We’re still a week out from the Super Bowl, but some of the commercials that will air during the game have already began to pip up on line; loyal readers of the blog know how I feel about this, but this isn’t a trend that is going away. The proverbial genie is out of the bottle and more and more companies are going to continue to take advantage of the Interwebs to drum up excitement for their commercials and products in advance of the big game. I’m well aware that I’m tilting at windmills on this issue.
Today, one of the ads that I was most curious about was posted online: the Dannon Greek-yogurt ad that reunites the male leads from the 90s sitcom Full House. John Stamos (Uncle Jesse to people between under the age of 30) has been a spokesman for Dannon in previous ads, but for the Super Bowl they decided to bring out the big guns and bring back Bob Saget (Danny Tanner) and Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey) for a new spot (this may very well mark the first instance where Dave Coulier is referred to as “a big gun”).
The end result was fine, but not quite as funny as I hoped for. If anything the spot was a little racier than I would have anticipated, but otherwise it wasn’t all the memorable other than the fact it reassembled the actors. Perhaps there will be different version that airs during the game – one that explains what exactly happened to Aunt Becky (Lori Loughlin) since it sure appears that Stamos is dating again. I’m probably reading too much into this. Of course, this all would have probably been more entertaining had news of the reunion not been well publicized; because I knew the actors were reteaming, I had higher expectations than I would have if it had been a surprise.
I’m a little distressed that a brand is already cashing in on nostalgia for the 90s – wasn’t that just like yesterday? – but there is a long and proud tradition of bringing back “classic” characters for TV commercials. Old Navy in particular has made something of a cottage industry out of this. They brought back some Beverly Hills, 90201 actors…..
Much of the cast of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…..
George and Louise from The Jeffersons (R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford)
The cast of The West Wing reunited for a political ad:
I don’t know what it is about seeing these familiar faces reassembled that makes people so happy (myself included); I don’t even harbor any real affection for Full House, as I was a little too old to be into ABC’s TGIF lineup when it originally aired, but it still makes me smile. I guess it is just nice to revisit something from your past every once in a while. Whatever the reason, this marketing ploy clearly works and it isn’t just limited to commercials. The surest way to get a boost for a television show is to have someone guest star on the show that co-starred with one of the leads in another project. I call it stunt casting, but it gets eyeballs on the TV which is what they are going for. I’ll admit it was nice to see Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry share the screen again on a recent episode of Cougar Town even though they were playing very different characters from Monica and Chandler on Friends. Nostalgia is a funny thing.
So while I am looking forward to the game on Sunday (#TeamPeyton) and the halftime performance by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I am most looking forward to another rumored reunion that will bring Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Larry David together at Tom’s Restaurant. You can’t go home again, but for thirty seconds you get to feel like you did.