Bad Product Ideas: Tom Marvel Birth Control Ice Cream

(New York-NY) It’s been a busy week in Ed-E-torial Central. First, we’re planning on shooting more Ed-E-torials. Second, that’s made all the more difficult because John Mark Carr was supposed to be a guest. But when he made a pass at Ed-E-torial Executive Producer
Cordy Wagner and not Ed, Ed had a fit that made The Who in their prime look like Gandhi in a roller derby, because Ed wasn’t the object of JMC’s “love tug.” But we do have a surprise for you.

If you grew up in the North East during the 1960s and 70s, you probably remember the Carvel brand ice cream; mostly because the pitchman of their TV ads was none other than the owner, Tom Carvel. Carvel had a unique voice. Add the fact that he never had a script and the Jim Beam, it was pretty memorable stuff.

While many consider Tom Carvel the father of the modern franchise, unless of course you go to the McDonald’s website where they say it’s Ray Kroc or the Kentucky Fried Chicken web site where it’s Colonel Sanders. Regardless of which fast food King put us all on the Lipitor Death March First, not all of Tom’s ideas were successful, like the character he created, Tom Marvel, to hawk an idea Carvel thought couldn’t lose…birth control ice cream.

It seems at the height of the sexual revolution in the mid 1970s, Marvel was concerned that many underage teens were having sex. Concerned because it was an expanding market segment, and he wasn’t getting a part of it. Carvel approached the Brooklyn based Pfizer pharmaceutical company, always on the look out for a drug has to do with sex, and the line was born. Carvel then turned his marketing genius to creating a totally different character, Tom Marvel, for fear that those loyal to the Carvel brand wouldn’t take kindly to the new ice cream line.

Only one radio spot was ever created, and it aired once. Why? It seems as different as the Marvel character was, Carvel consumers caught on, and the campaign and idea was quickly shelved. That is, until we found it.

Listen and judge for yourself. And until we have more Ed-E-torials, please check out the ones we did.

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NOTE:This was written by L.P. Ferrante. Due to the John Mark Carr incident, Ed has gone on strike this week. LPF