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Robby The Robot Commercials
In 1956 the movie Forbidden Planet opened in theatres and forever changed what a science fiction film could be. This would not only be one of Leslie Nielsen’s first movies, but also introduce Robby the Robot to the world. Robby would grow to become one of the most memorable characters in the science fiction genre and one of the few to break off and enter different realities from the one he was originally created for.
Michael J. Fox was in ads for Pepsi, William Shatner is a spokesman for Priceline, Ashton Kutcher plugs Nikon and the list goes on and on. Robby the Robot, as a science fiction icon, has also been known to use his star power to help sell a product.
Product: Charmin Toilet Paper
The successful Mr. Whipple “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!” advertisement campaign was created by John Chervokas and ran from 1964 to 1985. In these ads a supermarket manager, Mr. Whipple, would reprimand people who squeezed the packages of Charmin toilet paper. (These customers were often women, because if you watch Mad Men, you know there was a bit of sexism in the advertising world.) Of course, Charmin toilet paper is so soft that Mr. Whipple couldn’t help but squeeze the Charmin at the end of the commercial, when he thought no one was looking. Dick Wilson was the actor to play Mr. George Whipple for the entire campaign and ended up acting in more than 500 commercials. When Robby the Robot appeared in this Charmin commercial he had not worked for a couple years, but he was still a popular celebrity.
Product: Voice Technology
Founded in 1885 as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, this telecommunication giant was accused of being a monopoly in 1974 and finally broken up in 1984. Despite this, they have still remained a colossal company and been on the forefront of developing new technologies. A few months before launching their U-verse of broadband internet, IP telephone and IPTV services, AT&T created a television commercial that promoted their involvement with the development of voice technology over the years. They used famous speaking robot from pop culture history. Robby the Robot joined Rosie the Robot from the cartoon The Jetsons, K.I.T.T. from the television show Knight Rider, and Joshua from the movie War Games.
Product: GE Technology
The General Electric Company is a multinational conglomerate. Originally formed in 1892, GE is heavily involved in energy and technology infrastructure. In the 1950’s GE used more computers than any other organization, with the exception of the United States government. Today they are one of the largest companies in the world. It should come as no surprise that they have always been on the cutting edge of technology. To show their research and development in advancing technology, they created a commercial that made science fiction geeks everywhere salivate. The commercial is titled “Robots On The Move” but the line in the advertisement is “machines on the move”. In this commercial fans are treated to an opening scene of Robby the Robot turning on and from there famous robots start coming from all over the place to witness “the next generation of artificial intelligence”. Fans are treated to Kitt, Johnny 5, B-9, DATA and many many more! This commercial beautifully played upon the nostalgia, fame and future aspirations these robots represent.