Unforgettable Local Ads

“Kemp Mill Records breaks its own records!” Everyone I grew up with in the Maryland suburbs of DC in the 1970s and ‘80s remembers these ads. Also, remember… records?

Kemp Mill Records!!!

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The McDonald’s in Yass, New South Wales was always good for a laugh on the long drive from Melbourne to Brisbane.


image The most memorable advertising sign in my life was the Marlboro man cigarette ad that used to stand outside of Gregory, Texas, on FM35 on the south side of the road between the intersections of Texas state highway 181 and FM361. What was unique was that it always had 2 to 3 arrows piercing the sign each time I drove by it–which made me chuckle!

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Or how about the Trunk Monkey commercials up in New England? Don’t know about them? Look them up on YouTube and be prepared to belly laugh!

I’m sure there have to be examples of this elsewhere, but I always chuckled getting of the turnpike in New Stanton Pa.



Donna and the Wolfman were a father/daughter duo in the Atlanta area with really memorable commercials in the 80’s. Their furniture stores are still around!


Merchant’s Auto in Hooksett, Nh has great radio ads! They do wacky voices, impressions, and funny stories in them. Whoever they have working on them does pretty good impressions of all the US presidents since Bush senior! They’re pretty well known/loved in NH.

There’s a billboard outside Salina Kansas for the “Second Friendliest Yarn Store in the Universe”.

This implies that:

  1. They are familiar with the entire universe and it’s yarn market.
  2. Somewhere, in the universe, there is a yarn store that is more friendly.
  3. They are principled enough to not DARE to claim to be the friendliest.
  4. The friendlier yarn store is so friendly, they have no hope of overtaking them in friendliness.



Does anyone remember “Cal Worthington and his dog Spot?” Each ad featured Mr. Worthington in a white cowboy hat walking through his car dealership with a different animal that was very definitely not a dog. I remember ones where he was riding a cow, carrying a parrot, I think one with a cheetah or a tiger or some other kind of big cat.


Long before digital anything, color TV or computer graphics perhaps one of the most iconic TV ad campaigns of all time burst forth in the 1950’s on small screen black and white VHF sets all over the 5 boroughs of New York City. At least 3 of the 7 then available TV networks showed them . I speak of course of Burt and Harry Piels. Simple Black and white line drawing animation for Piels Beer written by and voice over by Bob and Ray, stars of radio comedy famous for their deadpan, quirky and totally hilarious skits. “Urban Legend” is a just title for this pair and part of NY folklore.

Piels was a local NY beer brewed in Staten Island with nothing to recommend it and a small market share. With the introduction of Burt and Harry circa 1952, sales took off. The brewery eventually folded and is unremembered, but Burt and Harry went into the record books. Just do a internet search to see grainy B&W reruns. They even have a listing in Wikipedia.

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OK, Pittsburgh area, you know the drill:

Plus, it’s not Christmas season here until this starts playing:


The ones that immediately came to mind are Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress ads with Gordy Dodd (catchphrase “I won’t be undersold”). He dressed up like various movie characters and often involved his staff as well. https://youtu.be/YsQigUz6uq4

Another memorable one is the King of Floors from Surrey, BC and his loyal hound, Sir Scruffy. https://youtu.be/vGkwP4m1wCA

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I grew up in the Northern NJ area in the 70s and 80s (so the NYC market for TV purposes) We had so many memorable commercials! Some of my favorites…

Crazy Eddie

Newmark and Lewis (“Dick Lewis is watching!” Kinda creepy looking back at this LOL)

D’Agostino (This is so very catchy)

And this one for the MTA train to JFK. Every darn time I go to the airport, this pops in my head for some reason ha ha


These are great! And that “train to the plane” jingle is going to be a problem for me. It’s already stuck in my head.

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I logged in specifically to cite this ad :slight_smile:

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Anyone who grew up in the DC metro area in the 80s will remember the Jhoon Rhee ad and that damn jingle:

Still find myself singing it, or quoting the irritating kid at the end.


Oklahomans everywhere know that the Christmas season has really begun when they hear/see this ad.

Just start singing it in Oklahoma. I promise people will sing along.

LOL I know the feeling! Ha ha

Eastern Motors was a classic

Everyone who grew up in the Augusta, Georgia area in the 80s is forever haunted by the Master Fabricators jingle with the monkey riding in one of those quarter machine cars. “You’ll always get the shaft – the drive shaft – at Master Fabricators!”