Ehmagosh! The 1980s was the era of big hair, of the Huxtables, of Bo knowing all sorts of stuff, and of Reaganomics. Ask any two people who were of age during that time period and you’ll get a million different answers about what made the ’80s so special. Now we look back and we can’t help thinking about how cheesy it all seems from a distance, but when we were in the middle of it, the ’80s were breathtaking. My earliest memories took place in 1984 when I was seven years old, and revolved around music. Some of my best memories took place in 1988 when I was eleven years old and I wrote my first short story.
But some of the shared memories were the best because if I bring them up, like the Huxtables above, others will go, “Yeah! I remember that too!” It’s that shared experience that make the ’80s so exciting to revisit (like some kind of hot tub time machine). Some of the biggest shared memories were those ’80s slogans that kept going around and around our heads. They were so catchy! So, here are my top 5 ’80s slogans:
5. “How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S.”
Even I could spell this one, so it appealed to me almost as much as the Energizer Bunny, who kept going, and going, and going. Rolaids were of course supposed to help you keep going, too. I had no clue what they were, but I liked all the pretty colors they came in, and the spelling fit right in with what I was learning in school. So sad to see that they’ve been pulled off the market.
4. “Raise your hand if you’re Sure.”
I honestly wasn’t so sure, at least not sure enough to raise my hand when I first saw this commercial for Sure deodorant. Do they even make this anymore? I’ve always been someone who sweats a lot so I needed some really strong protection. I begged my mom to buy me some of that Sure stuff because I wanted to be able to raise my hand. Sadly, while it may have worked wonders, it also created hives on my sensitive skin that took ages to go away, even after I stopped using the Sure. Yeah, not raising my hand.
Oh, that Dave Thomas was a genius! The whole idea behind “Where’s the beef?” was all about other hamburger food fast chains that advertized everything from big buns (ha ha) to lots of fixins, but had teeny tiny hamburgers. Wendy’s claimed to have the largest burgers to fit each bun, and the slogan became a phenomenon. I’ve never eaten meat, but even I remember those commercials fondly with the old (eh hem, elderly) ladies posing that famous question.
2. “Mikey likes it.”
I have absolutely no clue why Mikey liked it. Life cereal remains only slightly better than Alpo dog food (not that I’ve tried it or anything), but that kid made me believe it was worthwhile. As always, though, when I finally got my mom to pick me up some I found out that Mikey was a big, fat liar. Kid had a nice smile, though.
1. “Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s finger-lickin’ good.”
Again, no meat being eaten here, but I grew up in Philadelphia, the 1980s KFC franchise champion. It seemed like there was one on every corner, and everyone who was anyone ate their fried chicken. There was just so much of it. But I never totally understood this slogan. I mean, you ate the fried chicken with your fingers, so even if it wasn’t good, you would have to get the grease off of them somehow. No napkin handy? Just lick them. Now, if you gave me some M&Ms I would definitely say they were finger-lickin’ good… if they didn’t melt in your mouth, not in your hand.