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Coca-Cola “Star Snacks” (1979)
A snipe is a film clip that runs before a film or during an intermission. It is different from other film clips like trailers in that its primary purpose is to advertise and inform. Of course, the best snipes manage to do both.
After the release of Star Wars, the world was crazy for space-themed entertainment and the snipes produced to advertise intermission snacks jumped on the bandwagon. Among the finest was one produced for Coca-Cola in 1979 called, “Star Snacks.”
It is a simple wordless advertisement for Coca-Cola and Popcorn, but the art direction and music make it stand out. It is wordless with no voice urging you to the concession stand. Instead, you get a starship that zooms onto the screen. It fires on a robot and that robot produces fresh delicious popcorn.
After the popcorn is popped, it is properly salted by the brave pilot of Salt Ship No. 7. I am not sure why they chose that name, but I love the specificity. Its the small details that make productions like this so memorable.
After the salt is applied, Popcorn Robot summons a space Coke, then we get this wonderful flashing advertisement for Ice Cream, Peanuts, Popcorn, and Candy.
Followed by the departure of the starship. I can only imagine it is moving on to spread a message of good snacking at movie theaters on other planets.
While this snipe is visually compelling, what really brings it together is the audio. So let’s watch and listen.
When I first watched this, I thought that at least some of the audio was provided by the legendary Suzanne Ciani. I reached out to Ciani and she said that she did not provide any of the audio for Star Snacks. Even if she didn’t do the audio directly, her creative DNA is all over it.
In 1974 Ciani founded Ciani/Musica. Inc. There she produced jingles and advertisements for companies like Coca-Cola. Listen to the audio sample of the famous Coca-Cola Pop & Pour she created.
I can’t help but also hear a little bit of the music from the TV show, In Search Of in here as well. Which could also have been influenced by Ciani’s work.
We all tend to balk at advertisements and interruptions to the film going experience. Snipes like Star Snacks prove that if you bring the right creative energy to even mundane advertising, you can make it memorable and re-watchable.