical, Santa-like character who carried in his flying sled not a bag full of toys and gifts but a sack full of “fast relief.”
It is his rendition of the Alka-Seltzer jingle that has made it indelible in our collective Pop Culture psyche. Sammy Davis Jr.’s popularity, combined with the catchiness of the “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh What A Relief It Is!” jingle, gave fruit to a product giveaway, the “Alka-Seltzer presents THE SOUND OF SAMMY” record album which had, amongst several of Sammy Davis Jr.’s signature hit tunes, a version of the Alka-Seltzer jingle that ran over two minutes.
What you just heard gives full testament to the entertaining power of Sammy Davis Jr. in that you just listened to what is nothing short of a two minute commercial for Alka-Seltzer and you probably loved it.
Sammy Davis Jr.’s fantastic singing gives fast relief to the ears.
Want to see more of Sammy Davis Jr. and his Alka-Seltzer commercials? Click on the image below for another Retroist post about him.
I like to look back at our collectively-shared Pop Culture history and write about it, but mostly I try to buy it all back off eBay.