Today we wrap up The Hz So Good Commercial Favorites Countdown from a few years back ... and then, after running a few more of your comments, we'll put this topic to bed for a while. (Rumors that we've permanently switched our focus over to "Jingles All The Way" are greatly exaggerated!!!) Thanks again to everyone who shared their memories with the rest of our readers ... it was fun looking back and seeing and hearing some of these again. (AMAZING what has stuck in our heads for all these years, isn't it?!?!? Yet most of us can't remember where we parked the car!!!)
Meanwhile ... on with the countdown!!!
50. Nescafe / ”43 beans” (1955) … This sounds like a duet of Wally Cox and Marilyn Monroe; ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but, trust me, it’ll help paint the picture here. “(Male:) Two beans times two beans is four beans / (Female:) Nescafe uses much more beans / (Male:) Ten beans times four beans / and add three more beans / (Both:) Make 43 rich coffee beans / (Female:) Yes, you get - / 43 beans in every cup - of Nescafe / real coffee beans / that’s all there is – in Nescafe / 43 beans in every cup - makes Nescafe / the all-coffee instant coffee / with the let’s-have-another-cup taste.”
49. Ballantine / ”A smile every time” (1963) … Maybe just another “better living through beer” ad, but I fell for it. The best was a summer ’63 male-female duet of “you get a smile every time / a smile every time / with the heads-up taste / of a Ballantine.” The :60 includes the “good taste, good time” bridge with an irresistible Al Hirt-esque horn.
48. Contadina / ”Eight great tomatoes” (1954) … This is the only Stan Freberg spot to make the “Crass 100,” but that’s only because it’s the only one he ever did for radio with a recurring jingle (at least best I know). There’s not much to it, either, but it’s all in the delivery, which suggests something I’m not sure even Stan intended. The casual male vocalist, if you will, warbles “who put eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can? / who put eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can? / who put eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can? / you know who / you know who / uh-huh, uh-huh.” The friendly announcer tells us who afterward, and he’s certainly got our attention by that point.
47. Schaefer / ”Schaefer City” (1980) … So, then, a terrific campaign in spite of itself. Jake created great little stories of urban irony to put our heroes in the land of what should have been great beer. Here’s one I particularly liked: “Your ball team hasn’t got a chance, they shouldn’t even play / so you pour yourself some Schaefer beer and bet them anyway / they pull an upset victory they said could not be done / and suddenly are winners / at 25 to 1 / (spoken:) we’re rich! / a-ha / sittin’ pretty / all together in Schaefer City.”
46. Carnation Instant Breakfast / ”Go-go” (1967) … At an opportune moment in pop history - that point when both the Mamas & Papas’ and Petula Clark’s hit streaks were coming to an end - this came onto radio to fill the gap. ”Go-go / breakfast gives you go-go / that early morning go-go / to make it through the day / time, timing, takes the prime time, the time you need to get underway / Carnation has the answer / with energy to go on / Carnation Instant Breakfast / never puts your slow on / you drink it / Carnation / the power-packin’ meal that’ll keep you up when you’re on the mooooooove / so put yourself into an early morning breakfast-drinkin’ groove.” And be sure to wear some flour in your hair.
45. Coca-Cola / ”Coke is it” (1982) … Not their best but still bigger than most radio ads that year. Plus I loved the little piano opening before it all blows up big time. “Coke is it! / the most refreshing way / to make the most of every day / and wherever you go and whatever you do / there’s something big waiting for me and you / Coke is it! / the biggest taste you’ve ever found / Coke is it! / the one that never lets you down / Coke is it! / the most refreshing taste around / Coke is iiiiiiit / Coke is it!” If there was any downside, it would have been that it could be interpreted that Coke therefore had cooties.
44. Pepsi / ”For those who think young” (1961) … Even though it was basically “Makin’ Whoopee” with new lyrics, the coquettish Joanie “Johnny Get Angry” Sommers gave this a fresh innocence that Britney Spears really couldn’t in her 2001 tribute version. I can’t decide which verse is best so I’ll run ‘em both here: “The lively crowd / today agrees / those who think young / say ‘Pepsi, please’ / they pick the right one / the modern light one / now it’s Pepsi / for those who think young / so go ahead / and pick the drink / that lets you drink / young as you think / yes, get the right one / the modern light one / now it’s Pepsi / for those who think young.” At one point Joanie must have recorded market-specific versions, as there’s one on a 1961 WWDC / DC aircheck.
43. Pontiac / ”Ride” (1987) … How easy can it be to sell the feeling you get driving a car on radio? Pontiac made it work with its “Born to Be Wild” update. Over hoofbeat-like guitars came “you feel the thunder, the call of the road / no time to wonder / youuuuuu’ve gotta go / you feel excitement / yeaaaah! / ride Pontiac / get on your Pontiac and ride! Pontiac ride! / ride! Pontiac ride! / ride! Pontiac ride! / get on your Pontiac / we build excitement / Pontiac ride!” That’s it? It’s over? Damnnnnnn.
42. Pepsi / ”Taste that beats the others cold” (1967) … In that it temporarily dropped the ‘Pepsi generation’ line, this seemed like a step backward after “Come alive!” But maybe that was just to me; John Mehno said, “this was as good as anything Coke did, [it] brought Pepsi’s sound up to date.” Most importantly, it sounded great on top 40, especially on hot summer days. “Taste that beats the others cold / Pepsi pours it on! / anytime a thirst takes hold / Pepsi pours it on! / Pepsi’s got that special taste created for the cold / the cold turns on that Pepsi drive / makes Pepsi-Cola come aliiiiive / taste that beats the others cold / Pepsi pours it on!”
41. Sheraton / ”800-325-3535” (1969) … Who here can’t sing it? Therein lies the genius. Did anyone even know what toll-free numbers were until this came along?
40. Jell-O / ”J-E-L-L-O” (1934) … This was born on Jack Benny’s radio show, written and performed by original orchestra leader Don Bestor. A few years later a longer jingle was done at the opening of “The Aldrich Family” which ended with Bestor’s lasting contribution, the trademark “J-E-L-L-O.” The rest, at least at one point, went like this: “Ohhhhhhhhhhh, the big red letters stand for / the Jell-O family / ohhhhhhhhh, the big red letters stand for / the Jell-O family / that’s Jell-O – yum yum yum! / Jell-O puddings – yum yum yum! / Jell-O tap-ioca puddings, yes, sir-ree!.” Voter Steve Thompson makes a good point: “this was the first radio jingle I can recall that spelled out the product's name"
39. Wrigley / "Hi ho, hey hey" (1966) … Not to be confused with a Ramones song (I know, as if). This one seemed to get better with age, benefiting from each newly-recorded version (and each harder rock hit top 40 ran close by it). Everybody, now: “Hi ho, hey hey / chew your little troubles away / hi ho, hey hey / chew Wrigley’s spearmint gum / work goes faster, smoother too / life seems brighter when you chew / hi ho, hey hey / chew Wrigley’s spearmint gum.” Mike Devich calls it “cheesy.” Mike, I don’t suppose you think the Velveeta ads are “gummy”?
38. 7Up / ”The Uncola” (1968) … This is the original one, the “ba-ba-ba-baaa” version, as in “7up, 7up / 7up, the Uncola / 7up, the Uncolaaaaa - / 7up goes wet and wild / like no cola can / a freah, clean taste, Uncola style / and we love it / the Uncolaaaaaa.” RC Price’s take: “As sung by the somewhat heavier, FM-version of the Mosquitoes (after their landmark ‘Rubber Sting’ LP). After awhile, the tune would get interrupted by that smarmy narc who'd suggest weird, counter-cultural things you could do with your soft drink. The Man can't stop our bubbles.”
37. 7Up / ”Un for all” (1972) … Maybe it’s 1up on #38 due to sheer lyrical strength. “It’s the nothing that makes us something / it’s what we miss that hits the mark / it’s what left out that leaves us in / it’s the light shining over the dark / it’s un for all, all for un / 7up, the Uncola.” Heavy, man. John Mehno: “lyrically beyond most of the Tin Pan Alley-type commercials: they weren’t just selling fizzy beverages twelve ounces at a time, they were promoting a way of life that challenged all conventions. Some of the best pop music of 1972, which was a tremendous year for singles.”
36. Brylcreem / ”A little dab’ll do ya” (1953) … Steve Thompson said, “I … still can sing ‘a little dab'll do ya ....” That’s reason enough to include it here. Go ahead, Steve, we’re all listening. “Brylcreem makes men’s hair look neat / smooth and lustrous, can’t be beat / use it daily, just a bit / Brylcreem always makes a hit / Brylcreem, a little dab’ll do ya / Brylcreem, you’ll look so debonair / Brylcreem, the gals’ll all pursue yaaaaa - / simply rub a little in your hair.” Of course, most of you may not be old enough to remember the radio ads and probably remember the animated TV spots, if anything at all.
35. Budweiser / ”But you know that” (1969) … Possibly the swingin’est of the A-B campaigns over the years, sporting the 5th Dimension sound on “Bud-weiser / is the king of beers / Budweiser / but you know that, but you know that / with all the beers there are today / Budweiser makes it all the way, all the waaaaay …” (insert key change here).
34. Sergio Valente / ”Uh-oh, Sergio” (1982) … There’s always extra points if you can cram into sixty seconds a song that segueways perfectly out of any hit. This track was surprising, as Sergios had a ‘disco image,’ and this was, well, not disco. From the insistent opening drumbeats to the Farfisa fade, it’s one fun ride. “Uh-oh, Sergio / uh-oh, Sergio / you caught my eye when you walked on by / uh-oh, Sergio / striped jeans to wear anytime, anywhere / uh-oh, Sergio / Sergio Valente, Sergio Valente (striped jeans!) / uh-oh, Sergio / ooooh, Sergio / you caught my eye.” Ok, so it wasn’t the lyrics here either.
33. Coca-Cola / ”I'd like to buy the world a Coke" (1971) … The only example I could come up with of a national radio commercial that became a hit song. Actually, it was Steve Thompson who came up with it, I just threw in that little tidbit. And, yes, this is the aforementioned exception to that self-imposed rule re artist-specific Coke jingles; let’s face it, this one took on a life of its own and for Coke became a campaign within a campaign (as “look up America” did in 1974 during the height of the Watergate scandal), so then it’s an understandable exception. Believe it or not, the original radio spot with the New Seekers was first heard late in the summer of ’71, not during the holidays, even though it quickly became associated with Christmas. Not that you need to be reminded, especially given the top ten hit the New Seekers had with it shortly after the spot hit, but here goes anyway: “I’d like to build the world a home / and furnish it with love / grow apple tree and honeybees / and snow white turtle doves / I’d like to teach the world to sing / in perfect harmony / I’d like to buy the world a Coke / and keep it company.” Another perspective from John Mehno: “the notion of world peace through carbonated soft drinks was a reach but the song was nice.”
32. Pepsodent / ”You’ll wonder where the yellow went” (1955) … Whether it was Billy Brown or Susie Q – or Richie, Potsie and Ralph, for that matter - every kid knew the way to whiter teeth thanks to this jingle that wouldn’t go away. Save for the actual sung slogan, this was one of the first ‘rap’ commercials. Here’s the BB version: “(whistle) / Billy Brown / the smoothest, coolest guy in town / the chicks all seem to dig his jive / hey, tell us, Bill – how can WE arrive? / ’it’s eeeeeeeeasy, Jack / any gal gets sent / when you flash a smile by Pepsodent!’ / you’ll wonder where the yellow went / when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”
31. Seagram’s / ”Two parts fun” (1984) … A throwback to the unabashed-pleasure-of-adult-social-drinking spots of the ‘60s, right down to the unapologetically-retro music track. Sample verse: “life should be – one part opera and two parts rock ‘n roll / life should be – getting wiser without growing old / a double bonus for a job well done / life should be one part Seagram’s, and two parts fun.” And then here’s where they get you – the ice-in-the-glass SFX. This WAS your father’s booze ad.
30. Peak Freans / ”Very serious” (1982) … ”Peak Freans are a very serious cookie / they're made for grown-up tastes / Peak Freans are much too good to waste on children / oh, they're serious / very serious / Peak Freans are extraordinarily serious - cookies / if you're a grown-up or plan to be one, you'll know what we mean / Peak Freans are a very serious cookie.” Beauty.
29. 101 / ”A silly millimeter” (1968) … As we’ve already seen, not all great radio ad campaigns need be set to original music. “La Bamba” was the basis for this irresistible ditty which was everywhere that summer. Pretty simple jingle: just replace “ba ba bamba” with “101” and “ba-da-ba-da-ba-da-bamba” with “a silly millimeter longer, 101.” Here was a product with an absolutely dumb premise: since longer 100mm cigarettes were all the rage, why not add an extra mm? Wonder if any loyal smoker ever sued these guys for having gotten lung cancer x% earlier than with the 100s?
28. Coca-Cola / ”Coke is it 2” (1984) … Eat your heart out, P. Diddy. Coke’s second (but not final) version of “Coke is it” was a winner, based on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Waters of March” and sung to perfection by both Aretha Franklin and Phoebe Snow. “A field, a flight / it is totally now / it’s taking your shot / it’s showing ‘em how / the real things in life / a stop, a start / a hope, a friendship / it’s losing your heart / it’s just how you feel when you know it’s for real / it’s a hit / it’s a Coke / Coke is it / Coca-Cola is it.” For me it was always just a lot of belching, but I guess I’m always the guy who ruins it for everyone else.
27. Psssssst!/”P-S-S-S-S-S-S-T” (1968) … Who says there were no radio dramas left in the ‘60s? Every night for awhile there teenage girls faced down the problem of hair-washing with nothing on the clock. Take, for example: “Oh, drat! / why can’t he ever plan ahead? / I can shower and change / and put on my face / but what can I do / about washing my hair? / Psssssst! – there’s something new / Psssssst! – instant spray shampoo / Clairol freshens your hair – instantly / with P-s-s-s-s-s-s-t / Psssssst! – is not a wet shampoo / oh, no / Psssssst! – is not a dry shampoo / oh, no / spray and brush is all you do / then go / ’cause Clairol freshens your hair – instantly / with P-s-s-s-s-s-s-t.” RC Price weighs in: ”The chirpy little faux-Lulu's acoustic version around 1970 ranks right up there with ‘Love Grows’ and ‘Gimme Dat Ding’ as my fave pop moment of the new decade.”
26. Honda / ”You meet the nicest people” (1965) … Dare I say, the Hondells’ Honda ad was better and more fun on radio than their actual top 40 hit about Honda about a year earlier. Voter John Mehno says it best: ”It became so popular that the Hondells even stretched it out for a short single (Mercury) that didn’t chart. A nice piece of sun-splashed fluff that fit in nicely with ‘California Girls’ but seemed a bit anachronistic when it was anywhere near ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ And the song? “You meet the nicest people on a Honda bike / it’s the world’s biggest seller and I know you’ll like / 200 miles per gallon and a rugged sale machine / and Honda prices start about 215 / go little Honda, go little Honda / you meet the nicest people on a Honda.”
25. Diet Coke / ”Introducing” (1982) … If you recall, one of the biggest new product rollouts ever, and this one was everywhere. “Introducing Diet Coke / you’re gonna drink it just for the taste of it / livin’ good with Diet Coke / this is the one from Coca-Cola / new cola taste with just one calorie / just for the taste of it / Diet Coke.” I guess splashy counts for something.
24. Volkswagen / ”Farvergnugen” (1990) … Maybe the word sounded like something I really didn’t want to be associated with, but … you gotta admit that after the first few times you heard it on the radio, you didn’t forget it or the car that allegedly gave it to you. Not sure the words really mattered, but here’s how one version went, as sung by “Helga”: “Exhilarating cruisin’ / the road to farvergnugen / flowing into smooth and curving / feeling great, nimble turning / zippin’ an’-a zoooooooo-min’ / (male:) 30-40-55-in’ / farrrrrr-verg-nuuuuu-gen / Volkswagen / farrrrrr-verg-nuuuuu-gen / say the word / farrrrrr-verg-nuuuuu-gen / say the word!”
23. Helena Rubenstein Heaven Scent / ”Suddenly” (1967) … It’s a hit, alright, even if she did sound like she was straining on the word “scent.” Which may explain why later versions featured a different vocalist. “Suddenly / there’s a heavenly fragrance that clings / it’s Heaven Scent / suddenly / you’re an imp wearing angel’s wings / in Heaven Scent / suddenly / you are all of the things that you want to be / a little bit naughty but heavenly / in Hea-ven Scennnnt.” 1967 translation: maybe second base but that’s about it.
22. Barrelhead / ”Don’t spare the ice” (1973) … Irresistible. You can just imagine the guys with handlebar moustaches tapping that ol’ barrel and spillin’ root beer on the floor during “for old-fashioned flavor / take our advice / drink Barrelhead root beer / and don’t spare the ice! / and it’s real draft-style root beer with real draft-style foam / ’cause Barrelhead has, Barrelhead has / brought old-style root beer home,” all over a great rinky-tink piano. Old-style, indeed. And, far as I know, never a TV campaign.
21. Bain de Soleil / ”For the St. Tropez tan” (1982) … There it was, you just read the entire jingle. For many summers during the ‘80s, I couldn’t decide if this was a commercial for tan lotion or tourism. It’s that girl I wanted, forget about the tan. I especially liked the spots when all she did was hum the thing. Oh, God. You can keep Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby,” I’ll take this anytime. Don’t give me that look; based on your votes, I’m not the only one with this fantasy.
20. Doublemint / ”Double your pleasure” (1960) … So simple it’s great – even without seeing double, as in those twins. You voters seemed to agree, too. "Double your Pleasure, double your fun / with double good, double good, Doublemint gum / double delicious, double smooth too / Doublemint’s double-delightful to chew / so double your Pleasure, double your fun / get double everything rolled into one / oh, double your Pleasure, double your fun / with double good, double good, Doublemint gum."
19. Robert Hall / ”Where the values” (1959) … Best I can recall, one or the other version of this classic (“where the values go up, up, up / and the prices go down, down, down / Robert Hall this season / will show you the reason / low overhead / low overhead,” or “Robert Hall will show you / the reason they give you / high quality / economy”) ran throughout the ‘60s and until the chain closed its doors in the ‘70s. In the early ‘60s, the Les Paul & Mary Ford rendition seemed inescapable.
18. Army / ”Be all you can be” (1980) … What else needs to be said? Its longevity - and that it became a staple of syndicated programming - speaks for itself. With apologies to Jake, I couldn’t locate a copy of the original spot with that great opening verse before the one everyone knows: “Be / all that you can be (whoa, yeah) / keep on reaching / keep on growwwww-ing / be / all that you can be / ’cause we need you / in the Ah-ah-ahhhr-my.” Paid for … oh, sorry. See, you just don’t forget that stuff. Editor’s note: the line “’cause we need you” was eventually replaced with “you can do it” and even later with “find your future.”
17. Michelob / ”Weekends” (1976) … I never got a straight answer as to how some A-B :30s wound up in the cart box at my college’s AM carrier-current station. No matter: lucky for me, my show was on Sundays, so I could slip this one into breaks and sound at least semi-professional talking out of it (I mean, there had to be a tag, right?). Anyway, sit back and relax. “Weekends were maaade – for Michelob (repeat) / have a nice one, y’hear? (‘cause the time is your own) / 52 weeks a year (be with friends or alone) / don’t forget – remember to pick up some beer / it’s Michelob / weekends were made for Michelob.” And if you were lucky, this was followed by both John Forsythe’s A-B tag and that girl’s very breathy “yeah.”
16. Castro / ”First to conquer living space” (1962) … This should be remembered if only for having used the word “incontrovertible,” as in “Who was the first to conquer space? / it’s incontrovertible / that the first to conquer living space / is a Cas-tro Convertible / who conquers space with fine design? / who saves you money all the time? / who’s tops in the convertible line? / Cas-tro Convertible.” Why this sounds like the guy’s riding a horse in order to get modern furniture is beyond me.
15. Miller High Life / ”Welcome to Miller Time” (1983) … Or, what weekends were really made for. Kenny Rogers handled it nicely, but Southside Johnny really rocked the place. “Welcome / to Miller Time / it’s all yours / and it’s all mi-ine / bring your thirty self right here / you’ve got-the time, we’ve got the beer / for what you have in mi-ind / welcome – you know you’re welcome / welcome – everybody’s welcome / welcome / to Miller Time / yours and mine.”
14. Schlitz / ”When you’re out of Schlitz” (1966) … The first radio ad jingle I can think of which incorporated “yeah yeah,” as in “There’s just one Schlitz (yeah, yeah) / nothing else comes near / when you’re out of Schlitz / you’re out of beer / just one beer fits (yeah, yeah) / this great one here / when you’re out of Schlitz / you’re out of beer / if you like it light with a big taste, too / there’s only one brew that will do / when you’re out of Schlitz / you’re out of beer / re-al gusto with a great – light – beer / Schlitz!”
13. Beneficial Finance / ”You’re good for more” (1968) … Some votes came in for this with “toot toot,” others with “boop boop.” Here’s a case where I really know what it is, because there was a short-lived animated TV spot that spelled it out at the end. And here’s where I reveal that earth-shattering revelation: “At Beneficial – doot! doot! – you’re good for more / at Beneficial – doot! doot! – you’re good for more / at Beneficial – doot! doot! – where the money is / we want / to give you / the full amount / you have in minnnnnnd.” Price: “It's been thirty years, and I STILL can't get this one out of my head. At 23.9% APR, it's also taken 30 years to finally get down to the principal.”
12. Pepsi / ”You’ve Got a Lot to Live” (1970) … Don’t sit down, yet, RC: “Had to rate this stand-up-and-cheer rouser as the best of the Pepsi's (my fave was by Three Dog Night), although it happened to be from my most formative soda years. But, man, for me, that trumpet call will always open the gates of No Deposit, No Return heaven.” Roy Currlin: “Was so glad to see Pepsi bring back this underappreciated ‘70s jingle via the Super Bowl Britneyfest last year.” Should you need reminding, it was: “There’s a whole new way of livin’ / Pepsi helps supply the drive / it’s got a lot to give / to those who like to live / ’cause Pepsi helps ‘em / come ali-i-i-i-ive / it’s the Pepsi generation / comin’ at ya, goin’ strong / put yourself behind a Pepsi / if you’re livin’ / you belo-o-o-ong- / you’ve got a lot to live / and Pepsi’s got a lot to give.”
11. Miller High Life / ”If you’ve got the time” (1971) … Not sure I even have to remind you about this one, either, but here goes anyway: “If - you’ve got the time / we’ve got the beer (Miller beer) / Mil-ler takes too good to hurry through / but when it’s time to relax / Mil-ler stands clear (beer after beer) / if you’ve got the time (if you’ve got the time) / we’ve got the beer (Miller beer).” Just made you want to hang the transistor radio on the same hook as the hammock, slide in, and throw back a few.
10. Honda / ”Follow the leader” (1981) … Gets you right at second one. “The look / the feel / the power / of the leader / catch him if you caaaaaan / follow the leader / he’s on a Honda / he’s got the wo-orld / in / his /haaaands.” Not sure about you and me, brother, and the itsy bitsy baby, but you get the idea.
9. Pepsi / ”Hits the spot” (1939) … This was, so I’ve been told or have read, the granddad of the type of commercial jingles most of us hold dear. Yes, that’d be “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot / twelve full ounces, that’s a lot / twice as much for a nickel, too / Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you / nickel-nickel-nickel-nickel / trickle-trickle-trickle-trickle …” The earliest version I’m familiar with was performed in a light-swing style befitting the times. Steve Thompson reminded me that this campaign was born of the same thing just about all Pepsi campaigns that followed were: competition with that other cola. “It dates back to when Coca-Cola came in six-and-a-half-ounce bottles.”
8. Ford Mustang / ”Only Mustang makes it happen” (1967) … Back when car models got their own jingles, this really stood out of the pack and rivaled some of the best top 40 hits of that fall for effect. This in spite of the fact that it was basically a hootenanny, and probably didn’t best capture the feeling of riding in a Mustang. Even so, “only Mustang makes it hap-pen / only Mustang makes life great / Mustang moves you / Mustang grooves you / Mustang, Mustang ‘68 / only Mustang makes it hap-pen / only Mustang had the key / Mustang warms you / and transforms you / Mustang, Mustang sets you free.” was a winner of a jingle.
7. Schaefer / ”The one beer to have” (1961) … Kinda makes you sad how all of these beer companies ate – well, drank – each other up. Over all the years “Schafer / is the / one beer to have when you’re / having more than one / Schafer / pleasure / doesn’t fade even / when you’re thirst is done / the most rewarding flavor in this man’s world / for people who are having fun / Schafer / is the / one beer to have when you’re / having more than one” ran, nothing beat the original “marching band” arrangement.
6. Lowenbrau / ”Here’s to good friends” (1977) … Currlin: “Both [this and] Miller High Life’s ‘If you've got the time’ introduced catch phrases (‘Miller Time’ and ‘Here's to Good Friends’); you'll never hear such mellow tunes used to hump beer ever again.” Good point, Roy, but I wonder why, especially given the effect this one has. Singer Arthur Prysock scored his first album on the pop chart in eleven years thanks to this campaign, which still chokes me up. “Here’s to good friends / tonight is kind of special / the beer we’ll pour / must say something more somehow / so tonight, tonight / let it be Lowenbrau / it’s been so long / gee, I’m glad to see you / raise your glass / here’s to health and happiness / so tonight, tonight, let it be all the best.”
5. Pepsi / ”Come alive!” (1964) … When Pepsi kept Joanie Sommers aboard to kick off this campaign, it never sounded better: “Come alive / come alive / you’re in the Pepsi generation / drink light, drink great / drink right, up to date / young taste, young drive / young pace, come alive!” The piccolo and horns here are stellar and carry the message nicely. Not only was this the first use of the phrase “Pepsi Generation,” but the music and construction of this jingle represented a major leap from any soft drink’s advertising at the time.
4. Winston / ”Tastes good like a cigarette should” (1954) … One of the few jingles I can recall whose accompanying TV campaign – basically animated notes on a scale – proved how much more powerful it was on radio. For most of the ‘50s, anyway, the lyrics stayed “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should / Winston tastes good like a – (clap! clap! optional) – cigarette shoooooould / Winston gives you real flavor / full, rich, tobacco flavor / Winston’s easy drawing too / the filter lets the flavor through.” Might have inspired the most famous parody of a commercial, which every 10-year-old knew during the ‘60s (“Winston tastes bad like the one I just had / no filter, no taste, it’s a – 50-cent waste”). Ah, youth.
3. Coca-Cola / ”Things Go Better” (1964) … It was almost as if you couldn’t have a radio station without these ads. And nothing beat the original version by the Limeliters (although in all fairness, the rendition by the Caravelles, of “You Don’t Have to Be a Baby to Cry” fame, is nice, too). Either way, it’s “things go better with Coca-Cola / things go better with Coke / life is much more fun when you’re refreshed / and Coke refreshes you best / it’s the refreshing-est / food goes better with - / fun goes better with - / you go better with Coke / the real live one puts extra fun in you and everything you do, so - / things go better with Coca-Cola / things go better with Coke.” Price: “For my money, the most memorable of the Coke campaigns.”
2. Coca-Cola / ”It’s the Real Thing” (1969) … Let’s let the experts speak. Currlin: “I was always partial to The Fortunes’ version, which I think was the original; just a top notch, everything right about it campaign. I drink my weight in Coke every week (ok, Diet Coke) and these ads are probably the reason why.” Price: “This one sounded as great as anything on the radio back in the ‘60s (whoa-oh-oh-yeah!). Probably the ‘Lovin' Feeling’ of cola jingles.” No argument here. “It’s the re-al thing (Coke - is) / in the back of your mind (Coca-Co-o-laa) / what you’re hoping to find (whoa-oh-oh-yeah) / is the real thing / it’s the re-al thing (Coke – is) / that’s the way it should be (Coca-Co-o-laa) / what the world wants to see (whoa-oh-oh-yeah) / is the real thing (Coca-Cola is Coke!).” Ok, that’s a :30 edit, but you know the whole thing anyway.
1. Budweiser / ”When you say Bud” (1972) … To be honest, I had no idea what would top this list even as I was constructing it. I just assumed that the pile of suggestions and whatever inspiration I got while listening to all of these spots over again would lead naturally to an obvious answer. And I think it worked out like that. In its :60 form, this builds to such a great climax, and then it’s like everyone leaves the building at the very end. Even in its :30 versions, it still outclassed everything around it. Price: “it was an all-time classic melody, and the brassy arrangements with the tuba were great. Tubas rock.” Currlin: “once in a while, I'll hear that original version - a veritable anthem - and feel proud to be an American.” And here’s the whole darn thing: “when you say Bud / you’ve said a lot of things nobody else can say / when you say Bud / you’ve gone as far as you can go to get the very best / when you say Bud / you’ve said the word that means you’d like to do it all / when you say Bud / it means you want the beer that’s got a taste that’s number one / when you say Bud / you tell the world you know what makes it all the way / when you say Bud / you say you care enough to only want the king of beers / there is no other one / there’s only something less / because the king of beers / is leading all the rest / when you say Bud-weiser / you’ve said it all.” That’s like the “Stairway to Heaven” of ad jingles.
And there you have it!!! Thanks again, Rich --- (wonder how many of our readers were "You-Tubing" while reading this!) Remember, you can pick up Rich's Book Of Days (The '60's and / or The '70's) exclusively at Barnes and Noble!
Meanwhile, Hz So Good has a NEW topic they're taking on this month ... here are all the details:
Don't Touch WHAT Dial???
It’s long due, and now it’s just weeks away: the first Hz So Good devoted to off-road listening – Internet, satellite, HD, streaming terrestrial, Pandora, live365, you-name-it.
If you’ve gone over to the dark side, even for just a few hours a week, we’d like to know what got you there, what you listen to, and how it’s changed your ‘regular radio’ habits. We’ll cram as many of your comments as we can in this special Hz, the first of 2010.
And if by chance you operate an off-radio radio service, we’d like to hear from you too, and make you part of our special Hz “No Paper,” Going Tubeless. Just let me know you’re interested and I’ll send a round of questions under separate cover.
This Hz drops end of January, so you’ve got a little time to get your thoughts together.
Thanks, Kent ... and remember: if any of your readers would like to receive Hz So Good in their own email in-box, drop me a line and let me know: email@example.com
Happy New Year from
P.S. Filing in the 3rd annual I.R.S. (as in, It Really Shoulda been a top 10 hit) has begun! You can declare as many as 40 songs this year, just send ‘em here. As always, don’t worry about actual charting info, we’ll handle all of that. The Top 104 will appear in the Hz So Good just before, that’s right, April 15th, so lots of time.