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I felt the need to off-shoot from Coraline Meena’s blog on animation in television commercials (1). I have always found that the animation in television commercials are superb and eye-catching. One animated commercial series that always caught my eye was the Raid commercials. The Raid commercials have practically been animated since the product was introduced and has gone through many changes as the animation industry grew. The Raid commercials changed as the animation industry and its  technology improved. I will point out some examples of changes, but let’s first look at one of the first animated Raid commercials:


1956 (2):

This commercial was like many other Cold War era cartoons as it had a simple, square character design that was popular at that time. The commercial also followed the “limited animation” technique that was becoming the industry standard. The bugs were animated to have simple movements and they moved and looked stiff in many instances.


1969 (3):


As animation became more common on television screens, the Raid commercials once again conformed to styles and techniques that were popular at that time. The bugs in this commercial were animated with more detail and had a more rounded shape. The bugs were also quite comical in comparison to the bugs from ’56, whom just ran and screamed in fear. This commercial has a lot in common with the one from ’56, except that it has background music and is in color.


1988 (4):

Now in the age of computers, animation improved dramatically as far as special effects are concerned. This Raid commercial has very detailed, fluid animation. The bugs are very vicious looking in comparison to the bugs from ’69 and ’56. A big difference in this commercial is the special effects, as in the laser beams shot by the (very calm and professional) Raid Muscleman. The laser beams are, without a doubt, generated by computers and adds a great touch to the commercial.

I find that the animated Raid commercials will continue to improve as the animation industry and technology grows. Actually, improvements can be seen today, as the Raid commercials from 2001 and 2010 take animation to the limit. Even though the Raid Muscleman is not present, the bugs are animated in the real world and this was likely achieved by animating and coloring in an all digital process.


(1) Meena, Caroline, “Animation in Advertising”, Histofanimation (blog), 6 May 2012 (9:29 am)

(2) MiscVideos78rpm. Raid Commercial (1956). Online Video. 1 min 1 sec. 16 July 2010

(3) Genius7277. 1969 Raid “Biker bugs” Commercial. Online Video. 44 secs. 19 May 2010

(4) RetroWinnipeg. Raid Commerical (1988). Online Video. 31 secs. 2 Oct 2010.

2 Responses to “12- Animated Advertisements: Raid”

  1. Olivia Green says:

    I found it interesting how the first animated bugs looked very cartoony and cute and the ones after the 1988 bugs look mean and ready to ruin things in your house. If you watch the most recent Raid commercials, instead of showing the bugs crashing to the floor or showing their gravestones, the bugs simply poof away in a cloud. It’s funny how the first commercial you posted has the woman spraying Raid on her tomatoes. There is no way I would trust or eat Raid sprayed fruits or veggies.

  2. Todd Myers says:

    Thanks for sharing the old Raid commercials! I love that classic stuff! It makes me want to do two things, go out and buy a can of Raid and live in a black and white world! lol There’s no way I’d ever spray Raid on my vegetable garden! Thats nuts!