Monday, June 22, 2009

Classic ad treatment: Schlitz. Light.

Another hard day at the office for Mr. Coburn.

"Schlitz. Light." Cheque. Please.

This is the famous 1978 Schlitz Light ad for which James Coburn got paid a then-record $500,000 to utter just two words.

The story is that Coburn first said no to the offer; pressed, he said he'd say only the name of the product for half a million, thinking that his "counter-offer" would be turned down. It wasn't.

Appearing on Late Night with David Letterman (sorry, no video), Coburn said that when he showed up on the set to shoot the ad, the pressure was on. He was being paid a lot to say two words, so he figured he'd better make them count:

Take one: "Schlitz. Light."

Take two: "Schlitz light!"

Take three: "Schlitz, Light."

Take four: "Schlitz! Light!"

Etc, etc, etc...

They eventually settled on the above take - which still sounds a bit forced.

Coburn would never utter the words, "I drink Schlitz Light" or "I like Schlitz Light" in a commercial or anywhere. In fact, in an interview, he later said he never cared for the stuff.

Poor. Schlitz.

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