Tuesday, July 24, 2007

peter sellers, airline pitchman

Vintage Ad #282: Peter Sellers Sings TWA
I was flipping through an old issue of Sports Illustrated when this ad caught my eye. The pitchman looked vaguely familiar, so I did a quick check on the web.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's Peter Sellers, airline pitchman.

As usual, Sellers disappeared into character for this campaign. This print ad and TV commercial feature "English toff" (as DVD Times called him) Jeremy Peak-Time. Other characters included Vito de Motion and Thrifty McTravel - figure out what ethnicities they represented. Apparently Sellers' superstitions reared their head during the production of these ads - nobody on the set could wear purple.

Sellers was nearing the end of a long dry stretch at the box office, which reversed when he resurrected Inspector Clouseau in The Return of the Pink Panther later than year.

Link: 1975 Time story on TWA management troubles, which fleetingly reference this campaign, calling it "controversial"

Print ad source: Sports Illustrated, March 24, 1975 

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