"Alcoa Can't Wait" - 1970s TV Commercial





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Published on Jul 2, 2008

A television/radio/print campaign launched in 1977, "Alcoa Can't Wait" is memorable for its rousing score and images of the innovative products and processes championed by the aluminum giant and cited by Herb Burger, then at the helm of HBM Creamer — the agency that created it — and others in the local ad community.

"When I was a tiny kid, 'Alcoa Can't Wait' was everywhere," said Big Science President Jay Green.

"The 'Alcoa Can't Wait' campaign demonstrated Alcoa's commitment to innovation and sustainability, and it's still relevant today," noted Lori Lecker, Alcoa senior manager, corporate affairs. "Whether recycling aluminum cans or increasing the aluminum content of automobiles through technological advances, Alcoa's advances improve lives around the world every day."

A subcampaign under the "can't wait" banner, "Fantastic Finishes" ran in the early 1980s at the two-minute warning of nationally televised NFL games, followed by a 30-second Alcoa commercial.

"The campaign and partnership was not only a first of its kind, it clearly creatively engaged the viewer at a crucial — and with the highest viewership — moment in the game they were watching," said New Perspective Communications President Dick Roberts. "The spots were fine, but the media negotiation and placement that enabled the advertiser to connect with influential viewers while utilizing a budget expansion technique is what made the overall campaign unique and impactful. Even though it was about 30 years ago, I remember seeing this campaign every Sunday during football season thinking, 'great idea, great approach, I wish I thought of it.' In my mind, (that's) the highest compliment."

NOTE: The above was written by Patty Tascarella for Pittsburgh Business Times' "Most Memorable Ad Campaigns" contest. Contact her at ptascarella@bizjournals.com or 412-208-3832.


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