Throwback Thursdays


George Foreman: Boxing Champ, Marketing Champ

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On Tuesday, George Foreman, professional boxer, ordained minister, and entrepreneur, turned 68 years old. Born in 1949 in Texas, Foreman had a troubled childhood until he found his calling – boxing. By 1968, he joined the US Olympic boxing team and captured the gold medal at the 1968 US Olympics in Mexico City.

Shortly after, Foreman went pro and took the heavyweight title from “Smoking” Joe Frazier in 1973. Foreman’s reign ended when he lost to Muhammad Ali in the legendary match “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974. Twenty years later at the age of 45, Foreman shocked audiences by recapturing part of his title from 27-year-old Michael Moorer. Foreman retired for good in 1997 at the age of 48 with a final record of 76 wins, 5 losses, and 68 knockouts.

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Television: Uniting America Since 1951

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It has been said there is nothing like TV to bring people together. Whether a national emergency or a national event, everyone is together, in the same living room, watching the same thing. The Super Bowl. Man on the Moon. The OJ Car Chase. New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of thousands of people pack into tiny pens in Times Square to wait for the Ball to drop. Millions of people watch for that same moment, on TV. In the hours leading up to midnight, the various networks cut away to acts and talent performing across town and across the country in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Key West, among other spots. In many cases, the networks go to a split screen format, allowing us to see footage from two cities at the same time.

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Carrie Fisher, Space and Hollywood Royalty

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This past week, we experienced the loss of a legendary individual who made an indelible impact on pop culture. Actress, writer, producer, and comedian Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday from complications from a cardiac arrest at the age of 60.

Carrie Fisher is most remembered for her defining role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. She played a strong female warrior that could hold her own against Stormtroopers, Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader, and anyone else who came in her path. In 2015, she reprised her role as Princess Leia, who grew up and ascended to General Organa in “Star Wars: A Force Awakens.”

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A Wonderful Time to Watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

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As happens in December, my TV watching turns into a holiday movie marathon. There are so many good ones, many of which I make a point to watch every year, out of tradition.

If “It’s a Wonderful Life” is also on your holiday playlist like it is on mine, you may have a clerical error that took place 45 years ago to thank.

December 20, 1946: the theatrical release of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Director Frank Capra was one of Hollywood’s A-list directors in the 1940s. Everything he directed touched the heart and was a huge success, movies such as “It Happened One Night” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. In 1946, he directed a black-and-white film starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed that looked like it would be another winner: “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

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Alan Thicke, America’s Favorite Canadian Dad

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On Tuesday, TV personality Alan Thicke passed away at the age of 69. He passed away from a heart attack while playing ice hockey with son Carter. Thicke was best known for his role as in the classic 80s sitcom, Growing Pains, but his talents were widespread, from hosting talk shows, songwriting, pageant-hosting, and being father to a massive pop star, Robin Thicke.

Despite playing the all-American father on Growing Pains, Thicke was actually a Canadian and his career began up north. Thicke hosted a number of Canadian TV game shows and then later hosted his own talk show in the early 1980s called The Alan Thicke Show. However, he didn’t rise to international stardom until he starred in Growing Pains, which debuted on ABC in 1985 and ran until 1992.

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Jolly Green Giant: $754 Million Dollar Man

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As happens in December, there is a buzz around the return of a certain mythical figure, able to stop children in their tracks, bring adults to attention, and known to bellow “Ho Ho Ho”.

This time around though, it’s not a man in red with a white beard. This one is green. He is currently on a cross-country road trip and his goal is to change children’s behavior and maybe some grown ups’ habits too.

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Coke’s Polar Bears Come Back for the Holiday Chill

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With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, we slide head-first into the holiday season. There are few advertising campaigns as enduring as the Coca-Cola polar bear spots. The cute, animated polar bears, slipping and sliding in the Artic stole hearts (and sold) Cokes.

And for the first time since 2013, Coca-Cola is bringing back the polar bears on select Coca-Cola packages, including Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and coke Life. While the polar bears will grace packages of the the soda, they don’t make an appearance in this year’s holiday TV campaign, called “A Coke for Christmas.” The spot features a teenager as he surprises people in his community with bottles of Coke, saving his last bottle for St. Nick.

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Black Friday Kicks Off Start To U.S. Holiday Shopping

First Comes Thanksgiving, then Black Friday

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Thanksgiving quickly approaches – we have a less than a week left to brine that bird and expand our stomachs, a tradition that many of us hold near and dear to our hearts. Another American tradition? Saving up our paychecks to spend on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.

Post-Thanksgiving sales have occurred since before it was deemed “Black Friday.” In 1939, the nation’s retailers requested that President Franklin D. Roosevelt move Thanksgiving day. That year, Thanksgiving fell on the last day of November, giving shoppers little time for their holiday shopping. Roosevelt acquiesced, and moved up the holiday to to November 23rd, giving retailers the opportunity to let the holiday sales loose on consumers a week early.

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butterball hotline

Talking Turkeys

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Thanksgiving is something most of us associate with happiness and relaxation. It is a time for gathering with family and friends, enjoying an abundance of great food, doing a little traveling, and for many it is a four-day weekend to boot.

But it is also a time of panic and fear for many, an event that prompts an estimated 10,000 people to call the Butterball Turkey Hotline.

Thanksgiving is two weeks away but the Butterball Turkey Hotline has been open for ten days.

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Baseball and the Smashing of Curses

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After a 108 year drought, the Chicago Cubs finally clinched the World Series title last night. In a nail-biter Game 7 that went into extra innings (and a rain delay), the Cubs won 8-7 against the Cleveland Indians. Billy goats and black cats be damned, the curse was finally lifted.

Billy goats? Black cats? Are we still talking about baseball? For those not as familiar with the famously superstitious ways of baseball fans and players, let’s backtrack – all the way to 1945, Game 4 of the World Series at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

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