Saturday, April 8, 2017

Remember when this was the most annoying ad on TV?

Come with me as we return to a time before ads for pharmaceuticals dominated (or were even on) the airwaves, when the most annoying, or overplayed, commercial on television began with strains of classical music and an elegant, mustachioed Englishman uttering these memorable words....

"I'm sure you recognize this lovely melody as 'Stranger in Paradise.' But did you know that the original theme is from the 'Polovetsian Dance No. 2' by Borodin? So many of the tunes of our well-known popular songs were actually written by the great masters—like these familiar themes..."

Although the ad stopped airing in 1984 (13 years after it began running, and a year after actor John Williams' death), I bet most (all?) of you remember it. (The spouse and I do -- and were quoting it while listening to classical music over breakfast this morning. Hence this post -- and the accompanying ear worm(s).)

For those of you who don't remember or have a fuzzy memory of the ad, it was for 120 Music Masterpieces, a four-record set of classical music excerpts from Columbia House (later Vista Marketing), which contained these timeless classical melodies, "performed by Europe's finest musicians." (And if you acted quickly, you could also get an additional 30 piano masterpieces!)

As annoying as the ad was, though, I would rather be bombarded with ads for classical music than with ads for Humira, Xerelto and/or Viagra. Unlike all of the pharmaceuticals advertised on TV, the only negative side effects of classical music are mild sleepiness and boredom.

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