For A Hurl Of A Good Time

Could it be? Is that our old friend Speedy tossing his cookies?

It is! The plucky little ad icon who dutifully pitched Alka-Seltzer in the ’50s and ’60s has been yanked out of retirement for a poster and direct mail piece for the American Adver tising Mus eum in Portland, Ore. And he doesn’t look so good, kneeling before the porce lain God, eyes squinted shut, little baton at his feet and throwing up. Copy in the full ad explains: “Party at the Ad Museum. It beats the hell out of a party in Confer ence Room B at the Marriott.”

It may not be dignified, but it’s for a good cause. The museum, which has had its financial struggles, is eager to remind local businesses that it can be booked for cocktail parties and such.

“Of course it’s disgusting, but it’s also funny,” says Oscar Reza, a museum board member and an art director at local agency HMH, which created the piece. To get the attention of ad execs, Reza considered using Mr. Peanut or Tony the Tiger, but says he was after instant recognition and irony. “Think about it,” he says. “Speedy represents an antacid, and there he is heaving in the john.”

“Most company parties involve heavy drinking and over indulgence. So using Speedy, who typically stands for pain relief, bent over the porce lain pony, is very ironic,” adds creative director David Born.

The shop created another piece with Bob of Bob’s Big Boy holding a martini instead of a hamburger. It seems the sight of Bob retching over a toilet would have been too much.