With all the buzz about this year's Super Bowl ads, I've been thinking about a classic TV commercial that I recall as being one that I actually wanted to see over and over again. The Great American Soup commercial from 1970 featured the great American MGM star Ann Miller as a talented housewife, and had the production values of a feature film.Budgeted at $154K, this one minute homage to Busby Berkeley musicals was directed by satirist Stan Freberg and took over four weeks to produce. It was the most expensive TV advertisement ever produced up to that point.The spot employed big band conductor Billy May and a 24-piece orchestra.
Academy Award-winning choreographer Hermes Pan was brought on and he hired 20 tap-dancing chorus girls to bring the story to life.
Such attention to detail created a most memorable advertisement that ran for years. Unfortunately the product, priced much higher than Campbells and made by Heinz, faded away.The commercial became so popular that it was referenced in most obituaries for Ms. Miller, who died 5 years ago in January 2004.