Sometimes something that is small can really help to sum up a time or place. Such is the case with this 1979 TV Guide Fall Preview Guide commercial. It is simple, but it is chock full of wonderful sounds and visual that scream late 1970s.
The commercial is more of a promo and clocks in at about 10 seconds. It consists of simple deep voiced announcer, some almost TRON-like animation and unsettling music. Each individual element is something you would see in advertising, promos and intros during that decade. In rare instances, such as this, they all came together in a magnificent package. The announcer is a timeless element. So I would like to discuss the other two elements just a little.
The music is electronic sounding and barely qualifies as music. It is the type of stuff used in a lot of intros at the time, especially on PBS. Now I find it intriguing, but as a kid growing up and seeing this stuff in reruns, I found it very disconcerting. It has a harshness that is both compelling and problematic. I want to lower the volume, but also want to hear it all.
The animation is the stuff of my dreams. This is like some pseudo computer style work and I have always been obsessed with it. It is a bonus that the subject of the animation is the Fall Preview Guide. Which as everyone knows, is the best issue of the year for any TV guide subscriber.
Watch and enjoy this TV Guide Fall Preview Guide commercial
Some bonus footage in this video includes a 1979 radar output for Houston’s Original Radar Station. As well as the title card for the MGM film, “Indian Love Call.” This leads me to believe that this ad would have been running during a late movie. Which makes the elements of it, especially the sound, even more scary/compelling.