Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Godzilla's a... Pepper?

Well, we may not be seeing Godzilla 1985 on DVD any time soon, but thanks to someone over on YouTube, the commercials that the Big G starred in for Dr. Pepper around the time of that film's American release are once again available to fans of the prehistoric pitchman/beast.

That's right – years before throwing down with Charles Barkley for Nike, 'Zilla shilled for soft drinks.

Apparently Dr. Pepper had already made arrangements to use Godzilla in their ads when New World Pictures, who had acquired the Big G's 1984 "comeback" film from Toho, contacted the Pepper people about cross promoting their (heavily edited) version of the movie with the soft drink campaign. This is why, in various scenes of Godzilla 1985, a Dr. Pepper vending machine is prominently placed in the hallway of the "Pentagon." Reportedly, the guys at New World really pushed returning star Raymond Burr (reprising his role of "Steve Martin" from the 1956 Godzilla King of the Monsters) to drink a Pepper onscreen, but iron-willed Ironside flat-out refused. (Another character is seen sipping the beverage instead.)

Two commercials were made: the one below, and another one with a cutesy female monster with a bow on her head and ray-beam eyes, whose love is won by the Big Guy with the help of a giant Diet Dr. Pepper.

I like the ad below a lot better. Aside from the unfortunately under-detailed Godzilla suit, I love the B&W photography and the humor of the spot. Enjoy.

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