A Public Service Announcement from the Video Rental Store Association

Here’s a trip down memory lane. . . . .the PSA or public-service announcement they ran at the beginning of select video-tapes in the ancient days of early 1990’s rental.

It was when going to the video store was an event, and an entire back-wall was full of the same “New Releases”– I mean, AN ENTIRE SHELF of say, “Pretty Woman” or “Terminator 2” as eventually, the store would sell-off excess copies at a discount.

I guess this was in the days of the culture-industry when a central film would take-up a lot of marketing and promotional attention, as much of America “seemed on the same page”. However, not everyone rented at “Blockbuster” and the dog, here– carries in a VHS box from a sort of generic video-mart, as I always wandered about that.

Personally, I never minded when “brand names” made an effort at ambient “product-placement” because it just mad the film, a bit more realistic I figured. But the PSA wouldn’t name companies, in an effort to be universal and maybe, not get sued for using a brand-name. You got to wonder, where the bag was printed– or if that, itself was a generic bag small stores could stock, if they couldn’t afford to run their own name.

That’s one dull family, as I’d prefer to read a book then spend a night, studying “Portuguese”. The PSA has “the feel”, I remember back in the day– when kids would boast about movies on the school bus, “they probably never seen” as big talk and R-ratings probably meant your parents wouldn’t rent-it for you.

Our Dad would never rent us Steven Segal films even though they had the best trailers. He would take one look at it, and guess what he’d probably “be in store, for” and scrunch-up his face with a sure-fire sense of resigned absurdity– and then point the way toward the PG-13 Steve Martin/Chevy Chase comedy.

In hindsight, I think we “turned out, okay”.

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A Public Service Announcement from the Video Rental Store Association

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