During most of the 1970s and ’80s, broadcast networks would try to build excitement for each fall season by unveiling a new or reworked slogan and, with it, an on-air image campaign — elaborate two- and three-minute commercials in which all the stars of a network would gather to mug for the camera, dance around, and maybe even sing a song. Baby boomers fondly recall ABC’s “Still the One” brand (yes, there were hot-air balloons); many of us Gen Xers can still recite the lyrics to NBC’s “Let’s All Be There” song on command. By the mid to late 1990s, however, marketing execs had decided that viewers no longer watched networks: “They watch shows,” as more than one exec told me (and other reporters) at the time. Good-bye, dancing celebs. Thankfully, this utterly stupid thinking had not fully taken hold by the 1994–95 season. ABC, the No. 1 network at the time, went without a branding effort. CBS, NBC, and Fox, thankfully, kept the tradition alive. As we continue our weeklong look at that wonderful season of television, we present this slideshow cavalcade of crazy promos.
Photo: Maya Robinson