One of the things I did over the weekend was tape transfers. I am always pleasantly surprised when I revisit my video collection and actually watch the trailers. I remember the days of fast forwarding through the beginning of all my videos, being impatient and just wanting the movie to start. These days, I’m a tad more patient with commercials and movie trailers.
Being nostalgic, and a nostalgia writer, has given me the patience and wanting to slow it down and actually watch the things I fast forwarded through in my uninformed youth. In doing so, I’m finding out about movies I didn’t even know existed, spotting commercials I had forgotten about for years, and I even spotted this “special feature” that showed up long before there were DVDs and actual special features.
Strange enough, I only knew Space Ghost as a talk show host before I knew he was actually a 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
I don’t ramble on and on because there is no point, but all of these fun discoveries (and, in this case, re-discovery) lead me to one of my finds worthy of Retroist.
Running With the Big Dogs…
Chances are, you have seen at least some aspect of the sportswear company called Big Dogs. It was the Dad Wear of choice in the 1990s, long before there was such as term as “dad wear” and “Dad Bod.” They sell everything from t-shirts to sweatshirts, loungewear to boxer shorts, and even accessories for people and, well…their dogs.
The shirts often had “humorous” sayings that were the kind of things dads wore around their 1990s kids because the felt like they were being cool. I’ve equated Big Dogs to being the “No Fear” of the 1990s psuedo cool adult set. Remember those shirts? I had two of them. But I also remember Big Dogs.
Surprisingly, I don’t remember any kind of advertising for the company, just that I saw men wearing the shirts, as they seemed to advertise themselves.
The other night (in the midst of the tape transfers and “adulting”), I was working on a tape transfer of my 1994 VHS print of Clean Slate. You may remember it as that other romantic comedy Dana Carvey starred in, after Opportunity Knocks proved Carvey wasn’t the first name that came to mind when you heard “romantic comedy.” I loved Opportunity Knocks, and I know I loved Clean Slate back when, but I’m not really sure how I would feel about it now.
Anyway, when I was watching the previews before the movie, there was this one commercial that used the feature film as a tie-in, if only to give people who ordered from the catalog a discount. To me, it is notable as the only advertising I’ve ever seen for Big Dogs, and I obviously had forgotten about it.
Sandy…From Santa Barbara
The commercial features a group of sad-sack type office people, who are groaning about needing an “outside consultant.” These people are complaining to Mr. Magilicuddy. This “outside consultant” is named Sandy…which is only appropriate because she comes from Santa Barbara.
Why is that relevant?!
Santa Barbara, Sandy explains, is also home to Big Dog. She launches into the catchphrase of Big Dog, to which the office people give the same exact look I’m making while watching this commercial.
And then she uses Big Dogs catchphrases as insults towards the group (especially “Clark”) before we see clips of cool, successful people wearing Big Dogs clothes.
They’re all not “Clark.” We then find out that there are Big Dog stores throughout the United States, as well as a catalog.
But wait, there’s more!
First-time catalog shoppers can get a 10% discount just by mentioning the movie Clean Slate. And while I’m sure the customer service representative who takes your order knows about the promo, chances are they probably didn’t see the movie. Because no one really did.
Except for me, and the people who are reading this. Because Retroist readers and contributors always seem to be ahead of the curve, even with box office bombs.
We’re the smart bunch, and way cooler than this office crowd.
We’re given a toll free number…
And Sandy throws more insults disguised as Big Dog-isms, before we’re reminded of the discount offer and phone number again.
But don’t take my well-written words for it – click play and get sucked in by corporate madness and big dogs!
And my takeaway from all this? Be cool. Wear Big Dogs. Be like Sandy.10% discount on your first order. Clean Slate. Don’t forget to mention Clean Slate. Don’t be like “Clark.”
Lead follow, or get out of the freakin’ way…”Clark.”
She can be found at allisonveneziowrites.com.You can follow her blog on Facebook (facebook.com/allisonswrittenwords), Instagram @allisonswrittenwords, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
(Her fiancee is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)
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