Cal made you a deal, and selling cars was never the same

And then there was the tune. If ever there was an ear worm that could get stuck in your head, Worthington's go-see-Cal jingle was it.

If you need a better car, go see Cal

For the best deal by far, go see Cal

If you want your payments low

If you want to save some dough

Go see Cal

Go see Cal

Go see Cal

It ain't Shakespeare. But then again, Shakespeare wasn't hell-bent on moving inventory off the lot.

TV ads aren't exactly what you'd call sophisticated nowadays, but they've mastered the art of manipulation. Today's commercials set a mood. They attempt in 30 seconds to get you to join a club of like-minded consumers.

Worthington was from a goofier and, I think, purer time when the salesmanship was more transparent and the pitch was more straightforward.

This was when we knew that it's not nice to fool Mother Nature and that Mikey won't eat Life cereal because he hates everything. Who wouldn't want to buy the world a Coke?

Cal Worthington sold cars. That's what he did for a living.

But he was also selling something else: A smile, maybe a chuckle. And the impression that he wouldn't rest until you bought a new car.

Worthington said he'd eat a bug if he couldn't get you into a new set of wheels.

You just knew he meant it.

David Lazarus' column runs Tuesdays and Fridays. He also can be seen daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and follow on Twitter @Davidlaz. Send your tips or feedback to david.lazarus@latimes.com.

Featured Stories

CTnow is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on ctnow.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

CONSUMER COLUMNISTS

Gail MarksJarvis

You may be your retirement fund's worst enemy - September 23, 2014 - Ask just about anyone near retirement age if they think they will have plenty of money to last through retirement and you're likely to see...

David Lazarus

Instead of prohibiting bad reviews, firms should improve service - September 22, 2014 - Nobody likes to be criticized — especially online, where negative opinions can proliferate like cockroaches.

Korky Vann

Artistic Tag Sale At Farmington Valley Arts Center - September 19, 2014 - >>Artists at Farmington Valley Arts Center, 25 Arts Center Lane in Avon, have been cleaning out their attics,...

Advertisement

...