Category:
1980s

SHT and SCAT

In his 1983 book Big Business Blunders: Mistakes in Multinational Marketing, David Ricks tells the following story:

A Japanese steel firm, Sumitomo, recently introduced its specialty steel pipe into the U.S. market. Sumitomo used a Tokyo-based, Japanese agency to help develop its advertisements. The steel was named "Sumitomo High Toughness," and the name was promoted by the acronym SHT in bold letters. So bold, in fact, that the full-page ads run in trade journals were three fourths filled with SHT. Located at the bottom of the page was a short message which ended with the claim that the product was "made to match its name." It simply cannot be overemphasized that local input is vital.

I've been able to find ads for SHT, such as the one below, but none exactly like the one that Ricks describes. Which doesn't mean the ad doesn't exist. Just that it isn't in any journals archived online.

Ocean Industry - July 1984



However, among the ads for SHT that I was able to find, I found one that actually improves (and possibly complicates) Ricks's story. Because it turns out that Sumitomo had another product, Sumitomo Calcium Treatment, that it abbreviated as SCAT.

Once I could accept as an honest mistake, but coming up with scatalogical abbreviations twice seems intentional. I'm guessing either someone at Sumitomo thought it was funny, or someone at the Japanese agency was having a joke at their expense.

Ocean Industry - March 1980

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 27, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Products, Odd Names, Excrement, 1980s

Grapefruit Diet Ad

"With success, comes class!"

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 26, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Advertising, 1980s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Hair Coloring Calculator

Pity the poor inventor of the 1980s, who had a notion for something not supported by the clunky digital tech of that era. This elaborate device is today just a free app.

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 25, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, Patents, 1980s, Hair and Hairstyling

Miss Fine Brown Frame

A beauty contest inspired by a song! It started in 1947, but I'm not sure when it ended. But it was still active at least till 1983, as you can see below.



Source of text.






Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 08, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ethnic Groupings, Music, 1940s, 1980s

Death by Halloween costume

Redlands Daily Facts - Nov 2, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 31, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, 1980s, Halloween

Playing Music With Animals

Here is one track from this album (tracklist below). If you wish to listen to the rest, visit the Internet Archive and choose the Spotify option.

The human's Wikipedia page.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 26, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Animals, Music, 1980s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Deadsy (Deadtime Stories for Big Folk)

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 23, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Death, Cartoons, 1980s, Sex

Haysi Fantayzee

Here's a live performance by a New Wave band that has arguably aged less well than many others, such as Blondie and The Cars. The rest of their 13-track playlist is here.

Their Wikipedia page says:

Haysi Fantayzee was an avant-garde, new wave pop project emanating from the Blitz Kids street arts scene in London in the early 1980s. The group's music combined reggae, country and electro with political and sociological lyrics couched as nursery rhymes.[3]

Catapulted to stardom by their visual sensibilities, Haysi Fantayzee combined their extreme clothes sense – described[4] as combining white Rasta, tribal chieftain and Dickensian styles – with a quirky musical sound comparable to, but distinct from, other new wave musical pop acts of the era, such as Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants and Bananarama



Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 18, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Fey, Twee, Whimsical, Naive and Sadsack, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Music, 1980s

WABOT-2, the Organ-Playing Robot

WABOT-2 was created in the early 1980s, but I can't find any info on what's become of him since then. Whoever now owns him should be renting him out to play at weddings and funerals — recoup some of that $1.2 million it cost to build him.

More info: Waseda University

Belleville News-Democrat - Sep 13, 1984





Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 08, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Robots, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, 1980s

Can’t Miss the Show

January 1985: The women of the Thurlow family proved they were serious fans of the TV show St. Elsewhere. Even as their house burned down around them, they remained parked in front of the TV set, watching the latest episode through the haze of the smoke, unwilling to miss a single moment. The firefighters had to drag them away. But as soon as the fire was extinguished, the women rushed back into the house and were able to catch the final 10 minutes.

Ocala Star-Banner - Jan 23, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 14, 2022 - Comments (7)
Category: 1980s

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