If you grew up in southern California, you are painfully familiar with this series of television ads:
How many times–thousands, tens of thousands surely–were we subjected to these used-car-lot ads? Each ad was introduced with a frenzied cry of “It’s Cal Worthington and his dog Spot!”, followed by low-budget footage of somebody (presumbly Cal himself) awkwardly cavorting with a zoo animal that was never actually a dog. And the music that accompanied it… decades later, every word is still seared into my brain.
Oddly, these commercials always seemed to air at really inappropriate timeslots, such as during Thundercats and Duck Tales. I don’t know about most kids, but I certainly did not have any used-car purchasing power at that age. Cal Worthington at least provided me with my first lesson in marketing strategy: I quite clearly recall asking my dad once why somebody would create advertisements that seemed designed only to annoy and repel potential customers. Dad’s answer was “Well, you remember his name, don’t you?”
Oh, how I remember.by