I have often said that I could spend all day watching K-Tel commercials. I really miss the simplicity of those cheesy music ads. Instead of video clips, they had to rely on graphic design and animation that is often better than the albums they are shilling, which is why re-watching these ads is possibly more fun than collecting the records (not that I didn't pick up way too many at the Record Fair this weekend - those covers are just irresistible).
Even though K-Tel and quickie pop music collections are still around (how did Mini Pops make such a comeback?), they don't have quite the omnipresent hold on afternoon and late night television like they used to (unless you count Air Supply's hard-to-miss Soft Rock Collection infomercial). But once upon a time they were the catalyst for my first cassette tapes: the Hit List and Love Is... collections that my parents bought me for Christmas.
Here are some of the best ads I found on the net today:
Overseas and in native Canada, K-Tel was getting everyone to do the bird dance - the hottest dance craze since the twist. Especially if you're a plushie.
And then there were the imitators, like the not-so-subtly named Tee Vee Records, or soft rock lovers Lakeshore Music.
And who can forget Silver Eagle Records who tortured the hell out of us all in the late 80s with this commercial that ran non-freaking-stop.
Supposedly, KTel is going to have their own web archive of their commercials up soon - here's hoping. In the meantime, I found these videos via YouTube users sideshowcarny, daftmahatma, GrubcoTV, robatsea, and eyeh8cbs - all of whom have also uploaded tons of groovy old tv ads and other ephemera.