If you're looking for a spokesman to pitch your product, it's pretty hard to beat Superman. Not only is he known for his honesty and integrity, but let's face it: He's stopped so many meteors, giant robots and alien conquerors over the years that if he tells you to go out and buy two boxes of Corn Flakes, you kind of owe it to him.
But whatever the reason, there's no arguing that he's had a successful career shilling for products. To prove it, Network Awesome put together a pretty amazing collection of commercials starring the Man of Steel that have aired over the past 60 years, from the cereal commercials to the '50s to the more recent short films with Jerry Seinfeld and Patrick Warburton for American Express. Check out the full collection after the cut!
There are a few commercials in there for stuff that you'd expect, like Superman action figures and a set of Colorforms that accurately reflect the idea that Silver Age Lois Lane was just constantly beset by robbers who kept dragging her up to rooftops and expecting it would work out well for them. The other stuff, though, occasionally gets downright bizarre.
Personally, I'm pretty mystified by the one where Superman decides to join the Air Force because nobody else will let him play baseball, which doesn't really seem like the best reason for an invulnerable, super-strong alien to sign up for a hitch in the military. It's even weirder when you consider that it's tagged on as an afterthought to Dick Williams giving the lowdown. I mean, no offense to Williams, his record as a baseball manager was very impressive, but I don't think he stopped Brainiac from shrinking a major city down to microscopic size. Just sayin', when you've got Superman, focusing on anybody else is burying the lead.
The centerpiece of the collection, though, is undoubtedly the series of commercials for Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes starring George Reeves -- or, as the ads themselves identify him "Clark Kent, star of Superman." These are fascinating, and not just for the face he makes when using his X-Ray vision, which is more than a little disturbing.
They raise a lot of questions, particularly "Why do Clark and Jimmy always eat breakfast together?" and "is Perry White really so high strung that when he runs out of cereal he becomes a danger to himself that requires the intervention of Superman?"
They're pretty charming, though, except for the one starring ZaSu Pitts, who seems to be living in abject terror of her husband. That one is genuinely horrifying. I hate to say it, Superman, but you seriously dropped the ball on this one. A box of cereal is not going to fix the problems in that relationship.
Between that and the slogan for Superman Peanut Butter that implies that it is meant to be both eaten and admired, there are some pretty dubious meals going down in Metropolis.
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