December 6, 2014 posted by

Sweets for the Sweet


Advertising is mainly about trying to sell you things that you don’t necessarily need. The sweet snacks and goodies that wreck your teeth, make you put on pounds, and break your budget may not be necessities, but they are fun things for sure, and very lucrative for the companies that produce them. No wonder then that these companies compete so fiercely for the approval of your tastebuds… No wonder that they spend so much money buying air time to run spots like these…


Voices by Daws Butler. Introduced by Arnold “Chunky” Stang.

Beech Nut – Beechies

From Paul Fennell Productions.

Oreo Land

Also from Paul Fennell. Animation by Virgil Ross.

Helms Olympic Bakery

From Playhouse Pictures. Daws Butler is the donut taster. Mel Blanc says one word. Made in 1956.


Produced and directed by Karl Fischer. Featuring the voices of Gene Wilder and Henry Morgan.

Mister Softee

Unusual limited animation for the famous ice cream store on wheels.


If you watched all those other commercials, you probably need to watch this one now…


  • That Helms Olympic commercial is great. I love the animation of the doughnut taster getting more and more unhinged. Daws Butler’s voice fits perfectly.

  • MK-
    1. What year would you date the Mr. Softee spot?
    2. My fave of this bunch is probably the Helms plug. I think it was made for an older audience than the others…

    • Well, Alka-Seltzer was certainly aimed at an older audience too; and the foods caricatured in it (spicy sausages, deviled eggs, onions and peppers, etc.) would lean that way as well, rather than the endless sweets of kiddie-tummy-ache cartoon gags. I seem to recall some big time comic artist having been brought in to design that spot, but can’t remember who!
      Not long ago I read that the “Mister Softee” jingle ranks near the top of a list of “earworms,” songs you just can’t get out of your head once you hear them. Henry Mancini’s “Pink Panther” and David Seville’s “Witch Doctor” were also high on that list. I haven’t seen a Mister Softee truck since I was a kid; are they even still around?

    • Gee, funny you should mention it, Jeff: I’ve had the “Pink Panther” theme running through my head all day today, even as I write this! I can also claim the Mister Softee jingle has had the same effect on me, but for a more personally endearing reason.
      Back in the day (the early 70’s, to be precise), when I was still a strapping young lad living just across the Hudson from NYC, every summer me, my sibs, and all the other kids in our neighborhood would hear that familiar sound ringing throughout the neighborhood. And when we did, we knew that our favorite ice cream truck with the picture of that familiar face we’ve come to know and love is coming just around the corner or down the street from us. All the kids would come for blocks (or often, straight from school after classes) and flock around the truck to get a refreshing heap of cool, creamy goodness in a waffle cup. There was something distinct about the Mister Softee ice cream that set it apart from regular ice cream. It had a much softer texture, about the same as what we know today as a “smoothie”. Of course, Mister Softee had it’s share of competitors, not just from local, privately owned ice cream vendors, but also in particular from the Carvel ice cream store chain, which at that time was doing so much big business that plans to expand it’s enterprises further around the Tri-State area had just begun.
      Oh, and to answer your question, Jeff: last time I checked (which may or may not have been late spring of this year), the Mister Softee trucks are still out there in full force (last seen somewhere on the outskirts of Elizabeth, NJ). I recently heard news that the franchise was poised for a buyout by a new owner, but I can’t tell you whether the deal went through or not.

      Btw, that Alka-Seltzer ad was hilarious! I can’t believe it was made in the 50’s, or that (as Jim Batts mentioned below) Wally Wood was involved with it at all! I almost thought it was one of those gag spots that J.J. Siedelmeier does for SNL’s “TV Funhouse”!

  • MK:
    I,too,really like the Helms Olympic spot! Thanks for sharing!

  • The drawing at the head of this article: That actually happened to me!

    • Yup, Mike’s picture happened to me, too. As an adult! The culprit was a Sugar Daddy, a bar of hard chocolate caramel on a stick that you had to suck on for about half an hour to make it at all chewable. Even then it was a thick gluey mass. Yummy, though. As a kid, I’d relax after delivering my newspapers by lolling on my bed reading the latest comic books and slurping on a Sugar Daddy. Sometime in the mid-90s, I came across a Sugar Daddy display in a store and thought, “They still make those?!” and bought one for nostalgia’s sake. Darned thing pulled a filling out…

  • Hmmm. I think I read somewhere that the great EC comics genius Wally Wood had a hand in the design of the Alka-Seltzer spots! Pretty sure he did the print ads, too!

  • You could tell that was Mel Blanc from just that one word? Good ear, Mike!

    • I’m not so sure about that. Sounded more like Frank Nelson to my ears.

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