Alka-Seltzer Story

When we first got the Alka-Seltzer account the client screened a number of the Tinker commercials for us and naturally, we all talked about how great the prison spot with George Raft was.


Marvin especially couldn’t get over it.


He talked about how amazing it was that you could run a 60 second commercial with the client’s name being shouted for the last 30 seconds and the public loving it.


Marvin, right then, decided that he and Gage would do a spot like that, too.


Well, Marvin and Bob did do a spot where something was being shouted for the final 30 seconds, but what was being shouted wasn’t Alka-Seltzer.


It was “El Cid”


Marvin and Bob actually shot a spot that was supposed to take place in the desert.


There was plenty of sand and there were a number of tents, one of which apparently housed El Cid.


For those of you who may not know, El Cid was a Spanish nobleman and a military leader.


I believe he was played by Charlton Heston in the film of the same name.


Anyway, the plot of the spot was that El Cid had apparently eaten something that made him ill.


Meanwhile, his men were getting antsy about hanging around when what they wanted to get going and see some action.


So what did they do?


They started chanting “El Cid, El Cid” El Cid” etcetera.


Then somebody apparently brought an Alka-Seltzer to his tent and he drank it and immediately got better.


Meanwhile the chanting is still going on and just before the spot ends, the flap of El Cid’s tent moves and we all know that El Cid is ready to lead his men into battle.


But the chanting continued over the super.


Marvin seemed pleased with the spot because he got something chanted for about half the spot, just like in the George Raft prison.


I told Marvin we ain’t selling El Cid, we be selling Alka-Seltzer.


I also told him that even if Charlton Heston was playing El Cid in the spot, it wouldn’t have helped.


If the spot ever left the agency and went on the air, I don’t know, but even if it did, the only reason it would have caused a rise in Alka-Selter sales was because it would have given all the viewers
a headache.

Evan Stark
DDB Copywriter