Some people watch the Super Bowl for the advertisments, but me? I always liked to lurk on basic cable near the end of the night when local businesses could afford commercial spots. Sure, they usually lack the polish of the big firms and their lights, cameras and action, but they often made up for it in sheer gusto and/or craziness. Today we salute the best commercials Houston has produced.
Fiesta It's a newer one, but it's already carved a big old Texas-shaped hole in our hearts. Our own Billy Gibbons tells us exactly why he likes shopping at Fiesta, and he just makes doing so look like the coolest thing in the world. It doesn't hurt that you can take the commercial with 100 percent sincerity. Tons of local businesses know that Bill comes and goes as he pleases, and if he says he likes to shop at Fiesta, then by God he means it.
Jim "The Texas Hammer" Adler Honestly, I miss when he used to be the Tough, Smart Lawyer because that added some real class to the shouting. Still, even I have to admit the better commercials for Adler come from his later "Hammer" period. They're all good, but nothing tops him on the back of a semi screaming about how he is basically the king of all truck law who will defeat the mighty behemoths and gift you with their monetary innards.
Hilton Furniture Picking a single Hilton Furniture ad is damned near impossible. Should you go with the one featuring Booker T, or maybe the one where Hilton pretends to be live from the Toyota Center in front of the most obvious green screen ever? Nah, you've got to go with the classic where he chainsaws off the post of a bed, then proceeds to hump the saw for no reason.
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C&D Scrap Metal "We'll pay you in $2 bills!" That's the rallying cry in the famous C&D Scrap Metal commercials, and it's always made them exceptionally memorable. Probably the best of them was the time they teamed up with the Texas Renaissance Festival to let us know that you could sell them your old weaponry, which is probably the only weapon buyback program in Texas that wasn't protested. If you'd like to see something else funny, there's also a video of outtakes from when they were working with Dikembe Mutombo that's worth a watch.
The Stereo Warehouse When Stereo Warehouse wanted to advertise their sale when car radios were $19.99, the only sensible thing to do was dress someone up like Prince and have him parade around sounding like he was on cough syrup. How this video has not be legaled into ash, I will never know.
Colonial House In the early '80s, the idea was that you could turn Gulfton into a swinging place to live, and thus was born the refurbished Colonial House apartment complex. California promoter Michael Pollack was the suave, sexy face of trying to sell people on the idea of coming to live in the area, promising them free video players in the bargain. Maybe he was a bit too sexy. The rumor was that the complex was supposed to house swingers, and that earned it the nickname Venereal House.
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A Better Bail Bond According to the commercial, A Better Bail Bond will take care of you if you are arrested being a caveman or possibly for fighting with Hitler in public while wearing a cowboy hat. You know what; I'm going to save their number just in case. Someone who's prepared for that number of insane possibilities is probably going to be able to get me out of whatever mundane trouble I might find myself in.
IW Marks IW Marks has a long history of great commercials, but this one takes the biscuit. Someone actually said, "We want to sell diamond earrings; who can we get to model them?" And then someone else said, "Wrestling legend Paul Boesch" and everyone just went for it. It works, too, though honestly, the icy stare of Boesch out of the blackness with the Godfather violin in the background doesn't so much make someone want to go jewelry shopping as it makes them afraid not to. Whatever works.
Gallery Furniture How does one pick a single Mattress Mack ad? It's impossible. I've led with Chuck Norris offering to fight Mack for a chance to sit in a recliner, but the library of advertising gold is endless. There's also Mack holding a giant clock like he's the harbinger of death. There's also Mack dressed as the Easter Bunny extolling the virtues of his Dial-a-Mattress idea. But you want something that you can really take home to your mom to tell her you love her? Then you'll want Jamie Kennedy and Paul Wall chopping and screwing the commercials into pure perfection.
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Thunderbolt Houston has produced a lot of memorable songs over the years, but there is one and only one tune residents young and old probably all know by heart. That's the jingle from Thunderbolt, and their claim to put the Yee-haw back in your motor and transmission. The song is so catchy and accessible I honestly think we should use it as a universal hailing beacon for alien life. They were proud of this commercial, too. I remember seeing it for pretty much 20 years, and it is definitely one of the most memorable bits of Houston advertising ever done.
Did we miss some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.