Julie Sounds Good

Like A Commercial Should

 
 

     TV commercials plugging men's products work better if there is a hint at a “romantic payoff.” At least that's the word from one of Madison Ave.’s big research outfits.


Commercials showing a guy being pawed by a bevy of babes sell more hair tonic or mouth wash than those with a pitchman haranguing us to toss away the greasy kid stuff or rinse with an antiseptic which contains hydrofortistan.


Personally, the only gal appearing in TV commercials today who could lead me into buying anything is Julie London. The others have about as much sex appeal as a store-window dummy.


Julie and I sat down and discussed her TV commercials while I lit a dozen or so Marlboros for her. She spared me the Marlboro song.


“I've filmed two commercials a year for Marlboro during the past four years." Says Julie. "They can only be used for one year each. That's in the contract."


One of Julie's current commercials has her sitting in a limousine with her date and staring at him with a look of half surrender, as she sings the sultry siren song of the cigarettes. The other one reveals Julie and her man in a comfortably darkened room.


      “It’s a beach house,” Julie says matter-of-factly, as If everyone knew that beautiful dolls and Marlboros obviously went to beach-houses with tattooed men just to smoke.


     It requires one full day at the studio to film each of Julie’s commercials. The only instruction she gets from the director is to “give it lots of warmth.” This, Julie can do in spades. The money she makes from these commercials is considerable, but there are drawbacks.


       “I’ve lost guest shots on three TV shows this season, because other cigarette companies sponsor them,” Julie states.


For the benefit of the ladies in the TV audience I suppose I should mention the man-about-town who plays Julie's vis-a-vis in her commercials. He is actor Phil Terry, and although he symbolizes the rugged, ready and rich type whIch Marlboro seems to prefer. I frankly think he looks a bit too old for Julie.


Is he really the fellow we want our Julie to be wheeling around with in limousines, or having as an escort to beach-houses? I had in mind a slightly younger chap, more clean-cut and perhaps even wearing glasses.


I casually mentioned this to Julie as I struck a match and lit another cigarette (Marlboro, that is) for her, but I don't believe she heard me.


"Don't you want to put that match out?" she asked. "I think I smell fingers burning.”


So, all right! Maybe I can get a job doing a commercial for the Unguentine people!

Los Angeles Times

Sunday - October 28, 1962

By Hal Humphrey