CLASSIC ANIMATED ADVERTISING
October 12, 2013 posted by Mike Kazaleh

Commercials Animated by Emery Hawkins and Herman Cohen

stop-76-550

We have a twofer for you today. Two animators, one whom you probably know about, and one whom you may not know so much about. Emery Hawkins and Herman Cohen. Both of these men had long, busy careers.

Herman Cohen spent significant time at the Max Fleischer studio in New York before moving west to the Leon Schlesinger studio. He worked at Walter Lantz, and at MGM during the CinemaScope era. He was one of the regulars at Playhouse Pictures. He also did work for Jay Ward and UPA (on The Famous Adventures of Mister Magoo.) While Cohen did great animation of the more traditional type, he had a graphic sensibility that really became apparent when he was animating more stylized characters.

Emery Hawkins moved around a lot but worked steadily. He had worked at Mintz, Disney, MGM, Walter Lantz, and Warner Bros. Most of his commercial work was for Playhouse and Storyboard Inc. Hawkins had an unusual and elastic style of animating, and he too was able to do creative work on the more stylized type of characters.

Here then are a few of their commercials…

Stop at the Sign of 76 (aka Faces)

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Produced in 1956 by Playhouse Pictures for the Young & Rubicam agency. Herman Cohen animates the first part, and Emery Hawkins animates the second part. Directed by Bill Melendez and designed by Chris Jenkyns. The lively score is by Jack Fascinato with lyrics by Rubye Mae Griffith.



Falstaff – Punt

Comic actor Eddie Mayehoff is “The Old Pro”. From 1959. Animation is by Emery Hawkins. He gets amazing variety into the walks and runs in this commercial.



Old Pro Dance

Herman Cohen animates this spot featuring “Mrs. Old Pro”. From 1957.

Here is a rare photo of actor Eddie Mayehoff with Playhouse Pictures publicity director George Woolery who, funny enough, is not related to producer Ade Woolery.

Eddie-and-George550



Maypo – Uncle Ralph

Produced by Storyboard Inc. and directed by John Hubley. Animation is by Emery Hawkins, who animated a few other Maypo spots including the very first one.



Ford Telescope

Made for the Tennessee Ernie Ford show in 1958. Herman Cohen animates. Herschel Bernardi does the voices.



Kaiser Foil

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From 1959. The first of several spots for Kaiser foil starring Clark Smathers, aluminum foil salesman. Directed by Bill Melendez. Designed by Chris Jenkyns. Animated by Herman Cohen. Written by Stan Freberg who also voices Smathers. In his 1988 autobiography, Freberg wrote about the fact that Kaiser foil had very poor distribution:

“It turned out that the main airtime for these spots would be once a week in the ABC television show Maverick, starring James Garner. I remember wondering why a company would buy time on an expensive network show if its foil wasn’t in most stores. Years later I found out that Henry Kaiser played golf with his friend David Reynolds, CEO of Reynolds Wrap, who sponsored some big network show, and it was embarrassing to Kaiser that he didn’t have a network show too. So he ordered the agency to buy some nice highly rated show. They bought Maverick. That way, even if nobody bought his foil, he could at least say, ‘Ahem! I have a TV show too, you know!’ when he played gold with David Reynolds.”


15 Comments

  • much thanks for this post. I had no idea jack fascinato did music scores for animated cartoons while working on kukla fran and Ollie.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/jack-fascinato

    also, that Kaiser quilted foil ad is one of the most bizarre I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe Kaiser approved an ad that shows their salesperson hitting people and admitting that their product is not popular.
    it looks like the company is still in business, though they no longer manufacture quilted foil for home use.

    http://www.kaiseraluminum.com/

  • The last one was hillarious!

  • Had to zero in on one YouTube comment I hate to hear many times over…
    “Wow, commercials were really long in the ’50s.”

    Had to get that off my chest, but I wish I didn’t have to share the net with those half my age.

    “It turned out that the main airtime for these spots would be once a week in the ABC television show Maverick, starring James Garner. I remember wondering why a company would buy time on an expensive network show if its foil wasn’t in most stores. Years later I found out that Henry Kaiser played golf with his friend David Reynolds, CEO of Reynolds Wrap, who sponsored some big network show, and it was embarrassing to Kaiser that he didn’t have a network show too. So he ordered the agency to buy some nice highly rated show. They bought Maverick. That way, even if nobody bought his foil, he could at least say, ‘Ahem! I have a TV show too, you know!’ when he played gold with David Reynolds.”

    Doesn’t surprise me the slightest (I sure a few in my hometown would’ve done the same). I see Kaiser also got into the TV station ownership biz such as starting up Detroit’s WKBD 50 (never forget). Not bad for a guy who dabbled in different industries. Love the self-referential bit towards the end of the Kaiser Foil ad here, that was pretty spot-on! Not to say it led to word-of-mouth by the public willing to try a new brand they can’t get thanks to it’s limited distribution.

  • That Kaiser Foil commercial is VERY self-aware once you read Stan Freberg’s recollection and realize what was going on.

    Last year I interviewed David DePatie for a magazine. He told me about his time running the Warner Bros. Commercial Division, servicing “Maverick” in particular:

    “One of my biggest jobs with the commercial division at that point in time was to service the Maverick, the Jimmy Garner show. Unlike many other show in television, it was an hour show each week and it required brand new commercials every week. There was no such thing as reusing a commercial, whether a 30-second or a 60-second. They were all made, brand-new, every week, for each show. As a matter of fact, the advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, they took offices in my office suite at Warner Bros. to service the account.”

    • Maverick was produced by WB, and the cartoon department did do some animation for the spots. Here’s one animated by Art Davis and Virgil Ross:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy0ukvXSwBI

      But David DePatie was mistaken when he said that there was no such thing as re-using a commercial. Any TV viewer could have told you different because filmed commercials were repeated constantly. Also having a weekly half hour show was not an unusual thing.

    • Maverick was produced by WB, and the cartoon department did do some animation for the spots. Here’s one animated by Art Davis and Virgil Ross:

      Love this ad, thanks Mike!

  • Thank you for posting.

  • The commercials Mike posts are always cool, but DANG, the combination of Hubley and Hawkins is on a whole different playing field.

  • I think these posts on animators of American commercials are very good. However, most of the videos don’t play well; slow, out of sync sound, a lot of skipped frames. In animation EVERY frame is precious and hand-crafted. It isn’t much of a tribute to the talents that made the commercials to show their work with much of the material missing. I don’t like the way these show on my computer screen. I have the fastest Internet speed that AT&T can provide. Am I the only one, or are any other viewers having the same problems with Cartoon Research embedded video?

    • Have you tried viewing the videos on a different browser? There’s a difference in quality when a video is played on any Internet browser.

    • Methinks it’s just you and your computer, Mark. Do other videos on You Tube give you the same problem? Or is it just when they are on Cartoon Research? Do You Tube embeds in other CR posts – like Fred Patten’s – play the same inferior way, or is it just Mike’s commercials? I’m as curious as you to hear from other readers who might have the same issue.

    • I would think it’s Mark’s computer as well if the quality setting isn’t set just right (I normally have it at 240p simply because my connection is capped to a limit per month, but if you had it at 480p or higher that should provide good results as long as your ISP is optimal.

      I simply don’t want to blame the quality of the recordings used for these clips simply because Mr. Kazaleh did his best with what he was able to get here (time codes and all).

  • I tried to play the videos in Internet Explorer (I use Firefox mostly) and they are a bit better. However, when I play the videos full screen they still are out of sync and drop frames. The “76″ spot has pixel artifacting and the images “pile up” on each other. These look a lot better on a 16mm projector. I have the same problem with most of the embedded video on Cartoon Research, other sites play better, but not as good as film.

  • Jack Fascinato was the longtime arranger and conductor for Tennessee Ernie Ford, on television, and on Ernie’s Capitol Records.
    Fascinato made one of those early “ping pong” stereo records of peculiar instrumentals for Capitol, called “Music From A Surplus Store”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeeMcHNTKoE

    Before arriving in Hollywood, Fascinato spent several years in Chicago as the musical director for the original Kukla, Fran and Ollie TV series. Fascinato can be heard on piano, as he accompanies Burr Tillstrom and Fran Allison in this early kinescope clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwjYb5xhGuU

  • Peter Brown: Right. In Florida and Wisconsin it’s now in the too-close-to-call category. Ohio remains narrowly in the president’s column.

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