Wednesday, March 05, 2008

1990's Commercials - Pixar Animation Studio

Did you know that originally, Pixar sold computers? For reals yo.
Back in '86, Pixar's main business was selling their Pixar Image Computer to the "high end visualization market", like the medical industry. Their hardware sold for $135,000, by no means an impulse buy. Well, in order to sell these bohemith they had to be able to show off its capabilities, so they hired on a Disney animator by the name of John Lasseter (whom I've discussed briefly in previous posts). And so he made some short computer animations using this technology - the humble beginnings of what would later become Pixar Animation Studios. You might have heard of them.

Well they didn't go from selling computers to making Wall E overnight. Along the way they had some major financial troubles, most likely stemming from the fact that not a lot of companies wanted to buy a $135,000 computer (did I mention the $35,000 workstation they had to purchase along with it to make it useful?). So to make some money in between total financial ruin and Toy Story, Pixar made commercials. 71 to be exact. (Check out more on the history of Pixar here - it's an interesting read).

I would be surprised if most of you hadn't seen at least some of these before, but I doubt that it's common knowledge that they were made by Pixar. The most popular and well known of their commercials were a series of Listerine and Life Savers ads. These were also the only ones I could find on the internet (with the help of my boy MM - 300 posts strong!). Looking back at these it's pretty amazing ... I never really thought about how much innovation went into simple things like selling me jelly lifesavers, and then selling me the hygienic product to remove their remnants from my mouth.

This last one is a little ways into the video - at approximately 48 seconds. You should be able to just click about halfway in and see it.


Ross said...

Did you buy Delicate Arch on an impulse buy? I'm really surprised Utah was willing to part with that.

D Wheezy said...

Yeah it was weird. I just said "Hey, that's nice."

Utah: "You want it? We were getting ready to throw it away... it doesn't really match the decor."

Dan:"Uh yeah, sure. How much do you want to sell it for?"

Utah: "Just take it. We'd rather you have it."