Jingles, they’ll get you singing

Already the Christmas commercials are out. And with them, the Christmas jingles. It’s too early – I don’t want those earworms in my head for the next month and a half. But now that the topic of crass commercialization is in my mind, it’s made me think of some of the commercial jingles that formed the soundtrack of my youth.

Like the McDonald’s Big Mac recipe:

“Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en4muUSIRT4&feature=related

Don’t we all deserve a break today?

Or Coca Cola’s I’d like to teach the world to sing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib-Qiyklq-Q

That one always made me feel a bit dirty after watching it. Taking a message of peace and harmony and turning it into a corporate shill seemed somehow wrong; seemed to make hypocrites of the young, earnest hippy types gathered on that hilltop in Italy.

I loved this one, though. It didn’t pretend to be anything else but a Levis commercial:

“I bought a pair of Levis, they’ve really been around, I’ve taken them camping and I’ve laid them on the ground. They’ve come with me to parties, they’ve climbed up a tree, why they’ve been to school so often they’re nearly smart as me. And after years and years of wearing my Levis in and out, I couldn’t help but notice that the knee wore out. So I sewed on a patch a flower here and there and they look so good again I can take them anywhere. I’m using them as cutoffs and flying through the air, now I really think it’s time that I bought another pair. You can live in Levis.”

I couldn’t find a video of that one, and it scares me that I still, at least 20 years later, remember all the words. That’s an earworm an advertising company couldn’t plan if they tried.

How about this one purportedly aimed at the feminists, superwomen, all of us, who could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan … you remember it, for “the 24-hour woman.” I adopted it as my theme song for a while:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA4DR4vEgrs

Or this one, geared at the young, carefree woman (I remember the perfume – the horrible, cloying smell became a cliché):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sn8H42FZcI

The refrain in this one didn’t quite become a cliché, but I bet you remember it.

Yes, a good jingle is worth it’s weight in gold. They stick with you like, oh:

I could do this ’til Christmas.

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11 comments

  1. I love this! It makes me feel old and yet happy at the same time. (And I remember ALL of these. Which is scary.)

    1. Kind of like dancing to Abba – and remembering when the song was first released! Do you have any others I didn’t remember to include? I remembered later about the Oscar Meyer weiner one.

  2. LLLLEEEEEEVIIII…ha,he…..LLLLLEheheheheVIIIIII…ha,ha. Am Tthe only one who will never get this out of my head????!!! (Levi jingle with man moving across ground in jerky flight)

    1. Ha! No, you’re definitely not the only one … and you’ve got the guy’s motions just right.

  3. Maybe it’s a “me” thing, but the ads I remember are for coke, alcohol and tobacco, each of which I’ve had some trouble with.

    I’m a little shocked to discover that one of my favourites turns out to have been from 1979, which would have made me a whole year old when it was being broadcast:

    This one I remember giving me an odd stirring in my loins aged 4. I can date it accurately because it was shown during the UK TV premiere screening of Jaws (1982), after which I didn’t sleep for an entire week (the abiding short-term memory having been of Robert Shaw’s guts coming out of his mouth).

    The Coke ad I remember earliest is indeed the I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing one, but I have a feeling that may have been on RTE, by which time our Paula was living in Dublin and so RTE was on when she came home from Trinity because she knew everyone on it…

    Levis? By the grand old age of six, a pattern seemed to be emerging…

    1. Hey, Lew, Nice to hear from you again! Obviously this time the comment didn’t get lost, thank goodness. Like the cigar commercial, that Guinness one was almost two minutes – did it run that long on the air? It’s the length they only run in movie theatres these days. And I do remember the Levis one – or a variation thereof – being aired over this way. Funny how that Coke one is completely universal – another coup for Coke marketers on that one, I think. It’s both memorable and timeless.

  4. Joanne Peters · · Reply

    I too remember that Levis commercial – all but the ‘I’m using them for cut-offs’ line.
    I was online hoping to find a youtube clip to show my daughter.
    She and I are often annoyed by commercials – their message isn’t simply about the product, but an implication of what we are with or without it … manipulative … unintelligent.
    I see by ‘googling’ that there are a few of us who liked the Levis commercial from the late 70s/early80s … too bad there isn’t a video clip.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Joanne. Yes, I looked and looked for a clip and couldn’t find one. I remember it so well … given all the other clips out there, you’d think someone would have it and post it. I know from the hits on this piece, and from the search terms, that people are out there typing in “I bought a pair of Levis they’ve really been around…” Love to see it again!

  5. patricia cloud · · Reply

    I thought I wad craxy but it really did exsist. a million thank yous.

  6. The “I bought a pair of Levi’s” commercial…hahaha, I started to wonder if I was the only one who still has that jingle stuck in my head! It jumps in there almost every time I see someone wearing a pair. I’ve searched and searched for that commercial and haven’t found it. I, too, remembered all but the “I’m using them for cut-off’s” line. Thanks for the refresher. If you ever find it, please post it!!!

  7. Richard Hayward · · Reply

    While the cutoffs line was playing, the video showed him wearing them, flying through the air as he somersaulted into a pool. Yes, that was one of very few memorable TV ads.

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