You’re going to have this stuck in your head all day.
Hope you don’t mind earworms!
I used to work for a video store. Not a major chain like Hollywood Video or the video store to be named in today’s commercial blast from the past, but a four-store mom and pop video store. I think at its height, there were six stores, but by the time I came there in 2003, there were the core four stores. I worked in the second-to-open store, and the entire “chain” was celebrating 20 years at the time. 2003 was still high time for video rentals and video stores. You could go to the bigger “brand” stores if your town had them, but quite frankly, nothing (in my personal bias) beat the mom and pop stores.
There were two mom and pop stores in my hometown, and a Blockbuster came into our small town in 2003. You probably want to think they were stiff competition for us, don’t you?
Not even close.
Sure we got the occassional angry “I’m never coming back here! I’m going to Blockbuster!” response once in a while, but for the most part, we had many loyal customers.
We also had an “Over 21” room, or the “Red Room,” as we called it (because of its 1980s red neon lighting). In layman’s terms, it was the porno room. And it attracted every local weirdo we knew of. The other mom and pop had a room like this too, but Blockbuster and its “Family Friendly” atmosphere/promise kept them from having one. So, if anyone needed a copy of Debbie Does Dallas (or, then current at the time, One Night in Paris), we were the place to be.
One of the more uncomfortable tasks I had working in the store was having to restock those movies. Even worse – I had to ring them up for people. I can’t tell you how many dirty old men I had come in on any given shift (all of them at night, except for Saturdays) and stare at my chest. It was weird.
And at the risk of delving into my strange stories (because mentioning my boobs wasn’t weird enough), let’s dive into the commercial of Throwback Thursday just so I don’t veer to far off track.
Because I have this one particular story that I’ve told many times, but it doesn’t fit in here.
Established in 1985, Blockbuster LLC was your typical video store, but had the Big Box flair. They were all over the country (and world), and likely were in your town. Like I said, we had two mom and pop stores, and didn’t get one until 2003. We didn’t need a Blockbuster, it wasn’t that big of a town, and the next town over had a decent Blockbuster. We had these great mom and pop stores, we didn’t need something bigger. Especially since I’d heard the people who worked there gave the worst customer service. I know this isn’t representative of all the stores, not by a longshot, but our customers were loyal. They hated Blockbuster!
But, if it was all you had (and I wound up moving to a town where the closest video store was – GASP – Blockbuster), then you did what you could for movie night. Streaming wasn’t a thing back then, you had to compromise somewhere!
But not on jingles and catchphrases. One can never compromise on those!
Like today’s commercial, straight from 1989!
This commercial wasn’t necessarily to promote the brand (we’ll cover that tomorrow), but to let you know what just got released on video!
Click play and find out!
Hurry up and get to Blockbuster, gotta get your copy of Die Hard!
And then there’s that jingle…
I admit, my childhood brain was completely in love with the catchiness!
And I’m not even done with Blockbuster, folks. Come back tomorrow for more of this, complete with nervous breakdown-inducing customers that are all too familiar to me.
Have a great Thursday!