I had to buy flowers the other day and I immediately went to FTD. When I think flowers, I think FTD, automatically.
That’s bizarre, I thought. There are lots of places to get flowers. Why do I default to one place?
The answer: Merlin Olsen. This commercial is from 1986, but I feel like he started being their spokesperson even before that:
Merlin Olsen did ads for FTD when I was little, and I guess it kind of stuck with me. I wasn’t really aware of Merlin Olsen in any real sense, but he felt trustworthy to me, and as he got older, his beard got bushier and he looked like he was in training to eventually be Santa. At some point, he became synonomous with buying flowers and in some minescule crevasse of my shopping brain, corporate America successfully planted a seed.
How? When? I don’t know. I just know that I’ve pretty much been using FTD for flowers for my whole life, and it’s thanks to Merlin Olsen, who died in 2010. That’s kind of nuts.
So who has brought your money to the corporate bosom? There are lots of amazing pitchpeople, like the Most Interesting Man in the World, or Peyton Manning.
But do you drink Dos Equis because of him?
And with all of Peyton’s products, is there one you buy because of him?
Does Taylor Swift make you drink Diet Coke?
Does Beyonce make you drink Pepsi?
Do you have Geico Insurance because of this guy or in spite of him?
He’s a character, anyway, but maybe it’s not even a person, but a symbol. Which corporate pitchperson, real or fictional, has wrested the money from your wallet?
Who is your Merlin Olsen?