Wednesday, 30 January 2008

This Day In LWOT History

Jan. 30, 1983

An LWOT commercial airs during Super Bowl XVII. The commercial, meant to boost the magazine's American readership, featured Gradey Alexander's bearded face on the cover of every magazine on a street vendor's rack. Alexander's animated lips spoke throughout the commercial with the use of then state-of-the-art computer generated morphing technology. Critics panned the choppy movement of Alexander's lips and the phony echo effect as the famed writer touted the virtues of the world's greatest fiction magazine. Mordecai Richler was one of the first to speak out against his rival and called the commercial "ego stroking to the Nth degree."

Although Alexander never confirmed how much was spent on the commercial, the Globe and Mail quoted an anonymous source from the magazine who stated the 30 second spot cost $1.2 million, including the production costs and air time. The presumed cost left the magazine with a crippling debt which many speculate lead to Alexander's eventual ouster as managing editor.

The Redskins went on to beat the Dolphins 27-17. Dolphins backup quarterback David Woodley later blamed the loss, in part, on the LWOT commercial.

"How could anyone focus on the game when we knew that bearded guy's creepy face would be the only thing people would be talking about the next day?"

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