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Help me find my TV commercial!
February 20, 2008 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I appeared in a TV commercial (as a child) in the late 70's. I received some residuals for it showing on TV somewhere, but I never saw it myself. How can I track it down to view it?
posted by littleredwagon to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm assuming you've checked YouTube and other assorted video websites already? The next step would be contacting the company whose product you advertised, explaining your situation, and seeing if they give you any leads.
posted by nitsuj at 1:57 PM on February 20, 2008


What information do you have? (e.g. Who filmed it? In what location? What was the product advertised? Who was the ad agency? Who else was with you or represented you in the contract)
posted by winston at 2:09 PM on February 20, 2008


If you have any idea of what it was for, you can probably guess when it would air.

Was it a national commercial? For kid's stuff? Check for full episodes of kid's programs on YT or just collection of kid's commercials.
posted by unixrat at 2:09 PM on February 20, 2008


I'm assuming you've checked YouTube and other assorted video websites already? The next step would be contacting the company whose product you advertised, explaining your situation, and seeing if they give you any leads.

I have; with no luck. I don't even remember the name of the company, just the product!
posted by littleredwagon at 2:13 PM on February 20, 2008


What information do you have? (e.g. Who filmed it? In what location? What was the product advertised? Who was the ad agency? Who else was with you or represented you in the contract)

It was outside of NYC, in some park. One of the actors was a regular in one of the old Burger King commercials...as the King, if I remember correctly. That's it. I remember my agent's name, but don't think she'd be in the biz any longer...
posted by littleredwagon at 2:15 PM on February 20, 2008


Does your family remember any of the details of this? I am guessing you asked someone...kids don't usually turn up to commercials on their own. Also, I would try tracking down that agent anyway.
posted by sweetkid at 2:17 PM on February 20, 2008


If you have any idea of what it was for, you can probably guess when it would air.

Was it a national commercial? For kid's stuff? Check for full episodes of kid's programs on YT or just collection of kid's commercials.


It wasn't a well known product. Don't think it was 'national'...

Thanks for ALL the tips so far! Keep 'em coming!
posted by littleredwagon at 2:17 PM on February 20, 2008


What was the name of the product?
posted by delmoi at 2:20 PM on February 20, 2008


What was the name of the product?

Kooky Kite.

Don't even remember seeing it in the toy stores!
posted by littleredwagon at 2:22 PM on February 20, 2008


According to Wikipedia, an actor named Dick Gjonola played the Burger King.
posted by acoutu at 2:23 PM on February 20, 2008


The Museum of Television and Radio may have an archive or database that could help?
posted by jeffe at 2:36 PM on February 20, 2008


To be honest, It's likely going to be very tough to track down a spot from this time period. Companies usually store all their ad media off-site, or let the agencies take care of element storage. Unfortunately, as times change companies switch agencies, agencies fold, post-houses fold, elements get moved from place to place, etc... Normally post-houses keep masters of all the spots they've cut, so you might be able to try that route, assuming they're still in business and have a well organized vault.

Your best bet, in my opinion, is to try and contact anyone else that appeared in the spot with you and see if they kept a copy. If this is not an option then I'd look for the creative team that put together the spot (i.e. the director, editor, copywriter, creative director, etc...) You could do this by contacting your agent and seeing if she has any records of her contacts at the agency involved. Most people working on the creative side of the ad world keep historical reels of their work for use in their reels and such. If you can track down the editor or the director there's a chance they'd have a copy somewhere. The problem you'll likely run into (assuming you can find these people) is that unless they had their work transfered over to a modern day tape format, the only copies will likely exist on film or reel to reel tape.

Good luck, hope this helps.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 2:52 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was it a union shoot?
If you received residuals it most likely was.
Contact the Screen Actors Guild at (212) 944-1030.
Their residuals department is (800) 205-7716.
But you said it was a tv commercial, so it may be recorded under AFTRA (Amer. Fed. of Tv & Radio Artists), so try:
(212) 532-0800.
Agents and agencies are monitored closely by the above unions; even if your agent is dead, chances are there is a legacy (or a file-folder) with helpful info.
(Or just google "kooky kite" and check out some retro toy sites to saee if you can approach it from the manufacturing/production side, as advised above...)
posted by Dizzy at 5:52 PM on February 20, 2008


It will be exceedingly hard to find this.

First, it will have been recorded on 1" videotape, a format in rare use today.
Second, broadcasters do not keep commercial spots much more than a year after airing
Third, unless Kooky Kite was a huge national client of an ad agency, they would not have kept a copy.

The only chance would finding an aircheck copy of a station that aired the commercial in the 70s. You would need to know the regions/stations where the commercial ran and then somehow convince the station to let you look through their aircheck library. That library might be on U-matic tape, and with few of those machines around, you would have to get permission to literally watch hundreds of tapes inside a TV station.
posted by Argyle at 5:58 PM on February 20, 2008


Thanks everyone for all the tips! Hopefully, I can keep you posted on my search...
posted by littleredwagon at 8:16 AM on February 21, 2008


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