Polaroid Couple -
James Garner and Mariette Hartley joined forces in the late
1970s to become the commercial spokespersons (husband and wife) who advertised
Polaroid "One Step" and "SX-70" camera
products. The theme of the commercials was the battle of the sexes. As James Garner tried to explain
why Polaroid was a great camera, Mariette Hartley (as his TV wife) would "zing!"
him with an affectionate but barbed put-down.
The personal chemistry created
between the two actors was electric and helped sell millions of dollars worth of
Polaroid products. So convincing was their performance that everywhere Mariette
Hartley went, she was mistaken as the real wife of James Garner.
the effects of the successful commercial spots, she had a T-shirt made
proclaiming: "I am not James Garner's wife!" More than 300 commercials were
produced by Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency beginning in 1977.
At the time, a psychologist reported that the reason people thought both Garner and Hartley
were married to each other in the commercials was because "they were so hostile
to each other."
In 1999, in a homage (or blatant rip-off?), a similar ad campaign for Radio
Shack teamed Howie Long, an NFL defensive end-turned-TV commentator & FOX's NFL pre-game
show with former Bond girl Teri Hatcher from "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" as a
spokes-couple who hawked the wonders of Direct TV, Sprint PCS phone from Radio Shack ("Yeah, Howie, just stick it in your ear."
and a myriad of other electronic products. This campaign, too, created confusion as to
whether Long and Hatcher were actually married to each other.
FYI: In 2003, Teri
Lynn Hatcher, citing irreconcilable differences,
filed for divorce to end her nearly nine year marriage to actor Jon Tenney.