Sunday, June 10, 2018

The very first CHEERS promo

I remember when NBC proudly showed us this we all said, "Huh?"

38 comments :

slgc said...

Huh indeed!

Peter said...

Did she get paid per blink?

slgc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John H. said...

I love it. Thanks for posting that Ken.

therealshell said...

I seem to recall another one that just showed a gift box, and the announcer stating something along the lines of "NBC has a gift for you .... Cheers".

Sean MacDonald said...

I feel like it's more of an ad for NBC than Cheers itself.

"Watch NBC! Watch NBC! We have a new show! So, watch NBC!"

Anonymous said...

Earl B writes:
Now let's see if anyone can dig up the first MASH promo (where Alan Alda breaks it down: "That's M star A star S star H").

Lemuel said...

Wasn't there a similar promo with Shelley Long holding gift box?

J.P. said...

Gosh, kinda sad ... But considering that at the time NBC's biggest sitcoms were GIMME A BREAK, FACTS OF LIFE, and DIFF'RENT STROKES and that it was coming off a season or two of attempts like LEWIS & CLARK, ONE OF THE BOYS, HARPER VALLEY PTA, and (best of all) THE BRADY BRIDES, ya almost can't blame the network for the "Look over here!" spot ... Seems doubly silly tho not to at least have used Long or Perlman rather than someone who appears to be fresh from shoot for Arrid Extra Dry ... (Hi, Ken, hope you've been well!)

Jim McKairnes

Tom said...

You probably thought the first promo for your show was going to be about the character dynamics, setting or actors. Well this promo is going to be about NBC. That's right, NBC.

Charles H. Bryan said...

What should have been additionally embarrassing to NBC was the idea of "Hey, guess what? We've decided to not broadcast crap."

Anonymous said...

The one that sold me was the two beer mugs smashing into each other.

david russell said...

Well if that doesn't make you want to tune in, I don't know what would.

Johnny Walker said...

Wow, I wonder why this approach didn't catch on?

Mike Doran said...

In my recollection, the Cheers! promo was delivered by a male announcer - one of those "Hi, I'm from Nowhere!" types with a big phony smile.

The text was identical - and personally, I found the snotty tone of the message kind of offensive.

Most of NBC's fall promos that season carried a similar tone - less about the shows themselves, more about insulting the competition (particularly ABC, which was having its biggest success at that time).

This was the season that Taxi was crowded off the ABC schedule, and NBC picked it up for fall.
You may recall that Danny DeVito and some of the other Taxi did promos with the tagline: "Same time - better station!"

Nearly every other NBC fall promo took the same attitude.

NBC had the Emmys that September; that male announcer I mentioned above appeared during the station breaks to crow about how NBC was " … sweeping the Emmys!"; he was counting several Taxi wins, even though that show was still on ABC.

That fall, most of NBC's shows started slowly (including Cheers!).
The guy who was in charge of the promos - his name, as I recall, was Steve Sohmer - who maintained that same snotty tone for the next few seasons.

Bill Slankard said...

I'd like to see the network notes on that script.

Peter said...

Anyone know who the cute lady is?

Mike Bloodworth said...

Let me get this straight. Someone was paid to write this promo. Then a network executive O.K.'d it. Then they hired a crew and an actress. Then they shot it. I wonder how many takes she needed? (As per yesterday's blog, I'd love to see the stage directions on this.) And if it was shot on film, they had to process and edit it. All for that?! I've seen more interesting stuff shot with an iPhone. No wonder CHEERS took so long to catch on.
M.B.

Brian MacIntyre said...

But, she was right.

Y. Knott said...

"You probably think that everything on NBC is televised sewage. Why are you even watching us? ABC has way better shows. Hell, even CBS is better than we are! Maybe your channel changer is broken?

"Still, if you MUST watch our parade of brain-dead stinkbombs? We've got one this year called 'Cheers' you should check out. It's actually not completely embarrassing! I mean, I'm not going to SHOW it to you or anything. Just take my word for it ... it probably won't want to make you shoot your television with a howitzer.

"That's right. We're NBC. We're crap, and everyone knows it. But somehow, this 'Cheers' thing isn't the utter moronic dreck you've come to expect from us!

Pilot Joe said...

So who was the girl?
Joe

Kirk said...

It sure would make me want to watch.

thirteen said...

I always wonder how the attractive women in spots like these look now. The last time I thought that was when TCM ran a promotion for The Producers, and there were all those Nazi Rockettes doing the high-kick. They could probably still do it if you spotted them a walker.

Buttermilk Sky said...

She's so smug, she probably made contrarians like me think, "OK, I am never watching CHEERS." If they remembered the name of the show at all.

Mark said...

I have always had a special fascination for the "we don't suck anymore" school of advertising. I remember years ago when the burger chain Hardees (Carl's Jr. to those of us in California) had a campaign that featured an actor talking about how he avoided the restaurants because they had terrible food and an odd smell. Recently, though, he had really needed to grab a bite on the road and there was nothing else around so he ducked in and found the food was good and the odor was gone.

I'm still trying to decide whether the campaign was stupid or brilliant.

Louis Burklow said...

Already developing my persona as a curmudgeon in 1982, I hated these commercials (like someone else said, I believe there were others with a man delivering the same lines) so much I didn't watch Cheers until late in its first season. That was only in one of those "there's nothing on, might as well" moments too.

sueK2001 said...

Okay then....that reminds me of the promos CBS had for Person of Interest. They carried the theme of the show but Michael Emerson's character seemed menacing and arrogant...the show was actually much better than the promos led to believe.

VP81955 said...

See current Wells Fargo campaign. "Established 1852. Re-established 2018."

Andy Rose said...

There are many examples of "Yes, we know we suck, and now we're changing" advertising campaigns. Probably the best-known recently was Domino's Pizza, which like NBC, turned out very well when combined with actual improvement in the product. It seems corny, but it produces results. This type of ad was combined with Steve Sohmer's "Just Watch Us Now" campaign, one of the most desperate-sounding mottos in network history. But it helped produce a turnaround, and led to the much ballsier "Be There" attitude the following year.

Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...

Y. Knott, that's pretty good. Here's another one:

"Do you like TV?
Do you like to laugh?
Are you not a complete dumbshit?
Can you spell N, B, C?
Then you're in for a treat!
Come see us this Thursday at 9 p.m. You know 9 p.m., that's when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 9.
You'll thank us later."

cadavra said...

I also remember this promo with the guy. I thought it was kinda refreshing. "Yeah, I know most of what we've done lately is crap, but there's a new sheriff in town and you need to know this." And they were right.

This also reminds me of when Connie Chung became the first female co-anchor of an early evening newscast (on CBS). The next night, David Brinkley, on NBC, opened the show with, "Good evening, and welcome back." Put me on the floor.

Barry Traylor said...

I missed CHEERS back in 1982 as I was working nights back then. Luckily I found it later on and loved the show.

Andrew said...

@J.P. "But considering that at the time NBC's biggest sitcoms were GIMME A BREAK, FACTS OF LIFE, and DIFF'RENT STROKES"

I was a teenager growing up in the 80's, and I literally hated those shows. I still can't comprehend how even one of those became popular.

Tom said...

Yikes. It's like N....B.....C..... had no idea what to actually say about the show, but they had to say something...anything. On a different scale, it reminds me of the original promotional posters for Citizen Kane, where the studio obviously had zero idea what the movie was about or how to sell it. The tagline: "It's terrific!"
https://www.google.com/search?q=original+citizen+kane+poster&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS747US747&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPp_Sv_cvbAhVr64MKHennAzMQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=735#imgdii=yHATOkZkAfud1M:&imgrc=F8DTJ6XuJ25HZM:

Coram Loci said...

"But considering that at the time NBC's biggest sitcoms were GIMME A BREAK, FACTS OF LIFE, and DIFF'RENT STROKES"

I was a teenager growing up in the 80's, and I literally hated those shows. I still can't comprehend how even one of those became popular



Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Andrew?

Albert Giesbrecht said...

This may have been a promo for potential sponsors. Please give us money!

This reminds me of the SNL spoof WE'RE LOUD!Instead of We're Proud.

Paul said...

At least this approach didn't spoil the entire episode like NBC became fond of doing in the 90s. No middle ground with them - you either give away nothing or give away everything!

Anonymous said...

I did not watch Cheers at all when it started just because of that promo. I found it condescending. When I finally picked up on it, I was resentful of that promo for chasing me away.