Like the goofy charm of Bob and Ed Vidler, Vidler’s 5 & 10, must be experienced to be truly appreciated. Short of visiting Vidler’s, which we hope you’ll do real soon, the best way to experience it may be watching old commercials featuring the East Aurora landmark. So, we’re posting a series of five sets of five classic Vidler’s TV spots showcasing humor ranging from the tongue-in-cheek to the, well, popcorn in cheek. (Ed! Leave some for the kids!) From our family to yours—enjoy!
What better reminder than this that the heart of Vidler’s 5 & 10 is family? Ed’s daughter, Beverly, makes her debut in this funny yet poignant 1990s ode to generations, which is virtually identical to an earlier spot featuring not Beverly but her father, Ed, hiding behind the cutout.
Christmas is always a special time at Vidler’s, and Bob leans into the season in this commercial spot in which his off-camera co-star, raising such a clatter on the roof, can only be the Man in Red Velvet himself, we presume. (No, not Elvis! The other man in red velvet!)
“We’re always floored by the number of people who stop by for the holidays,” Bob says in this spot, which shows an eventually overwhelmed Ed greeting a stampede of customers at the door. In the end, Ed is seen on the floor, smoothing his hair—what little he has.
Hoppin’ mad? How about hoppin’ happy? That’s the best way to describe Ed in this commercial, an Easter spot featuring the quiet Vidler boy springing around in the background while holding a basket full of Easter goodies. Well, okay, it’s Ed, so maybe “springing” is, um, too strong a word.
Before we continue revisiting our old-school commercials in Part 3 of this series (Stay tuned! It’s next!), let’s look at where our TV spots came from, conceptually, and what they eventually turned into. The working title for the first spot was “Bartles and Ed,” as it was a knockoff of the popular mid-80sad for Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers. But a youth movement eventually injected a little more, um, verve into our commercials—and music to match.