You would think that with all the video sharing options we have available us, there wouldn’t be any missing video. On the contrary, there are so many things that have little or no video associated with them. One of them being commercials for Howard Johnson’s Restaurants. I understand that there are many commercials for the brand on YouTube; however, the quality of each of these videos is horrendous. They all look like someone dredged up a long lost video tape from the bottom of the ocean, encoded it, and threw it up in the lowest possible resolution.
There has to be more video available than what I’m finding. I realize that internet video is a relatively new thing, but actual video isn’t. Somewhere out there someone has a stockpile of HOJO’s commercials that are in a somewhat usable format. I want to talk to that person. I feel like my ability to adequately tell the story of this brand is hindered by the shocking lack of visual material on it. That being said, there are all sorts of other kinds of advertisements I can get my hands on. Those will be covered in subsequent posts.
Commercials are seen as an irritant by many. Millions of people have a plugin attached to their web browser for the sole purpose of blocking ads. With all this outrage swirling around, it should come as no surprise that my search for commercials is coming up empty.I am not willing to give up. I know that Wyndham, the company that currently owns the brand, has them stored somewhere at their headquarters. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Since so much time has passed, it’s possible that they have been deleted at some point over the years.
Why would they though? You wouldn’t be able to tell their story if you cut out the way it was advertised. A lot of company’s commercials give a sense of how they evolved over time. You’re able to see how a company represented itself during the time in which the commercial came out. You can’t derive this kind of story from any other resource. If the commercials for Howard Johnson’s Restaurants were deleted, I want to know a good reason why. If they still exist, I want to get my hands on them and show them to you.
I will tell you that my favorite commercial out of the ones I could find was the “Around the Corner” one. I have watched it several times and it ranks as one of the best commercials I have ever seen. I feel like it presents a high quality snapshot of what Howard Johnson’s was all about. This formula could be used for any new Howard Johnson’s commercial and still produce the same impeccable results.
Articles in this Series
1. Take Me Back to Howard Johnson’s Introduction
2. Where Have All the HOJO’s Commercials Gone?
3. So You Wanna Build a HOJO’s?
4. Lake George’s Howard Johnson’s Restaurant: A Good Place to Start