When Worlds Collide

My wife and I were watching the sixties TV show Hazel the other day, and it was quite a throwback to a world I don’t think exists anymore.

For those who may not be familiar with the show, Hazel is an American sitcom about a spunky live-in maid named Hazel Burke (played by Shirley Booth) and her employer, the Baxters. The five-season, 154-episode series aired in primetime from September 28, 1961, to April 11, 1966.

Hazel wears a classic maid’s uniform and is a top-notch cook and housekeeper.

Given that the show is from the early 60s, the show is as out of date as you can imagine. As one example, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter sleep in separate twin beds, with a nightstand in between them. As another, Mr. Baxter seems to wear a suit all day, every day (poor guy).

I was fine with how antiquated the show was, but it was what you would expect from a show made back then.

But what really struck me was when it came time for a commercial break.

I am imagining that the audience for this show is people my age (63) and older, probably much older. And I would think advertisers know this.

So imagine my surprise when one of the commercials was for The Mirror. If you’re not familiar with the mirror, here is an ad for it:

This seemed to be such an odd choice of a commercial to be showing during Hazel.

First, there is the contrast between Hazel’s world of very little in the way of personal technology and a futuristic mirror that has video coming out of it.

Second, there is the target audience thing. As I noted, I would assume that Hazel is being watched by people over the age of 70, and most likely women (yes, you can wonder why I was watching it…). The Mirror is likely targeting a much younger market, and one that is much more likely to be physically active than the Hazel audience.

It was a striking contrast. A classic case of worlds colliding.

Can you imagine Hazel, in her maid’s uniform, working out in front of The Mirror?

Perhaps the show would attract a whole new set of viewers…


34 thoughts on “When Worlds Collide

  1. Hazel and a mirror? This really is blather.

    I remember watching that show when I was a kid. I liked it, though I’ll bet it comes across as corny these days. And I’ve never known any man who wears a suit in his house all day. Maybe during this Covid crisis there are some men working from home who do this, but I’ll bet their suit is only from the waist up.

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  2. That’s what I call poor market research. Someone really missed the target. I wonder how many other people noticed. Then again maybe they used the break to go to the washroom like some of us 63 year olds do.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What we need is Hazel, the commercial, and then Hazel working out to the theme of Rocky. How odd that this commercial was run during Hazel. Speaking of old TV shows, I remember Ward and June Cleaver had separate beds in Leave it to Beaver. It’s a wonder they ever had any kids.

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    1. I used to wonder why American couples always slept in single beds. Wasn’t it a thing back then that films and programmes had to show single beds, as it would be risqué to show a double bed?


  4. A possible, but rather prosaic reason for the ad placement. If the practice there is the same as here, tv ads are often bought as packages and the occasional odd spot gets included to make up the numbers and fill up the required time for the break. I’ve been on the client side of that and we had some interesting conversations with the ad agency about some of the slots they bought for us!

    Merry Christmas, Jim!

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  5. Clive makes an interesting point about how advertisers purchase air time in packages. Sometimes it does lead to an ad being shown in an unusual programming slot. The thing I find most antiquated is the idea of a live-in housekeeper. Did Mrs. Baxter work? Because in those days that would seem as strange as the “Mirror” commercial. Enjoyable post, my friend!

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  6. Poor guy 😂 that’s exactly my reaction would be for someone who wore a suit all day.

    I’m not familiar with the show, but it sound charming. The was an odd but interesting commercial, maybe they’re trying to target younger generation who are watching the shows, there should be someone out there. I can totally see myself watching it, but then again I’m a fan of shows and entertainment long before I was born 😀

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  7. Obviously some clever person has realised the mature audience does not want to keep seeing advertisements for stair lifts and incontinence products. Won’t they be cheered by the thought they too could get a Mirror and soon would be having too much fun to watch Hazel!

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  8. Makes you wonder if they even considered target audience. Lol Hazel, I remember that show too. Have you watched the Madmen series? I loved it. I’ll always remember a scene where a couple of housewives meet up at one’s house for 5 Oclock cocktails, smoking cigarettes, and one pregnant. Oye! 🙂

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