10 vintage TV commercials featuring the Brady kids
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia had girls demanding, "Barbie, Barbie, Barbie!"
It can be hard out there for a child actor. The balance of work and school is tough enough. It's also a competitive field. Thousands of kids (well, their parents) think they have what it takes to be on TV.
Back in the day, young thespians found most work in sitcoms and in commercials. TV ads were the easiest way to break into the field, and dozens of stars got their start pitching pudding, toys and deviled ham.
Few child stars of the 1960s and 1970s were bigger than the Brady kids. We all know and love Greg, Marcia, Jan, Peter, Cindy and Bobby. We also know the talented folks behind the fictional siblings — Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen and Mike Lookinland. Few worked harder than the Brady kids, who were acting, singing and dancing for multiple projects.
They all worked in TV commercials, too. Here are some of our favorites. Do you remember seeing them?
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1. Marcia for Chatty Cathy
Maureen McCormick made her TV debut in 1964, selling dolls for Mattel. The young actress first popped up pitching the line of "Chatty" dolls, including Chatty Cathy. Kids could slip a little record inside the doll's tummy to play a variety of sayings.
2. Marcia for Barbie
Here the former Baby Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant winner is the embodiment of the "Living Barbie."
3. Jan for Barbie
Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! She was not the only Brady girl selling Barbies and talking dolls! Eve Plumb also earned checks from Mattel. Here she is in 1969, talking up the talking Barbie.
4. Jan for Burger Chef
After leaving her Brady role, Eve Plumb found work again in commercials. The teenager donned a Burger Chef uniform in 1977 to declare, "Open wide, America!"
5. Greg for Head and Shoulders
Barry Williams had plenty of commercial work in his demo reel before landing his role as the eldest Brady son. "Nancy is a neat chick, yeah, but… boy, that dandruff," he complains in this Head and Shoulders spot. Like he would turn down a date with Nancy.
6. Greg for Milky Way
Williams sees the world around him turn into groovy Milky Way logos, including his house. We prefer the architecture of the Brady house, despite it not being filled with delicious caramel.
7. Greg for Shasta
As Eve Plumb was pushing burgers, Williams found work in the soda wars. Dressed as a knight, he chugs Shasta from a goblet, touting their 14 flavors. I'm not sure we could name all 14 flavors.
8. Bobby for Coca Cola
Once little Bobby was all grown up, he was pitching soft drinks, too. In this 1979 Coke ad, Mike Lookinland portrays a young athlete going off to participate in the Olympics. What sport do you think he plays? We're guessing ping pong.
9. Peter for Marx Playsets
Marx (no relation to Karl or the Brothers) was a toy manufacturer that specialized in little plastic figurines. Here, Christopher Knight briefly appears as one of the boys eager to get down to "fun business" with his Fort Apache men.
10. Cindy for Sindy
If you're going to sell a doll called Sindy (and really, you probably shouldn't, as the name feels wrong for an innocent doll) you might as well get Cindy Brady! Susan Olsen was the spokeswoman for Sindy, which was also manufactured by Marx.
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