Archive for the ‘Commercials/Videos’ Category

Described as “the true blue Willy Wonka,” “eccentric,” an “oddball,” and a “savant,” David Klein, I recently found out, is all of these things, and more.

David Klein is the inventor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, and he’s got quite a story. Last week, I talked with David about his new documentary, Candyman: The David Klein Story, produced by his son and daughter-in-law. I’d been hoping to see this film, which chronicles David’s Jelly Belly journey, so I felt like I won a first prize when he offered to send me a copy.

So far, I’ve watched this feature-length film twice. It’s quirky and a little addicting. Ellia Kassoff, the owner of Astro Pops, LLC, says he’s watched it four times.

I am drawn to this film because David is a walking candy Wikipedia. If I were writing a historical piece on the industry, he’d be the first guy I’d call. Ask David a question about a candy brand and he’ll tell you when it was invented, the company that manufactured it, when the brand changed hands, and the people behind it all.

I am also drawn to this film because of David’s character. He is wacky (he writes all of his notes on paper plates) and would probably drive you nuts if he were your dad, but he’s got a heart of gold and an entrepreneurial spirit that trumps The Donald’s.

I’m no film critic, so I won’t go into details about the film (see the Candy Professor’s review), but I will share a few good takeaways I got from my call with the Candyman:

- From the beginning, David sold jelly beans as individual flavors. “If I only sold an assorted box, I’d only have one spot in the store. By forcing retailers to buy single flavors, I got much more shelf space.”

- David got the idea for intensely and realistically flavored jelly beans while watching “Happy Days.” He got the idea for the brand name, “Jelly Belly” while watching “Sanford and Son.”

- David’s all-time favorite candy is not jelly beans. It’s actually Junior Mints (and Queen Anne’s Caramellos, but they are extinct).

- David wishes the manufacturer of Junior Mints (Tootsie Roll Industries), would come out with a Junior Mint peppermint patty.

- David is working on a new line of jelly beans that he says will “revolutionize the jelly bean business.” If all goes to plan, the new beans will roll out before Easter 2011.

- The outlandish rhinestone cowboy outfit that David wore on “The Mike Douglas Show” set him back $4,760.

Candyman: The David Klein Story is now playing on The Documentary Channel, which is primarily available through satellite television services DISH Network (Channel 197) and DIRECTV (Channel 267).

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Last night my kids were watching Tim Burton’s 2005 movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which prompted my husband to ask the question, “Which Willy Wonka character do you like best, Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp?”

My quick response? Johnny Depp. My kids’ quicker response? Gene Wilder.

Which Willy Wonka gets your Golden Ticket?

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Overall Impression:

in Candy, Chocolate, Commercials/Videos, Wonka

If you grew up in the 1980s, you must watch this commercial  …

Don’t you love the Walkmans/headsets and the woman carrying a generic jar of peanut butter down the street—just because? Things were so much simpler back then.

If this commercial were shot today, the guy would be reading The New York Times on his iPad while unfurling a Hershey’s bar from a plastic wrapper, and not the silver foil (remember the shiny silver foil?).

The girl would be juggling her Blackberry and Starbucks cup, while trying to pull out a packet of Justin’s Almond Butter from her laptop bag.

The two would bump into each other, and either A: Not notice, B: Agree to text or follow on Facebook, or C: Sue for bodily harm.

Taking you further down memory lane, here’s a vintage ad that’s racking up thousands of views on YouTube …

For the record, Tootsie Roll Industries, stands by its age-old answer on how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. On the company’s FAQ page, I found this statement: “It depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your mouth, the amount of saliva, etc. Basically, the world may never know.”

Last stop down the lane today: “candy too good for kids.” I never understood the rationale behind promoting a candy as too good for kids. When I was a kid, I didn’t want to even try Toffifay because I thought it must taste yucky if it’s not made for kids. Obviously, the reverse psychology didn’t work on me.

What’s your favorite candy commercial from when you were a kid?

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