Thursday, April 4, 2013

Toonfomercial: Raid's Easy Roaches (1969)

Time was when it was much more common than it is now to deal with roaches and other insects. To that end, Johnson Wax (now SC Johnson) introduced their Raid line of bug sprays with a series of partially animated commercials. The second half of the ads usually showed a housewife demonstrating the product in the home and garden.

The earliest ads, which began in 1956, were directed by cartoon legend Fred "Tex" Avery, who has also been credited by some sources with helming the following item from 1969, though the character designs might actually be the work of another artist, such as Jack Davis, who for years was a contributor to Mad Magazine & TV Guide. Two more cartoon legends, Paul Frees & Mel Blanc, are the voices of the bugs in this "Easy Rider" parody, narrated by actor William Schallert (ex-The Patty Duke Show).


magicdog said...

I was too young for this commercial, but I do remember the subsequent animated Raid commercials.

It was one of the few venues in which death was not only implied, but outright stated! I loved seeing those pests get theirs!

I also remember Shallert doing VA for many other commercials back in the day.

hobbyfan said...

William Schallert might be better known to toon fans as the original (maybe) voice of the talking toaster for Kellogg's Pop Tarts, a role later filled by Gilbert Gottfried when they attempted to revive the talking toaster a few years back.

Anyone ever notice that Schallert's voice is similar to that of Dodgers announcer (and former game show host) Vin Scully?