In the vein of the earlier earworm post I have a more important question… Is there anything more insidious than that very special brand of commercial that finds a nook and simply won’t leave your head for hours or days after you hear it? United Furniture Warehouse has even had campaigns based around singing the jingle. I do try hard to not let advertising impact my buying decisions, but I can’t say it doesn’t affect me.
For me growing up a lot of these jingles were seen on the slightly shitty American stations we’d get piped in from random American cities. Back before Winnipeg had NBC and CBS via Minneapolis we had Michigan stations (until people complained that the news from there was too violent.) Once we got Fox our stations came first from Toledo and now from Rochester NY.
One of my all time favorites was the dog jingle for a car dealership. It featured an animated dog and cowboy and the following lines:
• “Hey dawg, cmon dawg… Me an’ dawg want you to come on down to Telegraph Road, RIGHT NOW, get a good deal” “WOOF”
It has probably been 15-20 years since I’ve seen that jingle, but at least 3 of my friends can still sing it word for word.
Sometimes it’s not even a musical jingle just a specific shouting pattern. A perfect example of this is Jim “The Hammer” Shapiro a Lawyer from upstate New York who shouted at the top of his lungs and gave himself various other nicknames including the “meanest SOB in town” as he tried to solicit injury cases. He was pretty much the epitome of the american lawyer stereotype.
• “I’m Jim “THE HAMMER” Shapiro and I sue drunks, call 1-800-546-7777”
He made a lot of variations over the years and somehow I still know the phone number by heart.
Sadly I can’t blame the Americans for the worst of them all. A commercial jingle so vile that even as they change it every season the main theme is still stuck in your head… I speak of course of: Marineland.
• “In Niagara Falls Ontario, Marineland is the place to go… etc…”
This one has such tenacity that a few of my friends use it as a rickrolling type video knowing that if we trick someone into seeing even the opening few words they’ll have the whole song running through their brains constantly for a week. Personally I’m hoping having lived out here and seeing the commercials even more often may have increased my immunity a bit.