“We make money the old-fashioned way…we EARN it.”

Some time ago, John Houseman repeated that mantra in a TV commercial for… for who? What company? What was the company’s business?

Hey, if you recall that one, you were watching an effective commercial. It was for Smith Barney, the wealth management company. (They’ve been sold since then.) One version or another of Houseman’s ad ran for many years. His gruff, determined nature became synonymous with the company.

He always repeated the slogan. We EARN it, repetition being a tenet of advertising.

Surely there are other very notable ad campaigns. Given the huge money being spent on them, it is interesting that some are more effective than others at getting their message across.

What others come to your mind ?

For the fun of it, allow me a quick quiz: Below are the lyrics from a jingle or two that have received TV ad time, either currently or in days past. From these lyrics, name the product or company being advertised:)

1. Everywhere I go, there’s always something to remind me of another place in time…

2. Wherever wheels are turning, no matter what the load , the name that’s

known is ????? , where the rubber meets the road.

3. What’s in your wallet. (Not from a jingle, just ad copy)

4. My beer is ?????, the dry beer. Think of ?????, whenever you buy beer.

5. ???? is the one beer to have when you’re having more than one.

End quiz. How did you do ?

There’s an ad running currently that always piques my attention. OK, she’s a pretty blond, but aside from that ! She’s alone in a bar, having a beer and watching a pool game. Her quarter is up and she promptly clears the table, taking a bunch of men aback. Between shots she throws some darts, bullseye, of course, then pins some dude at arm wrestling. What a woman !

It occurred to me that, for as many times as I’ve watched this ad, that I had no idea what the ad was for. Some brand of beer, I guess, but how effective is the ad? I was entertained, but…

I won’t spur this horse, but the reader is encouraged to make note of the stellar ads still swirling in your mind. It might be fun to compare notes .

One deserves honorable mention : EXCEDRIN headache #3 (Stuck In Traffic.)

People saw the comedy in ranking their headaches and the reason for them. I believe this was back when Bristol Myers still owned the pill. The campaign was brilliant.



  1. Pete, I got them all but the first one. How about:
    “Where’s the beef?” Burger King
    “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!” Still in the front of my brain when I buy it.
    “We know a thing or two, because we have seen a thing or two.” State Farm
    “You only buy what you need.” Liberty Mutual
    I found this to be an entertaining little quiz from a guy who mutes all the commercials!


    • Sue,
      Interesting. You got #4, an old one, and not #1, relatively recent.
      Re#1, think of a disheveled looking fellow walking through an airport. He looks indignantly at a poster that says “it’s so easy, even a ????? can do it.”


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