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Image from a Metal 1950s Bardahl SignBardahl - Engine additive product made popular in a tongue-in-cheek black & white animated sixty-second commercial featuring a man in a black hat and trench coat, mimicking Jack Webb's deadpan vocal style from the classic police series DRAGNET.

Created by the advertising firm of Miller, Mackay, Hoeck and Hartung, Inc. the commercial began:

"It was 10:37 when he drove in. Light blue sedan. License number B6394. Bad shape. He barely made it." [Four pairs of eyes appear amidst the black smoke coming from under the hood of the car] "I took one look. It was our old friends...Dirty Sludge, Sticky Valve, Gummy Ring, Blackie Carbon. Only one thing to do...I called BARDAHL." The bad guys inevitably cried "Jeez, Let's beat it!...Its Bardahl!"

The end of the commercial even copied Dragnet's anvil hammer signature closing. In this case, the parody ending featured a large rubber stamp whose impression read "Sold at better gas stations/garages/new car dealers." The campaign, sponsored by Bardahl International, Inc., premiered in 1953.


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