Televised Commercials and Sponsorships (1947 - 1976)

Community Chests of America (1947)  |  "The Jimmy Fund" (1952)  |  "Blue Denim" Film Trailer (1959)  |  Easter Seals (1960)
"Requiem For A Heavyweight" Advertisements (1962)  |  "Miss America" Beauty Pageant (1961 - 1968)  |  "Lord Jim" Film Premiere (1965) 
The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon: 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | |1971 | 1973  |  The American Cancer Society: 1967 | 1972 
Mountain Dew (1968)  |  The American Film Institute (1971)  |  Pan Am Airlines (1973)  |  Apples N' Things (1975)  |  "Cinema 13" (1976)

Community Chests of America "Through Many Windows"
Broadcast Date: Late 1947

Synopsis: Joan is the narrator of this public service announcement for the Community Chests Organization's "Red Feather" drive.
The short was shown in theaters before the start of
"A few weeks ago, the Community Chests of America asked me weather I'd be interested in making their annual appeal through the medium of the screen. Naturally, I was very grateful for the opportunity. But I wanted to know more about the Red Feather services and what they do.
Not only throughout the country but right here in my own neighborhood. Then, I realized that all I had to do was look out my window, or almost any window in any neighborhood in the country and I could see the Red Feather services at work.
Many of these services provide care for children who need more help than their families can give them. Teenagers, too. Boys and girls are helped along the road to better citizenship by the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and other services providing wholesome recreation and guidance.
Elderly people are now able to spend the autumn of their lives in comfort and companionship. Other Red Feather services devoted to our health and welfare bring help to many who are unable to provide for themselves.
Red Feather services go everywhere. They don't see differences of color, race or religion. They recognize the needs of people. All people as human beings. No matter who you are or how fortunate, chances are at some time or another these services have touched your life.
Remember the Red Feather, your badge of membership, should be worn with pride. It's more than the sign of a liberal spirit, it's a symbol of citizenship. A love for your fellow American. So make your Red Feather pledge a generous one. Give with a heart as well as with a hand, for your contribution will go to the heart. The heart of this great social work for which everybody benefits."

Production: In August 1947, it was announced that Joan would film this short on behalf of the organization.
In October 1947, Joan was named the honorary Chairman of the Los Angeles area Community Chest Organization.
Otto Preminger directed this short. At the time, he and Joan were filming "Daisy Kenyon"

The Jimmy Fund (aka "At Home With Joan Crawford")
Broadcast Date: 1952

Synopsis: Joan Crawford encourages viewers to donate to "The Jimmy Fund" of Boston, Massachusetts.

"[ Talking off screen to her children]
Goodnight darlings. Happy dreams. God bless.
[ In a thinking voice over]
This is our best time, the best time for all mothers and children. The moment of wonderful peace and contentment. Knowing your children are all cozy in bed for the night. Sometimes I wonder if we really appreciate how very fortunate we are. How truly blessed for the joy of these precious moments. For that greatest of all gifts, our children's happiness and health. For there are other mothers who no longer know such moments of peace and happiness, who may never know it again.

[Speaking directly to the audience]
You can save a life. A child's life, and thank God tonight that child is not your own. You can help by giving to the Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund of Boston Massachusetts. In a few moments, members of the theater staff will pass among you. Please give as generously as you can. Please."

Production: This commercial was sponsored by "The Variety Clubs" of New England and the Boston Red Sox.
The Jimmy Fund was founded in 1948 to raise funds for the advancement of cures against cancer in children.
It is still an active organization today, which you can donate to via their website:

"Blue Denim" (Film Trailer)

Broadcast Date: July 1959

Synopsis: Joan promotes the film "Blue Denim" in this trailer presented to theater audiences. Joan narrates the synopsis as scenes are shown from the film. The film is about a teenage couple who experience issues when the girl becomes pregnant. "Hello, in a few moments you will see scenes from a motion picture who's subject matter is of utmost importance for every family. Especially those with young people between fifteen and twenty years of age. 20th Century Fox in accents real and unrestrained brings you the experience of two real kids of today, and treats them with their innocence and generosity for each other. The day before they had been friends, children, playmates. Kids in blue denim. Then suddenly they were in love. Passionately, physically with a desire for each other that knew no bounds. This is the story of the aftermath, of the awakening when Janet and Arthur had to face their problem alone. These are not juvenile delinquents, they're nice kids. Nice kids in trouble."

Easter Seals (The National Society For Crippled Children)
Broadcast Date: 1960

Synopsis: Joan Crawford encourages viewers to donate to the Easter Seals fund for crippled children.
"These Easter Seals recently arrived at my home, perhaps you have received some, too.
I wonder if you realize the many ways in which Easter Seals serves those of our children who need our special help. The crippled children.
These Seals symbolize an amazing record of human service. They help provide care and treatment so that these children can learn to walk and talk, play and laugh like other boys and girls.
As parent of healthy children, as many of us are, I have four, we feel that we have even more need to respond to the held of these youngsters. They offer a road back from over one hundred crippling conditions. I'm sure you're as concerned as I am about these little boys and girls. They need our special help so they can have rich, happy, useful lives. We can all help by giving to Easter Seals. Please give generously. Thank you."

Production: Easter "seals" were first launched to the public in 1934. The seals were placed on letters and envelopes in recognition of support for the organization The National Society For Crippled Children. Easter seals were so popular that in 1967 the organization changed it's name to "Easterseals", which is still an active organization. You can learn more about their organization, or donate via their website:

"Requiem For A Heavyweight" (Film Trailer)

Broadcast: October 1962

Synopsis: Due to Joan's personal admiration for the film, she is featured in several television and radio promotional advertisements for the film.

American Cancer Society "Cancer Crusade"
Broadcast dates: April 1972
In February 1972, Joan recorded a series of promotional films and commercials for the American Cancer Society. Among them is the 28-minute film entitled "He Wanted To Live" (also known as "A Very Special Child") for the "Cancer Crusade" telethon.

"He Wanted To Live"
Broadcast Date: April 1972

Synopsis: The film tells the story of baby James and his recovery from the usually fatal infant and children's cancer, neuroblastoma. The film exhibits the extra loving care James received from the staff of Charity Hospital in New Orleans and a foster family, the Koles, who took him in despite the bleak outlook for his survival. Additionally, the film discusses James' neuroblastoma and its diagnosis and treatment with aggressive chemotherapy, constant testing, and weekly checkups over the period of 21 months. Also mentioned during the film are other forms of cancer in children, including leukemia, and makes a fervent pitch for continued public contributions to American Cancer Society research.
Joan was also scheduled to also appear in person on this telethon, however, canceled due to illness, and was replaced by Virginia Graham.

Mountain Dew
Broadcast Date: 1969

Synopsis: Joan Crawford appears in this commercial wiggling her toes and giving an acknowledging nod to the audience after drinking a sip of Mountain Dew. The commercial emphasizes Mountain Dew's "Barefoot feeling" campaign.

The American Film Institute (The "Joan Crawford Film Festival" in Washington, D.C.)
Broadcast Date: October 1971

Synopsis: This nationally-televised commercial was to promote the American Film Institute's "Joan Crawford Film Festival," which ran at the AFI theater in Washington, D.C. from October 7th - 11th, 1971. The commercial depicts a montage consisting of five photos of Joan as she recites, in a voice-over, that she will be present at the festival, and provides its location, dates and time.

"Hello, this is Joan Crawford inviting you to be with me at the American Film theater on Thursday October 7th, at 8 pm. I will be sharing some of my warmest memories and showing excerpts from past films, which will be presented at the theater on succeeding nights through October 11th.
I do hope you'll be there, on October 7th at 8 pm.
For more information, please call the American Film Institute at 554-1000."

Pan Am Airlines
Broadcast Date: Spring 1973

Synopsis: Joan Crawford promotes Pan Am Airlines.
"I fly much too much to choose because of it's fancy meals or plush interiors. And I don't chose an airline on price, because the fares are the same. When I fly, I try to fly Pan Am. You see, I'm not crazy about flying, but Pan Am is the world's most experienced airline.
I don't know what that means to you, but I do know what it means to me."

Production: Joan recorded this commercial in February 1973.

Apples N' Things (Radio)

Broadcast Date: 1975

Synopsis: Joan appears in a series of radio advertisements for the store Apples N' Things in Pennsylvania. The store's manager is Joan's son-in-law, Jerome LaLonde

"The American Cancer Society" (Crusade '67)

Broadcast date: April 1967

Synopsis: Joan reads "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay on behalf of the American Cancer Society's televised "Crusade."

The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon (The Muscular Dystrophy Association)

Date: September 4th, 1966
This is the first year of the telethon, and it is broadcast live from the Grand Ballroom of the Americana Hotel in Manhattan, New York. The telethon is hosted by Jerry Lewis. Other guests who appear are: Vice President Herbert Humphrey, Robert Merrill, Soupy Sales, Ed Sullivan, Liza Minelli, Steve Rossi and Marty Allen.

"Miss America Beauty Pageant"
Network: NBC

Date: September 10th, 1960:

Joan does not appear on screen, however, she served as a judge for this year's pageant, which takes place in the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Cinema 13 (WNET-TV, Channel 13, New York)

Broadcast Date: March 1976

Synopsis: Joan appears in voice-over promotional trailers for New York's WNET Channel 13's "Cinema 13."

Production: According to Carl Johnes, these voiceovers were recorded in Joan's apartment by Richard McBride, who was WNET-TV's promotion manager.

"Lord Jim" (Film Premiere)
Network: KHJ-TV

Premiered: March 4th, 1965

Synopsis: Joan acted as the master of ceremonies at the premiere of the film “Lord Jim” at the Lowe State Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Date: September 12th, 1965
Joan appears on behalf of Pepsi-Cola to announce the winner of the Pepsi-Cola "Matching Picture Contest."

Date: September 10th, 1966
Joan appears in a short previously-recorded endorsement for Pepsi-Cola, who is a sponsor of the pageant. This is the first year the pageant is televised in color.

Date: September 9th, 1967
Joan appears on a previously-recorded endorsement to speak on behalf of pageant sponsor Pepsi-Cola about the company's college grant sponsorships for previous pageant winners. 

Date: September 3rd, 1967
The telethon airs from 9:00 pm September 3rd to 5:00 pm September 4th.
Other celebrities who appear are: Cliff Robertson, Thelma Ritter, Jackie Gleason and Joe Namath.  Joan reads two telegrams to the audience, the first telegram being from the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson

Date: September 1st, 1968
Joan appeared on the telethon with her daughter, Christina. During her appearance Joan recites the poem "The Clumsy Falling Down Child" by Irving Gainer Newman. The telethon is recorded live in the Imperial Ballroom of the Americana Hotel in Manhattan, New York. Other guests who appear are: Pearl Baily, Johnny Carson, Patty Duke, Joel Grey, Van Johnson, Joan Rivers and The Vogues.

Date: August 31st, 1969
Joan appears on this telethon via a previously recorded message asking for pledges while on location in England filming "Trog". Joan quotes John Donne's poem "No Man Is An Island" and says:

“Ladies and gentlemen, to quote the words of the poet John Donne, “No man is an island. Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind”. We’re all involved in mankind, though some of us don’t seem to realize it.
When we see a crippled child we think ‘thank God it’s not mine.’
When we read about the funeral of a youngster of six or seven, a child who has dystrophy, or spinal atrophy, or some other tragic disease, we quickly turn the page and try to forget such things happen. But they do happen all too frequently. And they may happen in families like yours or mind, so let’s never forget that while we’re helping others, we may be helping ourselves and our own loved ones as well
Truly, no man is an island. Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.
Go to your phones now. Call in your pledge, please.”

Other celebrities that appear are; Jackie Gleason, Joan Rivers, Patty Duke, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis jr., Carl Reiner, David Frost, Rodney Dangerfield, and Johnny Carson. The program runs from the evening of August 31 to 6:00 pm on September 1st.

Date: September 6th, 1970

Joan is not shown, however, she narrates the segment depicting a young boy running along a country road, then cuts to revealing it's the dream of a sleeping boy in a wheelchair. "In dreams he runs. In dreams he runs, but only in dreams. This is Joan Crawford asking you to give generously to the march against Muscular Dystrophy, Thank you."

Jerry Lewis hosts the telethon, along with co-hosts Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy. Other guests appearing on the telethon are: Ed Platt, Jack Benny, Patty Duke, Marlo Thomas, Danny Kaye, Sidney Blackmer and Steve Allen. The telethon is relayed by 65 stations throughout America.

Date: September 5th, 1971
Joan was publicized as a celebrity appearing at the telethon; however, it is unclear if she appeared in person, or via a previously recorded message.

Other guests appearing in the telethon include: Steve Allen, Dorothy Collins, Jack Palance, Mike Douglas, Van Johnson and The Fifth Dimension. The telethon is televised from the Americana in Manhattan, New York, and relayed to 115 stations across America.

Date: September 2nd, 1973
Joan appears on the telethon via a previously recorded segment. Joan recorded her segment on July 23rd, 1973. The format of the 1973 telethon differs from the previous years. Jerry Lewis opening the telethon live from the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, with the telethon's co-host, Buddy Hackett, serving as the New York anchorman. There are other pickups from Nashville, Tennessee and Hollywood, California. Among the guests who appear during the telethon are: Robert Goulet, Helen Hayes, the cast of "The Brady Bunch," James Coco, Tom Bosley, Sidney Blackmer, Johnny Cash, Peter Falk, Buddy Rich, Sammy Davis, jr.,Carol Burnett, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Barbara Walters and Alan King. The telethon airs from September 2nd at 6:00 pm until 3:30 pm on September 3rd.

Pap Test
Broadcast Date: 1972

Synopsis: Joan Crawford encourages female viewers to have the Pap Test examination on a regular basis.
"I'm here with a very brief reminder for you women. We're all aware of the importance of the Pap Test in guarding our lives when it comes to cancer of the uterus. What I'd like to mention is we should all have the Pap Test done as part of a regular health checkup.
So, if it's been a year or more since you're had this simple examination, see your doctor. It's important to you. And to the people who love you."

Date: September 7th, 1968
Joan appears on the exact same previously-recorded endorsement from the previous year to speak on behalf of pageant sponsor Pepsi-Cola about the company's college grant sponsorships for previous pageant winners. This is the final year the pageant is sponsored by Pepsi-Cola.

Date: September 3rd, 1963:
Joan appears on a previously-recorded endorsement on behalf of Pepsi-Cola, who is a sponsor of the pageant.

In addition to participating in the televised "Crusade '67" program, Joan also recorded various commercials for the American Cancer Society.