1970s Brands From ABC’s Life on Mars

The ABC television drama Life on Mars with Jason O’Mara and Harvey Keitel is the perfect show setting for brands. To put it intellectually, the central theme is about the overlap of past and present.

What were some of the brands they dredged up?

  • 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: “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.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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1 Comment

  1. 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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