February 22, 2014 posted by

Weird Ads I Know Nothing About

As embarrassing as is to admit, I don’t actually know everything. Sometimes a fellow cartoon buff will ask me if I can tell them something about a particular spot, and I sheepishly have to tell them I can’t. So today I’ve gathered up a few such spots, and maybe some of you people out there can tell me something about them. Just think of it, gang! Now’s your chance to write my column for me!

HO Quick Oats

These energy packed oats work on Jack the way spinach works on Popeye. Come to think of it, the giant even looks a little like Bluto. Maybe that’s where Quaker got the idea of having the mighty sailorman hawk oatmeal…

Bishop’s Nut Fudge

Very strange spot. Whoever made this one had never worked with sound before…


It’s a wonderful spot, no sh–

Post Raisin Bran

Did you know that your favorite breakfast treat is actually made by angels? You didn’t? Maybe it isn’t.

Dairy Queen

Another excursion above the clouds. Your good fairy knows what’s best for you, and right now what you kids need is lots of soft-serve ice cream!


Another weirdie. The animation looks to be the work of Shamus Culhane. Did I say that? Sorry.


  • Mike, that’s a 1950 DeSoto. John Sutherland did some spots for DeSoto (see Variety, April 7th, 1950) . I think the announcer is Bud Hiestand who voiced the first few Harding College shorts for Sutherland that MGM released in the late 40s and early 50s.

  • You’re right,Mike,about the spots being just a LITTLE weird! But still,I found them rather entertaining.Sounded to me like Mae Questel on the HO spot.and the Bishops Nut Fudge spot looked and sounded weirdest of all! It looks and sounds like something that aliens must think could fool us humans (and probably could,too!)

  • I believe that Dairy Queen ad can be found on many drive in film compilations.

    • The added insert of a local DQ address kinda gives it away I felt.

      Seeing some of these reminded me of one rather cheap-looking Post Sugar Crisp ad from the early 50’s that had a catchy tune to go with it I don’t mind sharing here…

  • In the long defunct magazine “Filmmakers Newsletter” there was a circa 1975 article on Shamus Culhane which was illustrated with still frames from various commercials he or his company had animated. At least one of them was a Bab-O spot and, while it was not this particular one, the inking and design style were the same.

  • Pocahontas in the Bab-O commercial is a dead ringer for Anne Lloyd of Golden Records and Mitch Miller’s Sandpipers fame.

  • An Absorbine, Jr. cartoon from around 1970 presents animated fungi against a human foot. They are coordinated by a radio-carrying bug and led by a general who sounds like Paul Frees (in American broadcasts; the Canadian version has its own vocal artists). The human fights back (“General … General … the enemy is using Absorbine, Jr … repeat, Absorbine, Jr.”) The general roars, “Chemical warfare! How low can you get!”

  • I think the Dairy Queen commercial resembles the work of Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising in their
    lasting monument to bad animation, “The Adventures of Sir Gee Whiz on the Other Side of the Moon.” Just speculation, but . . .

  • The Bab-O one is extremely clever.

  • That H-O OATS ad looks very Ted Esbaugh-esque.

    …could it be..?

  • Some speculations:
    “HO Quick Oats” is very much in the weird drawing and animation style of Australian Eric Porter’s Studio in the early 1950s.
    “Dairy Queen” is not so different from the work of Ted Esbaugh in the late 1930s and even closer to the style of the Jam Handy animated commercials of the mid 1930s and later.
    I agree that “Bab-O” definitely looks like a Shamus Culhane commercial.

  • The Post Raisin Bran commercial was first seen in 1955. Those “little angels” were seen on their boxes through 1959.

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