There’s no denying the fact that commercials vary in quality, and this can also be said for pizza commercials. I wrote about some strange ones in an article before, so I recommend reading that one first. However, there are several more that I saw before, but forgot about when writing it. There are also others that me and Cory discovered recently that I’d like to talk about. I believe that we’re due for a Part 2, so I’m giving you one. Let’s begin.
I mentioned before that the Showbiz Pizza Place characters were licensed to other pizza chains, but there are more characters that got left to collect dust. Here’s one whose name is Uncle Klunk, and the fact that he’s an uncle makes this a lot funnier to me. His shtick is that he answers a telephone and makes “witty” remarks that wouldn’t be out of place in a standup routine. It’s a simple comedy gag for the kids, but the way he’s introduced combined with the 70’s welcome-ish music seen in the Pizza Inn commercial from last time makes it a surreal, but engaging, experience.
Here are the oldest ones that I could find. This video has a trio of drive-in theater commercials from the 1950’s, complete with that post-WW2 commercialism spirit. Drive-ins were hell-bent on selling customers concession stand items, and I’m willing to bet that they delivered. I don’t know how popular pizza was in the 1950’s, but I’m sure ads like this introduced several people to it. The second one in particular is fantastic. All the people taking the pizza slices frustrates the narrator so much that he slaps someone’s hand while they try to get another slice! Tell us how you really feel, man.
One of the biggest names in pizza is Pizza Hut, and when they burst onto the scene in 1965, they needed to market themselves. They sure made a splash with this Benny Hill style ad. This features a man in the smallest car ever (this was before Power Wheels) causing the biggest ruckus of all time by accidentally bumping into someone, interrupting traffic, and running over someone’s foot. I’ll admit, I would want a word from the driver, but I wouldn’t chase them on foot all the way to a Pizza Hut. This proves problematic for the driver, as he gets finessed by everyone else; they steal his pizza! I’d be upset, and I wouldn’t pay for another one. I’d go into a corner and cry for thirty seconds. Then, I’d politely ask the others for a few bucks each so I could get another one. I’d probably be denied.
That’s not the weirdest commercial that Pizza Hut would put out, though. Times were changing in the 1990’s, so they decided to adapt to them with “The Pizza Head Show.” Literally every ad in this series is exactly the same: Pizza Head introduces a scenario, new pizza/menu item, or promotion, and the pizza cutter named Steve is introduced to Pizza Head by the narrator. Pizza Head sees through whatever disguise he has on, and the narrator reassures him that it isn’t a pizza cutter. Hijinks then ensue. Pizza Head himself is adorable, but how these commercials had the longevity that they had, I’ll never know. The miniature sets are great, though.
Pizza Hut wasn’t the only huge company making weird pizza commercials. Little Caesar’s commercials were always funny and fun to watch. My favorite has to be this one due to the absurdity of the situation at hand. The comedic timing is just perfect. Poor guy.
This one from the aptly named Pizza Place looks like it had absolutely no budget, but they still tried, which is admirable. It has a catchy little song, which runs down the menu effectively. A fine commercial all around.
Another catchy song can be found in this advertisement for Shakey’s Pizza, which I saw on an episode of South Park and didn’t know that it was real. I really like the vaudeville vibe that it goes for, as it illustrates that they serve fun well. They really want to sell their pizza and drinks, but most of all, they want to serve fun. Food is fun, so you win either way.
Another commercial with a low budget is this one from Husson’s Pizza. I know it isn’t technically old, but it’s still worth mentioning. I’ll always have a soft spot for puppets and bad CGI, and this blends them well. The puppets are charming, and the CGI Yeti is funny. Never mind the fact that no one would cater in the middle of a snowstorm, this commercial is fun.
Finally, there’s this commercial for David’s Pizza. This singing man is awesome, and I’m sure the pizza is, too. It has to be the best singing performance that I’ve ever seen in a pizza commercial. The blank background and the flashing “PIZZA” also add to it. This is a great example of simplicity in advertising. Some companies over or under think things, resulting in lackluster or annoying commercials. All you need is a product, jingle, and enthusiasm. All of these commercials have these, but this one illustrates that the best.
I briefly thought that this commercial was fake, judging by the description, but David’s Pizza is real. So I guess it’s real, I think. Either way, it’s still entertaining.
Well that’s all for today, kids! See you next time!
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Thanks for reading! YouTube clips uploaded by Showbiz Archive, 2thepast, Fortnermations, pimpythequick, DailyTechHD, The Pizza Place, TheRetroTimeMachine, Nicholas Husson, and Vincent Gargiulo. Featured image template is once again from Nintendo’s Mario Kart 64.