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1970s Brands From Life on Mars

October 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

By Garland Pollard

The ABC television drama Life on Mars with Jason O’Mara and Harvey Keitel is the perfect show for BrandlandUSA. Why did we like it? We could put it intellectually, that we liked the central theme about the overlap of past and present. And because it’s a good show.

But let’s get real. We watched the first and second episode to see what brands they scrounged from the 1970s. A few things they dredged up?

  • Great music. Theme song “Life on Mars” by David Bowie. It was played on an 8-Track, the RCA logo quite visible.
  • Fist fights! What happened to fist fights!
  • The New York Daily News
  • Chevy SS
  • Plymouth
  • A mention of Cream of Wheat
  • A Flxible bus, from the GM (not Grumman) era
  • A mention of the band Hall & Oates
  • A screen shot of the CBS television show Cannon
  • Roosevelt Hospital, with nurses in white, not bad-print shirts
  • An unnamed reel-to-reel player
  • Sloan Urinal Flush Valves
  • Street scenes with 1970s Lincoln Continental 
  • The police cars in episode two looked to be a Dodge and a Plymouth Belvidere or Satellite.
  • A Mercedes, which looked at first glance to be a 300 SEL
  • The World Trade Center. Gosh how we miss it and wish they were putting TWO square looking buildings back up.

The website is great. It has a video game (a sort of Pong), Sam Tyler’s soundtrack (some good Pink Floyd), and podcasts from the producer.

Good line from the show that applies to BrandlandUSA? “I am sick of this cosmic joke that everyone seems to be in on but me.”

The ads are great, and work with the show’s vintage theme. They include the Toyota Corolla, Cadillac, JCPenney and the like, though some ads might have been regional buys.

More branding stories of interest:

Heat Miser Returns; Shows Value in Rankin Bass Animation Brand
Six Life Tips From Gilligan's Island
Bring Back the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha!
Thinking About Congoleum and Linoleum
Kukla, Fran & Ollie Come Back on DVD
Seven Totally Archaic Things That Will Survive

Tags: Media

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Debby // Dec 25, 2014 at 1:59 am

    So much more indigenous stuff from the 70’s the show could use. AMC Pacer,Charlie perfume,the list goes on.

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