The telephones really don’t ring as substantially as they once did at the Paul Meade Insurance coverage Agency, but Nick Meade knows its mobile phone amount is however trapped in quite a few memories of all those who lived by means of the heyday of UHF tv.
Three many years have handed due to the fact the Tall Paul commercials with the catchy jingle previous aired, however the character and the track have an on the net pursuing. A handful of decades ago, Oklahoma indigenous Blake Shelton posted a online video declaring the business jingle his preferred followed by his individual effectiveness of the tune.
“Defending all the factors you very own like cars and trucks and cell houses, accidents and tickets also, just contact and he’ll take treatment of you, 524-1541.”
Nick Meade, who functions at the company with his father, Raymond Meade, often will get calls from people wanting them to provide Tall Paul back to television. The old commercials still entertain on-line with views topping 70,000.
“I think it brings again recollections that folks are fond of – it was that time during the 1980s and 1990s,” Nick Meade explained. “They like the Tall Paul character. He’s obtained this rabbit at his side and he plays a guitar.”
Tall Paul and the real Tall Paul loom massive at the office environment the relatives has maintained at 4220 N Classen for the past four many years.
The puppet employed in the end-animation industrial greets visitors at the entrance although a greater version is seated at a close by desk. Portraits of founder Paul W. Meade and his wife, Madeline, are prominently displayed at the reverse close of the foyer.
Paul W. Meade attended what is now the University of Central Oklahoma and married a fellow pupil (and homecoming queen), Madeline, in 1935.
They have been both education and learning majors who finished up in the business of providing lifestyle insurance policies in the decades soon after they graduated. Meade opened his company in 1946 after a stint in the Navy towards the conclusion of Entire world War II.
Was Tall Paul truly that tall? His grandson Nick responds that Paul W. Meade was 6 ft 2 inches tall, but it was not really his height that designed him “tall.”
“When folks would appear into the entrance foyer, he would greet them as if they have been coming into his house,” Nick Meade mentioned. “He experienced the people skills no just one else seriously had below. Individuals thought in him and he was a chief.”
Raymond Meade and his brother Paul G. Meade joined the agency with Raymond having on unique coverage guidelines although his brother dealt with industrial fleet insurance policies. Their mother, Madeline, oversaw accounting and saved the office environment operating correct.
The Tall Paul campaign begun with Raymond Meade and neighborhood marketing executive Ken Cloclasure. Cloclasure’s son David remembers it was a relationship involving his brother and Paul G. Meade’s son the two participating in on the identical ball group that got the conversation started about the Meade company experimenting with advertising.
“All the things again then was who you realized, and they would refer people to you,” Raymond Meade explained. “We talked about promotion, and I made the decision we ought to attempt it. He (Paul W. Meade) went along with the concept.”
The cowboy very first appeared in 1970 in a sequence of multi-panel cartoon ads in The Oklahoman’s tv tutorial. The glance of that early cowboy character with the guitar resembles the Tall Paul that would grace tv screens.
His title, even so, was not Tall Paul.
“We named him ‘Guy,’ as in ‘good dude insurance policy,” David Colclasure reported. “At initial we did the print advertisements, and then it went to executing cell phone ebook advertisements.”
People ended up urged to simply call “Male” for enable with their insurance, and they did just that.
“There was not any one at the business by that title,” Raymond Meade said. “I guess we just answered ‘He’s on the other line, permit me get anyone to enable you.’”
‘Poor man’s cable’ delivers low-priced Tv set ads
David Colclasure, whose father died in 1991, and Bill Billen, who sang the jingle with music companion Ken Johnson, concur the television marketing campaign begun in the mid- to late-1970s. The commercial strike initially with just the cowboy talking, voiced by Johnson.
They designed puppets and sets to build commercials mimicking the Rankin Bass holiday specials and “Davey and Goliath” kids’ demonstrates that were being common in the 1970s.
“We hadn’t completely created the character nevertheless,” Colclasure stated. “There was overlap in the printed advertising.”
Ken Colclasure assembled a staff to assemble the commercials. Drew Barlow was tasked with overseeing audio generation and helping voice the radio places. D.L. Richardson and George Holmes made the animation.
The jingle was made by Johnson and Billen, community performers who aspired to adhere to in the methods of singers like Loggins and Messina.
“I was out of a task, and Kenny was doing the job for the Ken Colclasure promoting agency,” Billen reported. “He invited me to join him and find out a trade.”
Billen and Johnson wrote and sang the track that stays as well-known as the puppets.
“We just sat down and played some nation ditties,” Billen explained. “Originally it was about the cellular phone range. So it went ‘When you are seeking significant and lower, when other people occur and go, you can find a variety you should know, just dial it on your telephone, 524-1541.’”
In just a yr, the pair wrote new lyrics to endorse the agency’s providers, and they cranked out the variation executed by Blake Shelton. The commercials initially aired on radio, and then sporadically on the community channels in the pre-cable age.
In 1979, tv alternatives doubled with the addition of KOKH-25, KGMC-34 and KAUT-43 on the mainly unused UHF dial.
“UHF was a lousy man’s cable,” Billen said. “We were being in a position to check out television 24/7 and enjoy outdated movies. And it was exciting to see who would set their commercials in those people spots.”
More:John Ferguson, “Rely Gregore,” shares tales about heyday of late evening monster flicks.
Thanks to the lower price of UHF advertising and marketing, regional commercials liked a heyday more than the future decade with classics like B.C. Clark’s Christmas sale jingle getting joined by favorites. such as Tall Paul and Linda Soundtrak.
The Meade Company struggled to maintain up with the new prospects contacting 524-1541. Raymond Meade’s wife, Marcella, remembers the telephones ringing non-prevent.
The Cloclasure crew, in the meantime, took Tall Paul to more substantial stardom by sponsoring late night movies on KGMC. They crammed some breaks with expanded skits and even filmed 20-minute Halloween and Christmas specials featuring Tall Paul and odd plots in which an evil wrench attempts to steal Xmas.
The end of Tall Paul
The UHF craze was coming to an stop as cable expanded throughout the city. And the Meade agency shed its authentic Tall Paul when the founder died in 1977 just as the promotion was getting off.
“People believed in him, and he was a leader,” Nick Meade claimed. “That’s how the organization began. Following he died, it was not the identical. It was the rest of the spouse and children managing it all.”
The family members begun going in different instructions, with Raymond Meade’s brother, Paul G. Meade, departed to start out his own agency.
Ken Colclasure, who gave birth to the Tall Paul campaign, passed away in 1991 at the age of 54.
An era of swift progress where by telephones wouldn’t cease ringing was coming to an stop, and the sector alone changed with national on the internet opponents like GEICO and Progressive going into the current market.
“As the net adjusted every thing, naturally it created it the place there are a tremendous range of sellers of coverage, and they don’t have to be nearby,” Nick Meade claimed. “Our company did shrink in the course of that time. We have carried out our finest to promote from distinct companies and supply distinctive alternatives, but however be that community agent you can get in touch with when you are in a bind and you have a problem.”
Raymond Meade recalls how prospects as soon as consistently interacted with their agents, even normally shelling out their expenses in human being if they couldn’t get their look at to a mailbox.
“With electronic payments, you never get that experience to encounter any more we require to find ways to hook up to our buyers without that face-to-face time,” Nick Meade claimed. “The technological know-how is often modifying, and it is me and my dad.”
Discovering new consumers a challenge
The Meade household is in a race versus time to reinvent, and in current several years, Nick Meade brought Tall Paul again for a run on the internet that provided shirt giveaways and pics of Tall Paul’s “travels” across the condition.
“We have had a whole lot of persons from 80s and 90s who held their guidelines for good until finally they died,” Nick Meade stated. “Changing all those people today with new accounts is what we have to do now. But to get with people to get them to buy, to do all we can to serve them, is harder than ever to do.”
The Meades and the promoting workforce guiding Tall Paul agree the long lasting recognition of the guitar playing cowboy with the rabbit sidekick represents the romantic relationship the agency created with its clients.
“Factors like the B.C. Clark jingle, Tall Paul, have hung on for 50 several years for Clark, 40 yrs for Paul Meade,” Billen stated. “It is really exciting to see who retains it alive. Paul Meade stays well-known online simply because it is really kitschy. I never consider it would be remembered now if it as been a modern strategy. I like kitschy. And which is what it normally takes to adhere all-around so extensive.”
Team writer Steve Lackmeyer is a 31-year reporter, columnist and author who addresses downtown Oklahoma City, related city development and economics for The Oklahoman. Speak to him at [email protected] Make sure you help his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by buying a subscription nowadays at subscribe.oklahoman.com.