Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, March 11, 2021

modern stone-age habit
Long ago sacrificed to the gods of syndication, the Winston Cigarettes opening credits and promo spots that were incorporated into the original network broadcasts of “The Flintstones” are now available for viewing on YouTube, in all their black-and-white glory.

It’s funny to watch Fred and Barney lazing around with a couple of ciggies in their mouths, as well as hearing Fred sing the “Winston tastes good, like a (click-click) cigarette should” jingle. And what’s with the too-large depiction of the product, in relation to the characters? It almost looks like the boys are smoking a couple of Jamaican extra-large special blunts.

Watch the spot while it lasts, as AdLand’s Dabitch thinks corporate lawyers will send cease-and-desist letters soon enough.

I’m amused that this particular submission of the video (there are multiple identical ones) was entitled “Big Tobacco would NEVER try to appeal to kids”. Because that assumption is false. For one thing, such tightly-integrated sponsor branding was routine in television during the ’40s through the ’60s; the practice was just ending by the times “The Flintstones” hit the air. The rest of the faulty thinking: That “The Flintstones” was kids’ programming, which it certainly wasn’t when it was originally broadcast in primetime. It was certainly a family show, but just about everything on the tube was back then. It’s the usual mistaking of animated fare automatically being intended only for children.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/11/2021 05:33:31 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., TV | Permalink |

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  1. Good catch on the title. It would be a different thing if it were Bugs Bunny, but one of the most groundbreaking things about The Flintstones was that it was a cartoon that wasn’t aimed squarely at children. It was just Honeymooners in goofy outfits.

    Comment by trumwill — 03/11/2021 @ 06:49:06 PM

  2. S’funny, I always considered “The Honeymooners” to be the Flintstones in goofy outfits ;)

    Comment by CT — 03/11/2021 @ 06:54:07 PM

  3. These have been available on archive.org for, wow, at least five years. If they weren’t shut down then, I don’t see why they would now.

    Comment by tim in tampa — 03/11/2021 @ 09:41:29 PM

  4. The interesting thing is that while archive.org might have the right to showing it, youtube does not, much like the other websites that were asked to take this down.

    Comment by Nils — 03/12/2021 @ 08:51:14 AM

  5. Well, searching through archive.org, I couldn’t find a trace of this clip. Did find a couple of emulators for the old NES Flintstones game, and a compendium of old Winston ads that didn’t include the Bedrock crew. So if it ever was on there, it ain’t now (for the moment).

    Archive.org tries to take pains to host only works that are in the public domain. To my knowledge, they don’t secure rights for works that still require licensing. You’ll find a lot of old cinematic cartoons on there that, while featuring characters (Popeye, Bugs Bunny) that are still private property, have themselves become free-range. I’m sure unauthorized stuff slips through all the time; I’m not sure how much of it stays there.

    Comment by CT — 03/12/2021 @ 10:51:47 AM

  6. Yeah, it’s possible. I just remember being on archive.org back when i was in college, downloading those Flintstones Winston ads. And that was 1999.

    Comment by tim in tampa — 03/12/2021 @ 11:50:23 PM

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