Maxwell House Instant Coffee - Yes, have some!

This 1953 ad for Maxwell House instant coffee tries really hard to get you excited about instant coffee. ...Which is like trying to get someone really excited about instant lettuce. Let's mine some excitement out of it anyway, shall we?

First, we find a nice, exciting starburst around a jar of product. Consider that the art in the product shot is an ink drawing. How many hours did the poor artist spend drawing all those little bursty lines? One shudders to think. It sure gets us really excited about that jar, but nothing could be less thrilling than the drudgery required to bring that graphic element to the page. Sheesh.

There's also some good marketing bullshit like "flavor buds" to get us excited about what are bits of dehydrated coffee powder, complete with a dramatic illustration showing the little caffeine asteroids exploding with supposed flavor. That's allegedly exciting. Shields up, and brace for flavor impact!

Thirdly, there's the nice coffee lady, assuring us that this coffee tastes just as good as non-dried out pulverized roasted bean juice, and not at all like dirty water. She could be useful for lots of things. Let's extract her first. Lady, come with me. Your coffee offering days are far from over. Phil Are GO! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade, ASSEMBLE! PKSHOW!!!


Click for big.

That's nice. She really seems to be enjoying her cup of fakeness. But you know what? I think she could be enjoying it a leeeettle bit more. Not so fast, P.A.G!G.B.P.S.B. There's more work to be done. Hop to!

Click for big.

Aaaah, there we go. She looks ever so happier now. Those are some I'll-have-what-she's-having eyes!

Both versions of Coffee Lady are PNGs with transparent alpha backgrounds, so they can easily be dropped into whatever image or document needs just a little or just a lot of coffee encouragement. Use your rude finger to right click one or both of her onto your storage doohickey of choice. You're welcome!

But wait! There's more!

How 'bout a nice clean copy of the sunburst from this ad, so you can excitement up just about any old thing you care to stick into it? Of course 'bout it! Brigade, get on that shit, post haste!

Yeah! Nice, huh? This burst is sure to get anyone cranked about anything, you bet! Here, let's demonstrate the power of the burst with the disembodied floating head of anti-science, anti-reality whackjob and former Richard Nixon speech writer Ben Stein...

Serving suggestion. Ben Stein my not actually be exciting, and depiction of Ben Stein with exciting star burst does not constitute an endorsement of excitement, religious delusion, or Ben Stein. Ben Stein sold separately. Excitement not included.

See? Ben's just glowing with rational, plausible glory, all thanks to our new Maxwell House sunburst, and thanks not at all to anything he's done professionally in the last thirty years (except for that game show he had on MTV with Jimmy Kimmelwhich was downright watchable, actually).

Palette cleanser time. When I think Maxwell House, I think Mississippi John hurt. When this Maxwell House ad hit the pages of The Saturday Evening Post, Mississippi John had already been playing his own brand of finger picked blues around Avalon Mississippi for several decades. In the Sixties, he was rediscovered by the beatniks and enjoyed new heights of fame. Here is Mississippi John's Coffee Blues, in which he sings about his apparently deep love of Maxwell House coffee, and no way was he singing about the instant version. Share and enjoy.


Jack_Dayton_72 said...

That sunburst is perfect! Already working on a clean trace in Illustrator for future use :)

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

I hope you're doing the trace with Live Trace, and not by hand!


Unknown said...

Win Ben Stein's Money was actually on Comedy Central not MTV . I think that was way back when MTV actually still played music videos instead of horrendous "reality" shows.

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