George Lucas once said he wished he could track down every single copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special and smash it to pieces with a sledgehammer. Thanks to the easy breezy modern data transfers of today, that task just got a lot harder. A typical YouTube search turns up fifty different tapings of the special. Thousands, maybe millions, are watching the horror at any given time around the world. That's a lot of hard drives to smash, George -- better get busy. And honestly, your time would be better spent doing that than whatever you're working on.

To avoid Lucas's wrath, why don't we focus on the Star Wars Holiday Special advertising today? It's just as bad, just as perversely amusing, and pure-70's-insane. When you touch each picture, it will magically come to life! To protect your eyes, I've applied a special filter to the picture that makes it distorted, pixelated and out of sync. Yeah, that's it....a special filter.

The first company to sponsor this abomination was General Motors -- their first bad decision of many. This ad is typical of the kind GM ran for many years, profiling someone who worked there. It was basically a tactic of putting a human face on the company and saying "GM IS FULL OF PEOPLE! PLEASE SUPPORT IT!"
A robot that follows pen lines? It's awesome! They didn't sell the Trailtracker anymore when I was growing up. And why not? That's a cool gizmo. It follows straight lines! Curved lines! EVEN WAVY! I would have wanted one, and so would have every other kid I knew. I think I want one now.
"Aw yeah? Let me tell you something Edith meathead chomp cigar hate minorities flush toilet!"
Those weren't the days.
Where did all those pills go? 73% of the OTC products mentioned here are either no longer in production or just don't advertise. Are they recycled under new names, like when "Ecto-Cooler" became "Bieber Snot"?
This is something you definitely don't see today, mostly because it's so blasted cheesy. It's the faux-patriotic Union Label song! "There used to be more of us in the International Ladies Worker Garment Union," says....a man.
I didn't know what this was advertising at first because the first scene depicts a couple giving each other the same....ceramic misshapen donuts. Then a man who looks like he's way too old to get a doll of Snoopy for Christmas gets a doll of Snoopy for Christmas. But the donuts and the Snoopy doll are actually phones! If you're thinking about the gift of a telephone, make sure it's a weird one. And look for the Union Label!

Choosy Mas Choose Bell! Because they didn't have a choice!

In this commercial, Eeyore lectures us about how delicious food is also often bad for you. EXCEPT for Sugar-Free A&W Root Beer, which can extend your life by a full decade. It's foamy!
Only one product is big and flaky enough to satisfy that pair of legs....Hungry Jack Biscuits!
A CBS Cold War Newsbreak. Soviet president Brezhnev admitted that day his country had once tested a Neutron Bomb, but never put it into production. As she explains, an N-Bomb kills people but leaves buildings standing, which saves a fortune on rebuilding costs once you invade and take over. They also caught a young Russian spy selling American secrets. And a highly lethal bomb code-named the CONTAC was tested at Los Alamos. It splits in the center and drops hundreds of little colored balls onto unsuspecting Commies. And that's the way it is.
"HEY CBS!! WHAT'S COMIN' ON??" It's some kind of 50's-ish TV special. There was a lot of 50's nostalgia material produced in the 70's and 80's -- naturally because the humans in charge grew up during that period. They tried to leech off the explosive popularity of the Grease musical by setting this ad to the beat of "You're the one that I want, hoo hoo hoo."
McDonaldland Mugs are a mugful of fun! Add to your kitchen cabinet the classy glassy elegance of Ronald McDonald and his friends, but only for a limited time, and only in 1978! The Captain Crook mug was available that week. Whoever that character was, he vanished by 1987.
"This is TOBOR, the Telesonic Robot, Batteries Not Included. It does four things under the command of a remote: it goes forward, it circles, it...uh, circles again, and it magnetically picks up a little box, which has nothing to do with the remote but I'm listing it as a function anyway. I have some extra time, so I'll just mention TOBOR is ROBOT spelled backwards, in case you didn't know. But now you do. Buy American!"
No blush brush brushes blushier than Revlon's blush brush. You can blush brush your cheeks 'til they blush brashly. You can blush brush your shoulders, you can blush brush your cleavage, you can blush anywhere! HSUBL is BLUSH spelled backwards!
My....goodness. There are sometimes ads that have to hock an embarrassing product which figure, "why even try to disguise what this is?" So they go for broke and take the uncomfortable feeling as far as they can. I would say they should have thought of the multitudes of children watching that night, but the part with the Wookiee watching the erotic video had already aired, and that was WAY more traumatizing.
McDonalds has tried to initiate a lot of trends, and mostly failed. They really wanted this crazy Egg McMuffin song to catch on. There was also a period in the 80's when they wanted everybody to start doing a dance called "The Arch" where you hoisted your hands over your head in a circle and started jumping. Recently, they've wanted us to believe they're healthy, urban-hip, or both. Now, according to a "60 Minutes" story, they're sponsoring experiments to invent a mind-reading machine, which is beginning to achieve some success. They won't tolerate our free will for much longer.
That looks....highbrow.
Does every single thing have to be sold with a song? Half these ads are set to a corny backwoods tune. For the Milk Farmers of America, it wouldn't end with the 70's. Milk ads have been tragically unhip for ages. They always stodgically emphasized the healthy aspects of the product, or showed somebody craving milk at a time of day when no one ever craves milk.

It wasn't until the landmark genius "Got Milk" campaign that they finally got it right. People want milk with cookies. They want milk with breakfast. You show me a guy whimpering "aaron burr" because he can't wash down his meal, and I can relate. You show me a singing teenager in a white-man afro plucking a milk carton out of a convenience store rack and gushing it down right there, and...I can't say I've been there, farmers.

I've skipped a few commercials that didn't inspire any comments. I don't have anything to say about this one either, but I'm including it anyway, because it's the Animal House trailer. Yes, the grandmother of all frat comedies was playing around this time.
"It's very therapeutic," claims this ad for FTD Flowers. But if you were stuck in a hospital and a stranger came into your room dressed like that, how would you react?
Ugh, lady, PLEASE don't talk to us about the underwear you used to buy for your children. This was before the Mute button became widespread! It's a wonder that, as a whole, this two hours of television didn't kill Star Wars Mania dead before ESB could even be made. They got lucky.
There were a TON of undergarment ads during the Star Wars Holiday Special. And by TON I mean NOT. Because NOT is TON spelled backwards. After more pantyhose, there was an ad depicting stinky diapers. All the bases were covered.
The final ad is for Star Wars toys and narrated by C3PO. They waited clear until the very end to make their pitch, which wasn't the wisest of decisions. I calculate the odds of the average child successfully navigating all those boring songs and getting to this point at approximately 150,000,000 to one. It's a shame. That remote-controlled R2-D2 looks a lot better than TOBOR, to be sure.

The FINAL final ad is for wine, but the toys make a better ending point than that, OR than Carrie Fisher slurring out lyrics to the Star Wars theme. Until next time, have a meeeeerry Life Day, all of you.