Serious Eats’ assemblage of vintage Pringles commercials gave me some serious flashback whiplash: The “Totally ’80s Pringles Spot” used to run incessantly during Saturday-morning cartoon commercial breaks when I was a kid. Come to think of it, I haven’t eaten a Pringles chip since I was a kid, either; I guess I’m out of marketing range.
Serious Eats’ post, put together in tribute to Fredric Baur, inventor of the snack food’s innovative tube packaging, includes this 1973 introduction to the “newfangled” product, featuring the “girls” of the Tuesday bridge club. The commercial seems to indicate that Pringles were intended to be an adult food before they became cartoon-commercial kids’ fare. It’s a revealing glimpse into an era when novelty reigned and hairdos were really done:
The painfully cheesy Brad Pitt spot in the Serious Eats post is also worth a click. It appears that Pitt may have been on the forefront of the chest-waxing trend.
Given Pringles’ reconstructed nature and aura of novelty science, it seems amazing that they haven’t been co-opted by those fun-loving molecular gastronomists. Chowhound C. Thi Nguyen did find them being used as a dim sum element back in 2006, with Peking duck and a green apple salad.
Pringles can inventor Baur passed away on May 4. He was so proud of his invention that he requested that part of his cremated remains be buried in a Pringles can.
Others have found that the cans excel as a package for shipping cookies.
R.I.P., Fredric Baur.