Just try to watch these and not smile…
If you’re old enough to remember car commercials from 1962 broadcast television, then you know times were fundamentally different back then. This is potently illustrated by the Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters starring in an ad campaign for the 1962 Ford Falcon line. They’re delightfully fun, low-key commercials the likes of which we would never see run today.
Check out a Farrah Fawcett Ford Mustang commercial here.
Back then, having characters from a comic strip star in a car commercial was more of a novelty than today. Many Americans looked forward to reading Peanuts in the paper each morning since they brought some innocent joy into their lives. It’s not hard to see how that was possible with the low-key humor employed in the commercials included with this post.
Perhaps the best one is for the Ford Falcon Futura. We’re not entirely sure why Linus is wearing glasses for the commercial, but he’s obviously functioning as the knowledgeable and wise sage trying to teach Charlie Brown about the car. The kicker is that ol’ Chuckles really isn’t cut out to drive something so cool, he just lacks the panache to pull it off. Of course, his trusty beagle is the ideal Futura Sport driver, what with his stylish clothes, twirling cane, and a swagger in his step.
Ford really talks up the value of the Falcon line. The Peanuts characters mention many times how affordable they are, right along with the features and design flairs. Considering the United States was just emerging from a recession, it’s understandable why people would be looking for something practical yet still a little fun. As the first compact car made by Ford, it was a prime target for budget-conscious shoppers.
With 13 models in the Falcon lineup for 1962, Ford was really going all-in. A mild restyling helped punch things up further, making many fond memories for kids who spent summer vacation in the back of a Squire Wagon. Today, ’62 Falcons are pretty affordable just like they were when new, making them a good option for someone who wants to dip their toe into the classic car market.
Watch the commercials for yourself and try to not smile.