Did you ever wish you were an Oscar Mayer wiener? This may be why

osxarUse Ajax, the foaming cleanser

Use Ajax the foaming cleanser

Floats the dirt right down the drain

You get a lot to light in a Marlboro

Filter, flavor, flip-top box

Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops,

Sugar Pops are tops.

And so those and many more went in the golden era of the commercial jingle. The boys in Mad Men, when they weren’t drinking themselves senseless, chain-smoking or shtupping cantilever bra-ed secretaries, devoted a great deal of creative energy to composing effective jingles. If you’ll recall in the final sequence, after his melt-down Don Draper devised a them song for client Coca-Cola. And we all know it to this day, “It’s the real thing” and it gave a big boost to the singing career of Carly Simon, if you recall.

Jingles were viral elements of the advertising biz because at the time often a single sponsor would bankroll a TV show and therefore the product had to be associated with the show. “See the USA in your Chevrolet,” sang Dinah Shore since her very popular show was known as the Chevy Show. Jackie Gleason’s show was sponsored by Buick and at least once on the show the Great One would intone “Mm-boy, it’s a Buick.”

You don’t hear jingles much any more and I think that’s a pity for the advertising racket. The jingle provided an identity for a product. A jingle stuck in the mind. In fact they stuck in the memory like earworms and Madison Avenue knew that. The rhymes were simple and always associated with the product:

N-e-s-t-l-e-s, Nestles makes the very best , chocolate.

Light up a light smoke, a Lucky Strike. The light smokes the right smoke, Lucky Strike. For the taste that you like, light up a Lucky Strike

Even in Canada we had Bob Goulet (remember him?) also intoning the politically incorrect in current context the virtues of a tobacco product:

Smoke DuMaurier for real smoking pleasure, DuMaurier, the cigarette of great taste. A mild cigarette with the best filter yet, that’s why the trend today is to DuMaurier.

And while in Canada, how about an ad for an actual Canadian car – we had them, you know.

If there’s a great car out it’s the Meteor. The finest everyone will agree. It’s the longest, lowest Meteor in history …

Now the virtue of the jingle is that the things stay with you – forever and ever. None of the ones I have included in this blog were looked out. They are etched in my fevered little brain. Masses of ads just stuck there until the day I die.



6 responses to “Did you ever wish you were an Oscar Mayer wiener? This may be why

  1. roselefebvre24@comcast.net

    I just never paid much attention to commercials, but we had a response to the Oscar Meyer jingle: Oh, I’m glad I’m not an Oscar Meyer weiner, That is what I never want to be-e-e, for if I were an Oscar Meyer weiner, there would soon be nothing left of me!

  2. Kids I knew had a similar response to Rose’s above. I never paid much attention and on the rare occasion that my mother’s affluenza would strike, my Nana usually set me straight. Looking back, the contrast between the two homes was striking: Both my mother and hers spent money on cigarettes and both eventually died because of them. My Nana, however, had grown up before and during the Depression when there were virtually no processed foods. My mother came of age at a time when advertising and the developing food industry sold working women on the idea that these things were convenient and healthy, thus giving rise to future generations who eat things like nitrite-loaded hot dogs, sugary snacks and cereals, sodas, TV dinners and the like.

    I rarely drink sodas, prefer oatmeal to Capn Crunch and most of my frozen food is vegetables. The sweet tooth I developed thanks to the ready availability of snacks and processed baked goods has been a horrendous thing to overcome and both advertising and the food industry bear part of the blame for that and rising rates of disease and obesity.

    Were the Mad Men good at their jobs? You bet, and all of us are paying the price for that in some way.

  3. All that space n my brain wasted on stupid jingles.

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