The Flintstones cartoon show premiered in 1960, and the characters have been popular ever since. With great popularity comes great demand to be a product spokesman. The Flintstones have appeared in commercials for everything from cigarettes to vitamins. I personally have animated dozens spots for Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, cereals that I would only buy if I really, REALLY wanted the toy inside. Even then, I would try to give the stuff away to my neighbors, which should give you an idea what I think of my neighbors.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more unusual advertising films featuring our favorite cavemen…
I’m not certain of the exact date, but this sales film is probably from around 1970. With the surprise success of its Skittle Bowl game, Aurora made the disastrous decision to enter the toy market. A look at the toys in this film may give you a clue as to why this venture ended so badly.
Produced by Hanna-Barbera, you can see some of the usual Flintstones animators including Jerry Hathcock, Bill Keil, and Irv Spence (Rascally Bill Keil actually snuck his name into one scene!)
Busch 1967 Advertising
Actor Gerald Mohr narrates this infamous sales film for Anheuser/Busch. A lot could be written about it but I’ll try to keep this short. The film is about the company’s new “Target Advertising” meaning that they intend to make a lot of money from a relatively small group of people. What people? The “Frequent Beer Drinker” of course. According to this film that means “The 20% of beer drinkers who consume 80% of the beer” or to put it in another fashion, alcoholics. Take a look at some of the horrifying samples of the live-action spots shown within, and all will become clear. I strongly suspect that Busch’s advertising agency wrote the script for the entire film.
Another Hanna-Barbera production. More H&B regulars appear among them Carlo Vinci, Hugh Frasier, George Geopper, Ed Love, and Ken Muse. The sequence showing animation of our present society was likely designed by Bob Dranko. Note that Fred Flintstone impersonates Jackie Gleason’s “Joe the Bartender” character in one scene!
Kids like monsters, right? I’ll bet they would just LOVE to see their favorite cartoon characters turn all hairy and nasty. UPDATE: Scott Shaw! says this one was done by Ray Favata at Tempo in NYC.
Fred finally presses charges against the cereal stealin’ Barney Rubble! Featuring the titanium tonsils of Gary Owens as the Judge. Produced by Playhouse Pictures. Directed by Gerry Woolery. Storyboard and layouts by Scott Shaw! Animation by Mark Kausler, Todd Shaffer, and myself.