Friday, September 05, 2014

RETRO FRIDAY: Late 1980s and Early 1990s Hawaii Commercials


"Hi, I'm Didi Ah Yo and AWAY WE GO with another great deal from Creative Holidays!" If you lived in Hawai'i in the late 1980s and early 1990s, just hearing that phrase -- or the name "Didi Ah Yo" -- brings back a flood of memories. (Sadly, Didi Ah Yo passed away in 2004.) That was such a fertile time for commercials in da islands that really resonated with viewers.

So now, here are a bunch I've found on YouTube. It's not an exhaustive roundup, however. There are still a ton of ads from that time that I wish someone would upload: Hawaii Literacy Hotline ("Ehh, if I learn to read, mebbe my kids can too!"); that one ad featuring the dad who screamed, "You dropped da ball! You stupid! YOU NOT MY SON!"; Frank Delima's Muhi-us spot; KHNL's Anti-smoking campaign ("Ikaika Belding is my name, I go Heeia school and I'm in da third grade!") and others. One of these days I'll go through some old VHS tapes I have in the hopes that I still have old Hawaii TV recordings.

"From Maui to Manoa!" You remember this one for Hawaiian Tel, featuring that Peter Moon Band song "Far Too Wide." Makes me wanna pick up the phone and call a loved one every time. (Of course, back when I was at Northwestern and my friends and family were truly FAR away, I thought of this commercial and how ridiculous it was that this girl was just one island over and yet still homesick. Get over yourself! You're on Oahu now! Live it up!)

Another emotional spot -- I gotta say, amazingly well done for a local ad. This one is for First Hawaiian, which approves a loan for a new swing set for this pre-school.

Michael W. Perry rapping about Meadow Gold ice cream treats. Really, there's nothing better. "The fun's in the freezer and ready to eat!"

Remember Harry and Myra, the older couple that starred in countless Bank of Hawaii commercials? There was something so endearing about these spots. I believe this was one of the first. ALSO: A spot for the United Way, featuring Frank Delima (and is that Mel Cabang as the devil?)

After the Didi Ah Yo spot, stay tuned for a great KQMQ ad featuring Michael Qseng and Danielle Tucker! Folks, this combination of advertisements screams Hawaii Circa 1988!

This may be the one smooth jazz song I can stand, because whenever I hear it, I think about the magic of electricity. That's all because of this spot Hawaiian Electric, performed by rock/jazz fusion group Hiroshima.

Before she was a news anchor, Jade Moon was busy scarfing down a Zippy's plate.

What made these no-frills Lex Brodie ads so memorable? That equally no-frills tagline. "THANK YOU... VERY MUCH."

Another classic, from 1988, showcasing a dystopian future and shot at the State Capitol. The message? "Vote 88... and have your say the American way" or face a totalitarian government!

The Yum Yum Tree! Remember when Hawai'i had several of these chain coffee shops? Are they all gone now?

Even 7-Eleven had a jingle!

Some classic spots from 1988, including one for now-defunct Liberty House department store, and a campaign ad for Mayor Frank Fasi (who touts a proposed rapid transit system -- can you imagine, had that been built 25 years ago instead of finally now?). Later (4 minutes in), it's "Island Getaways... why should the tourists have all the fun?!" Oh yeah and early in this clip: YOUNG JOE MOORE!

RIP, Aloha Airlines.

"Ooh! Ahh! Oh Wow! Ala Moana!" Has anyone ever really been that excited about a shopping center? And yet look at all the local celebrities joining in: Wally Famous Amos, Brickwood Galuteria, Linda Coble, Mel Cabang and even the General, Les Keiter!

BTW, according to Linked In, Ikaika Belding is now a counselor at the Hawaii Department of Education. I hope he doesn't smoke.

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