Don: ( to Ted) St. Joseph has been doing the same commercial for twenty years, they’re bread and butter. Why did you pick them to push?
Ted: They kept asking me for their ‘plop plop, fizz fizz’, and all of the sudden she comes up with this? She can smell the Clio, Don!
It was a great scene, but there was just something so wrong about it, and it’s this: Ted’s reference to Alka-Seltzer is a BIG anachronism in the Mad Men Universe. Although it’s a great jingle, this is the totally wrong time period for it!
According to the site Ad Slogans, this is the history of Alka-Seltzer’s “Plop Plop Fizz Fizz”:
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is. ‘Plink, plink, fizz, fizz.’ The original “Plop, Plop” jingle was written in 1953 by Paul Margulies, father of actress Julianna Margulies (of TV show ER fame). The tune did not hit hit the airwaves until 1975, when the sprightly spokesperson Speedy Alka-Seltzer first sang it. Three years later, Sammy Davis Jr. gave the jingle his touch when he made two covers, one “Rock” and the other “Big Band,” and performed them on “The Frank Sinatra Show.” The original lyrics are simply: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!!”In 2007, Alka-Seltzer recreated its classic jingle in a TV ad released during the 2007 Super Bowl. The commercial was the end result of “Bring Back The Fizz”, a national “Battle of the Bands” competition held in December 2006, one of three advertisement re-makes connected with the 75th anniversary of Alka-Seltzer Advertiser: Alka Seltzer Ad agency: Jack Tinker & Partners
Now, I’ll give that the jingle had been written in 1953 and that Ted may have been aware of it. But herein lies the rub: If the jingle wasn’t used until 1975, how can Ted use this as an effective argument about it’s success since “Plop Plop” was still on the shelves at this point?
I checked print ads for Alka-Seltzer in 1968 and there’s no print reference to “Plop Plop…” The main focus of most print and TV Commercials was ‘Speedy’ the little half boy/half Alka-Seltzer creation voiced by actor Dick Beals. But even if if wasn’t used until the 1970′s, Alka Seltzer had a great spread of commercials from the 50′s through the 70′s, with the edgier ones starting around 1967 with “The Man and the Stomach” Enjoy these epic examples of commercials from a time when the average spot lasted 60 seconds:
The original Speedy extols the miracle of Alka-Seltzer nationwide:
Alka-Seltzer commercials get a lot edgier and funnier starting the mid 60′s. This great one featuring the art of R.O. Blechman in “The Man and The Stomach” voiced by Gene Wilder.
Alka-Seltzer “The Blahs” , also voiced by Gene Wilder.
The prison riot featuring George Raft — How many kids mimicked this commercial in their Elementary School Cafeterias?
(Maybe Peggy will think up the following one:)
Mama Mia, that’s a spicy Meatball!
Now Speedy did sing the ‘Plop, Plop Song, but this wasn’t until much later in one of his many comebacks:
Now Speedy’s in CGI:
Alas, after hearing Ted mention the yet-unused jingle in this 1968 episode, I think I’ll need an Alka-Seltzer!