RadioShack’s Super Bowl Ad Revels in an Uncomfortable Truth: It’s a 1980s Throwback


I don’t like football and am usually immune to the charms of Super Bowl commercials. So I caught up with RadioShack’s spot — which you can watch in the player above — only after the game was over, online.

It’s a funny, self-effacing ad, which confronts the electronics retailer’s reputation for being somewhat less than cutting-edge by depicting Kid and Play, John Ratzenberger as Cheers‘ Cliff Clavin, 1984 Olympics darling Mary Lou Retton, Child’s Play‘s Chuckie, Hulk Hogan, ALF, Erik Estrada as Ponch from CHiPs, the California Raisins, Q*Bert and other icons of the 1980s ransacking a dowdy RadioShack of its VCRs, fax machines and boom boxes.

At the end, there’s a glimpse of a surprisingly spacious, modern RadioShack tastefully displaying sexy products from Samsung and Beats. Which seems to be more of a promise of good things to come than a claim that your nearby…

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