Seldom has there been a product that had the kind of savvy marketing that Alka-Seltzer has had. So many of their slogans have entered the American lexicon, like “Try it you’ll like it!”, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!” – and the ever popular “Mama mia! ‘Atsa some spicy meatball!”
I can’t say that I’ve ever taken Alka-Seltzer before so I couldn’t tell you if the stuff actually works or not. As a kid though, Alka-Seltzer was always useful for playing stupid pranks. Putting a couple of tablets onto your tongue and then drinking a glass of water was always good for a few laughs (Just remember to go outside before trying that one, gang.)
Alka-Seltzer ads are often live-action, but they’ve successfully used animation as well, notably those with their famous stop-motion mascot, Speedy Alka-Seltzer. Let’s look at a few memorable spots…
Speedy and Buster
What better way to usher in the new year than with a spot featuring Buster Keaton?
Buster and Speedy also did a print campaign as well…
For discomfort down under, Australia had Alka-Seltzer too. They even had their own Speedy, although he was done in cel animation rather that stop-motion.
Interesting combination of stop-motion and cel animation here. This ad cleverly spoofs the commercials for the many over the counter head and stomach drugs that were filling the airwaves at the time. (Sorry, but the very beginning of this spot has gone missing somehow.)
Produced by Elektra Films and designed by illustrator William Steig. Gene Wilder narrates. A bona fide classic!
Man Arguing with Stomach
One of the most famous TV spots of all time – also featuring the voice Gene Wilder. This time designed by Bob Blechman.
P.S. “Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz”, even Little Audrey and Melvin got into the act!