Coffee Achieving

Featured Image: Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed, February 13, 1984

A couple of weeks ago, Berkeley Breathed released the entire “Bloom County” catalogue in a digital bundle. Bloom County has been my favorite comic strip since junior high, so I squee’d, pounced, and started re-reading. When I got to the strip for February 13, 1984, I snorked. Loudly, because I remember those commercials. They were dorky at the time, and they are unforgivably dorky now. Follow this link and prepare to activate your Fringe Face. If you can’t watch the video, here’s a transcript:

You are the new American society! The movers, and the shakers!
You are the New Coffee Generation!
Because coffee lets you calm yourself down, and picks you up.
Coffee gives you the serenity to dream it, and the vitality to do it.
No other drink does that like coffee.
Join the Coffee Achievers!

Serenity, really? And get a load of this gem from another ad in the campaign: “Coffee is the calm moment that lets you think.” What. Were they serious? Who came up with this stuff? If I have more than two cups in the morning I’m orbiting Saturn before lunch. That is not a recipe for calm.

To be fair, my perspective could be skewed because I’ve only been drinking coffee for a year or so. I love it because it’s a vehicle for caffeine and dubiously healthy add-ins (half and half does contain protein, y’all). As far as I’m concerned, coffee is hot chocolate with benefits. It is lovely and makes mornings better, but serenity is pushing it.

From what I’ve read, this ad campaign wasn’t considered wildly successful, but I have to wonder if it was just a slow burn. Vance Marriner put it best: “But maybe, just maybe, the seed had been planted in those commercials back in the ’80s, and took a while to germinate. After all, one does not attain the lofty rank of Coffee Achiever overnight.”

I think he’s right. It took me a few decades to join the club, but here I am! Do we get jackets?

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2 Comments

  1. This is too awesome for words! Love both bloom county and the coffee ad and can’t believe they got permission to use David Bowie??? Must have been short of cash or perhaps had WAY too many cups and fried his brain.

    1. Thanks, Crabby! Seriously, I nearly fell over when I saw Bowie at the beginning. Totally forgot he and Heart were ever involved in those. We may never know what he was thinking. 😀

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