1980s Soap stars selling anything bar soap…
Another soap opera related post featuring some of the Dallas and Dynasty’s lovely ladies’ appearances in advertising.
As part of the 80s League, we were asked about our favourite adverts of this decade. There are so many memorable adverts out there, but my favourites always included celebrities – no surprise there – or had a wee storyline.
My favourite in the latter is a yuppie couple’s blossoming romance over a certain brand of coffee. This series of adverts told their love story over 12, 30 second episodes which started in this decade and concluded in the 90s. But more on that couple – Sharon Maughan and Anthony Head (in case that particular casting was now bothering you) in a later post…
So onto soap celebrities, and what better way to start it than with some of the 80s more glamorous wee screen ladies. All these ladies starred in my two favourite soaps of the time, Dallas (1978-91) and Dynasty (1981-89). And of course so did one of the men starring with his on-screen wife in an advert for their soap inspired product. The other male lead seen listed being a British National Treasured comedian with a lovely British National Treasured actress..
And here as is the norm are my fellow 80s League podcasts and posts also celebrating the adverts of this decade…
Barbara Bel Geddes
Barbara Bel Geddes 1986 Campbell’s Soup Commercial, Sean Mc
Barbara Bel Geddes was famous for lots of great movies – as well as the 1952 face of a famous cosmetics brand – before she was cast as the matriarch, Miss Ellie in TV’s Dallas. Most of her Dallas scenes were either stopping her sons from beating the crap out of each other or giving motherly advice.. usually in the Southfork Ranch kitchen.
Stopping sons from fighting doesn’t really spring to mind as a soup selling advert with this lady though, although it probably has been done by others. Unless one of them pours it over the other one’s head while she lists the ingredients. So the powers that be put Bel Geddes in the glamorous location of the kitchen. Bel Geddes – to be fair – has a lovely cosy looking kitchen with all the equipment so why would she make tinned soup. But that question is for another day…
It’s a lovely wee advert exploiting Bel Geddes’ lovely maternal role to the tee. You can almost see her as Ellie serving up some soup to her eldest son J.R. after a bad day in the office. Probably involving Cliff Barnes, or to console him after wife Sue Ellen left him for Lusty Dusty (again).
Anyway, I love the way she says home cookin’, and in combination with her cosy jazzy loungewear and her motherly presence, narration and approach it’s just perfect casting. All that is needed is a view from the windows of snow coming down… but that no doubt features in the Christmas advert for the Christmas product.
Linda Evans (with John Forsythe)
Linda Evans and John Forsythe, Krystle’ & ‘Carrington perfume commercial, Club Blue
ultimate cash-in romantic treat for your beloved on Valentine’s Day. This advert shows Dynasty‘s patriarch Blake (John Forsythe) and on-screen second wife Krystle (Linda Evans) in almost a scene from that soap. The loved up couple each has created a fragrance for their loved one. As you do. I’m sure even Gwyneth Paltrow even says these lines to a loved one after making moon dust infused or Himalayan sea salted smoothie… “I created it just for you..blah blah” with similar effects. Possibly.
Anyway, the Dynasty couple also create a mushy letter to accompany it – suggesting the actors were in different studios – adding to the
lack of passion. Which basically replaced the words beautiful with sexy as they narrate the letter to their loved one.
With the brand’s names Forever Krystle and Carrington, how more 80s soap can you get than that! I love the way he calls her beautiful and she calls him sexy. Which is not the sort of word I’d associate with Forsythe in Dynasty. Maybe in his pre-Dynasty days. But anyway, if you wanted your man to smell of this
alleged silver fox, you know what to buy him.
It does however feel that many other stars of this soap should have been immortalised this way. Ricardo Montalban’s Corinthian Leather aftershave for one would definitely have the word sexy involved. And it would definitely be a best seller. But Joan Collins’ Alexis inspired Cougar, maybe not so much. But then with more than a few age gap inspired TV and film moments then it just might.
Morgan Brittany 1982 L’Oreal Nail Polish Commercial, Sean Mc
Before Jennifer Aniston was known as the hair for this particular product brand, Morgan Brittany was the face and nails for it. I love Brittany here as with her lovely voice and big blue eyes she’s just so well suited to sell cosmetics. Morgan Brittany of course played Katherine Wentworth in Dallas. Morgan was the hair for many hair products too like most of her co-stars.
This is another advert with a few missed Dallas co-star opportunities. Examples could include seeing her hands with impeccable nail varnish from this cosmetics company grasping the gun as she shot little brother Bobby. Or holding the steering wheel as she mows him down in Pam’s drive. I love the way she narrates this with the extra sensual approach of sexing up this product to the hilt, despite the awful names – and colours – for this product range. And with her dulcet tones, I’m sure she could sell coal to Newcastle.
Holiday Health Fitness Centers [Victoria Principal] (1983), Retrontario
This has got to be the most 1980s themed adverts ever. One for women and probably thought up by her biggest male fan. Panning up from the leg warmers we see another Dallas lovely, Victoria Principal. She’s glad in a leotard with not a love handle or sign of cellulite anywhere Principal tries to convince how she needed a fitness makeover. Then she tries to get us to have one in a nice, friendly manner. Which would be a wee bit more convincing if she’d hired Olivia Newton John’s extras from the Physical video from this time. In drag.
This advert implies only trolls and non pretty actress looking types need to worry about losing weight. As a before and after photo, even a CGI principal would be a much better approach to sell this idea to me. Hell, if they can trim down Matt Damon for The Martian (2015).
But that was then, and that film is CGI now. Principal also tried to convince us to buy shampoo with ridiculous sounding brand names. This suggests they ploughed more into the advertising celebrity fees than the product’s name. The product in the accompanying picture sounds more like a cleaning product than a product to help you achieve that big Dallas hair.
CINZANO BIANCO TV ADVERT 1982 joan collins leonard rossiter piano player theme LWT HD 1080P, IainLucey1972two
As presumably, the Fleming estate had the patent for Martini with James Bond, another classy British act would be needed to sell this drink of the 80s to the eighties audience. This was one of a series of British adverts that Dynasty‘s Joan Collins starred in with British comedy actor, Leonard Rossiter. All the ads, included Collins getting a drink spilt over her, And oh how we laughed. Then. As she probably did too. Then.
These adverts admittedly as the series continued becoming more and more like a guess when Rossiter spills the drink drinking game. But Collins was perfect casting, with her deadpan approach to Rossiter’s comedy, you could almost feel her annoyance.
But I’m hoping for a revival of these 1980s ads but with a James Bond actor and Collins. But this time with Collins in the comic role and him in a deadpan role. This led to a series of ads with all the actors who played James Bond. And spilling of drinks on him, optional. Purely optional.