G.I. Joe commercials – 1987 Effie award winner

Effie Award 1987 catalog partial cover

No doubt you’re familiar with the Academy Awards, given to films and film artists, planners, and scientists.  Or the Emmys, given for television, or the Grammys and Tonys, for recorded music and Broadway theatre.  You’ve maybe heard of the Clios, which we think of as the Oscars of advertising, but that category is more broadly defined on the Clio website as “advertising, design, interactive and communications.”  And there are the Effies, for “marketing communications” — given to marketers by the marketing industry.

G.I. Joe won a silver Effie in 1987.

To be more specific, ad agency Griffin Bacal won a silver Effie for a particular ad campaign it created for its client, Hasbro.  Borrowed from the Effie website, here’s a recent shot of some statuettes.  Imagine small black letters inscribed on the front.

image of award statuettes taken from Effie website

The ’87 Effies had almost 100 judges, individuals from pharmaceutical companies (Bristol-Meyers), to financial institutions (Americal Express), to educational institutions (Pace University) and, well, ad agencies (D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles).  And they gave awards in a wide range of categories, including airlines, apparel, beverages, corporate image, household cleaning products, and theme parks.  The list is tremendous.  But don’t forget toys and games!

Effie Award 1987 catalog Toys and Games category silver winner G.I. Joe Griffin Bacal

Cropped out of the above image is Ogilvy & Mather, taking bronze for Mattel’s M.U.S.C.L.E. Our favorite Real American Heroes and those tiny, monochromatic athletes lost out to a Chiat/Day campaign for Worlds of Wonder, citing the agency’s ability to “establish Teddy Ruxpin as the first and only singing, talking, animated plaything, and to create a ‘rage’ and force demand to exceed production capacity.”

I don’t know how far beyond the ’86 TV commercials “Live the Adventure” extended, as there was this toy pack-in promotion, which netted winning code breakers a certificate and an iron-on patch.  Whether or not the ad agency worked on this, it’s fair to say the television ads were the main thrust.  Let’s watch one.


Filed under Animation, Comic Books, G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes, Toys and Toy Art

4 responses to “G.I. Joe commercials – 1987 Effie award winner

  1. Nice to see familiar names like Bob Prupis and Kirk Bozigian up there. “Live the Adventure” came out at a time when I was drifting away from Joes in favor of girls, but I had at least one of the large mission maps which came with the vehicles.

    I also remember when Teddy Ruxpin was all the rage. I always wanted to get one only to slip in a cassette of Redd Foxx’s comedy routines. That would have been truly nasty but interesting to watch.

  2. JMM

    Doesn’t that ad juts make you wanna run out to the store and buy those things? Of course, I’ve got most everything in that ad in some boxes in the basement. 🙂

  3. Rod Pellegrini

    Those maps were the best jumping-off ground for play. You had a mission, and a map of Cobra Island (or a set-up for a Space Mission). I had the best of times playing both scenarios, and more than once with different Joe teams. At the time, I of course didn’t own the Defiant–but the space ship I built my Joes out of shoeboxes, toothpaste tube boxes, other product boxes, spare cardstock and cardboard, and a lot of Scotch tape, was equally massive. A little imagination and parts from old vehicles (like an old spring-loaded missile launcher from a Microman tank) took care of the rest.
    Great set-up, an exciting plot and just enough props to produce hours of fun. Many times over. Those were the days.

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