Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1995 AOL commercial

Isn't that Apollo and Starbuck from the first BSG series?

In 1995, I got my first agency job (after 5 years of freelancing). This is how much things have changed since then:

I'm also amazed how crappy the ad is. The acting and production values made me worried they were about to get naked. But then again, what possible connection could you make between the internet and porn?


  1. The missing context here is that AOL had already effectively lost to the Internet by 1995 (the year of the Netscape IPO) -- this was a reactionary commercial, trying to keep people locked into what was still mostly a proprietary, 80s-style modem+BBS service, so the informercial feel shouldn't be surprising.

    You'll note that there's a grudging mention of "Internet mail" near the end of the commercial. From this point on to the merger with Time-Warner a few years later, AOL would increasingly become a low-end, high-volume dial-up ISP for the Internet, never realizing the commissions from all the value-added services it's trying to push in this commercial.

  2. Thanks for the context, David. I still remember being asked, on my first day at that first agency job, "do you know how to use Netscape?"

    "Yes", I lied.

  3. Michael Scott had no problem faking experience with Powerpoint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_2Hh-UGm8I