Advertising’s Great Lost Art

I will admit my bias right up front.  I LOVE music… all music… but especially music that I can sing along with.   Yes, I am the woman by herself in the car next to you belting out off key renditions of whatever is on the radio, seemlingly oblivious to the fact that although her windows shut tight, they are in fact transparent.

My husband Craig cringes every time our eleven year old daughter Taylor asks us to turn the station to 99.9 Virgin Radio.  While pop music grates on his nerves like a yappy dog, I can appreciate the simple melodies and repetitive lyrics.  Video of Lady Ga Ga may give me the shivers but her music is damn fun to sing along with.  Perhaps this is why it bugs Craig so much.  Whether you like it or not, this kind of music really sticks in your head.

And so I wonder, in an age when competition for consumer dollars has never been more fierce, why the advertising jingle seems to be a lost art.

My childhood memories are littered with fantastic jingles.   Who could forget the Big Mac song?  “Two all beef patties, special sauce pickles onions lettuce ketchup on a sesame seed bun!”   After thirty years, the melody is still crystal clear in my head.  Didn’t they sing the whole menu at one point?  If I’m not mistaken, fries was cleverly rhymed with pies.  Kids who could recite the entire song without missing a beat, attained star status on the playground.  Those were the days when trick or treaters flocked to the house in the neighbourhood that was handing out free McDonald’s fries coupons.  The cool kids got to order a jug of that orange drink for their backyard birthday party and the local McDonald’s parking lot was the undisputed hub of teenage social networking.

Years later, after more than a decade of pestering, my parents finally gave in and permitted me to adopt a kitten.  As she had feared would be the case, my mother took care of collecting all the necessary supplies for my pet.  And at the time there was one, particularly memorable, ad on air.

“I love chi-cken, I love li-ver, I love tu-na, please de-li-ver.”

We fed that cat nothing but Meow Mix until the day he died at the ripe old age of 19.

But for heartwarming-ness, you just can’t beat the old Coca Cola ads.  “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect har-mon-y; I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep them
company.”  OK, maybe the words are a bit fuzzy in my memory but the sentiment is there.

Today, my kids cling desperately to the few jingles on air.  In the schoolyard they roar with laughter singing: “Sleep Country Cana-da; Why buy a mat-tress when you have a couch.”  I don’t really get the joke, but we did somehow find ourselves drawn to Sleep Country to buy our new mattress last year.

Taylor and Jack both, repeatedly hum the few jingles they have heard.

“Only a dolla’; All summa’!”

“Al-arm force…. two thou-sand and one!”

“Five.  Five dolla’.  Five dolla’ foot loooooooong!”

Have our quick pay lifestyles come down to this?   Are crappy one-liner’s all the ad folks
think we are capable of remembering?  How about a whole verse with the product benefit mentioned?  For heaven’s sake, if they can’t bring themselves to go all the way to establishing an emotional connection, at least give us a couple of product features to hang on to!

Well, I’d like to start a movement to get those jingle guys back to work.  Without these catchy tunes to stick in our brains for years to come, I fear that we will have lost an important source of pop culture.  Plus, I desperately need some new material to sing in the shower.

What is your favourite jingle????   Press the comment bubble next to the title in this blog and tell me about the best one that you can remember!   I can’t wait to hear them all and will award a $20 Tim Horton’s gift card to whoever brings the biggest smile to my face.  Extra points for making me laugh out loud.


24 thoughts on “Advertising’s Great Lost Art

  1. My fav:
    Have you ever gone hunting with bowl and spoon?
    Well you can with Libby’s Zoodles
    Elephants Lions Zebras Giraffes,
    Zoodles are animal noodles
    Come on tell all your friends
    tell a whole bunch….
    “I just had a Hippopuatamus for lunch”
    Well have you ever gone hunting with a bowl and spoon
    get hunting with Libby’s Zoodles
    Zoo Zoo Zoo Zoo Zoodles
    My kids have heard me sing it many times. I even found it on youtube so I could show them what I was singing about. My second favourite is “When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last? Do you suck them very slowly or crunch them very fast?…” Living in FL, we have a special request of our vistors to bring Smarties with them when they would come to stay. Smarties in the US are what we call Rockets here.

  2. Oh, the 60’s sounds of the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies trio singing and playing their song about Snap, Crackle, Pop, makes the world go round. I still enjoy eating (they really are noisy!) and cooking with Rice Krispies. I had to go on line to get the lyrics as you will appreciate when you read them:
    Each elf sings and plays an instrument while performing their part of the jingle.

    “Snap, what a happy sound/ Snap is the happiest sound I found/ You may clap, rap, tap, slap, but Snap makes the world go round/ Snap, crackle, pop – Rice Krispies!”

    “I say it’s Crackle, the crispy sound/ You gotta have Crackle or the clock’s not wound/ Geese cackle, feathers tickle, belts buckle, beets pickle, but Crackle makes the world go round/ Snap, crackle, pop – Rice Krispies!”

    “I insist that Pop’s the sound/ The best is missed unless Pop’s around/ You can’t stop hoppin’ when the cereal’s poppin’/ Pop makes the world go round/ Snap, crackle, pop – Rice Krispies!”

    Life, and indeed, cereals were much simpler then, Diane.
    Thanks for stirring up some good memories,

  3. Oh, Diane – you have stuck such a cord here with me. I am not only a “sing-a-long” mamma (much to my children’s chagrin), but I was the kid belting out all those jingles. And you are so right – my kids also sing along to the few jingles that exist these days. Here are a few throw-backs that will hopefully put a smile on your face:

    Toys R Us – “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid, there are the greatest toys at Toys R Us that I can play with. From trucks to trains to video games, its the greatest toy store there is (gee wiz).

    Gatorade- “Gatorade is thirst-aid for that deep down body thirst!”

    Juicy Fruit – “Take a stick, pull it out….Juicy Fruit is gonna move ya, chews so soft, it’ll get right to ya, Juicy Fruit, the taste, the taste, the taste is gonna move ya!” (I think this one wins just for its sexual inuendos)

    And my all time favourite – Slinky! “A Slinky, a slinky, its such a wonderful toy. A Slinky, A Slinky, its fun for a girl and a boy!

  4. Who could forget “Sometimes you feel like a nut…sometimes you don’t.” Almond Joy/Mounds jingle. Here is what the Wikipedia entry says about the jingle:

    During the 1970s, the Peter Paul company used the jingle, “Sometimes you feel like a nut / Sometimes you don’t / Almond Joy’s got nuts / Mounds don’t,” to advertise Almond Joy and Mounds in tandem. In a play on words, the “feel like a nut” portion of the jingle was typically played over a clip of someone acting like a “nut”, engaged in some funny-looking activity, such as riding on a horse backwards.

    Yes, wild and crazy fun in advertising…can you imagine being the Brand Manager of Almond Joy/Mounds and sitting through the Agency presenting their take on “funny-looking activities?” I can see it now…Agency presents “a cow doing the hula wearing only a grass skirt” as the “funny-looking activity” and the client rolls her eyes and says “what else ya got?”

    By the way, don’t award the Tim Horton’s gift card to me…I happen to be living in a place that has ZERO Tim Horton’s (Pittsburgh, PA). I even wrote to the company and offered to become a franchisee in Pittsburgh and they turned me down…I think Dunkin Donuts has them running scared in the US.

  5. I often defend the advertising agency when my husband suggests funnier or more clever alternatives to what made it on air. Many a great idea died in the hands of the client and we all know what they say about many cooks in the kitchen.

    I love the Almond Joy / Mounds jingle…. it’s one we sing in our household on a regular basis, mostly because eating ‘mounds’ sounds so gross. That’s one brand name that I can’t believe the client approved!

    And speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, there’s another tagline that’s hard to forget… “Amercia runs on Dunkin’ Donuts” … although in our house it’s remembered as: “Dunkin’ Donuts gives America the runs.”

    I honestly don’t know where those Williams children get their potty mouth!

  6. I had no idea Smarties were a Canadian phenomenon! That jingle is another one that stuck with me as a kid. How many of us still can’t help but save the red ones until last????

  7. Hey Diane – great distraction!

    ‘Plop, Plop, fizz, fizz oh what a relief it is.’ (alka-seltzer)
    Good Grief. Talk about your double entendre. I do remember laughing about that one as an up and coming adguy!

    Also loved: ‘From the Valley of the Jolly….HoHoHo – Green Giant!
    Probably my all time fav.

    Also great: ‘I am stuck on Band-Aid, ‘cuz Band-Aids stuck on me’
    Then some cleaver little brand manager had to update it with
    ‘I am stuck on Band-Aid BRAND ’cause band aids stuck on me’.

  8. Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special.
    The beer you’ll pour must say something more somehow.
    So tonight, tonight…let it be Lowenbrau.

  9. Posted on behalf of the technologically challenged “Karen”

    My favouite that I still sing is: My bologna has a first name its o-s-c-a-r, my bologna has a second name its m-e-y-e-r, oh I like to eat it every day and if you ask me why I’ll say…..cause Oscar Meyer has a way with BOLOGNA!! Ok, I may may have messed up some words – who knows but that is how I have sung it for years. Still sticks in my head whenever we eat bologna (which I know is the forbidden meat!!!).

  10. I’m dating myself here…. One that I remember is for Carling Red Cap because my brother used to wander around the house with his arm extended and his thumb up, singing it :

    Cans or draught or bottles, it’s our favourite brew
    We’ll drink Carling Red Cap, we are drinkers true!

  11. I saw the Oscar Meyer reference and it reminded me of this jingle:
    I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner
    That is what I truly want to be
    ‘Cause if I were an Oscar Meyer weiner
    Everyone would be in love with me!

  12. It’s a jingle for goldfish,
    Baked and not fried goldfish,
    The crunchy snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off.
    Did you know they’re made with real cheese?
    Even though they look like fishies
    The snack that smiles back

  13. Loved this topic and I immediately wanted to contribute but I must confess that I needed a little reminder (getting on you know) to hep me find the “winning” jingle. Thank god for You Tube!!! Of course, I was taken bak with so many tunes but the best, by far, is the Frito bandito tune….ai ai ai ai…so sixties, completely racist and stereotypical too. Check out my cheat site…


  14. My favorite jingle for my favourite childhood toy – SLINKY!

    What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
    A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
    It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy
    It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, it’s fun for a girl and a boy

  15. Hi Jessica,
    That Coca Cola one is a great one that I had forgotten about. Kind of karaoke style with the words right there to encourage singing along. The melody stuck with me but the words are harder to recall. I wonder why that is??? Is it because we don’t have to ‘work’ our memories to sing along???? Great tune though. Thanks for bringing it to us and joining the conversation!

  16. Hi Greg,
    Plop plop, fizz fizz is definitely SEARED in my brain. Such a great one.
    Thanks also for reminding me of the Band Aid song. Must have been the LEGAL dept that forced the ‘brand’ in there; I suspect trying to protect their trademark from becoming genericized. I’m sure the brand manager cringed as much as the ad people did. Luckily it’s still a great jingle in use today.
    Thanks for playing along,

  17. Hi Lauren,
    Can you believe Peter Begy sent in a comment via LinkedIn recalling the same Red Cap ad from his youth! You are definitely not the only one out there who remembers it fondly!

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