I used to think I wasn’t the kind of person to be influenced by adverts. Recently I’m starting to see how wrong I was. I did backflips in Asda the other day, because they’d started selling Um Bongo again, which I’m 99% sure was down to the Um Bongo song. I don’t know what it is that makes me so happy about watching companies from yesteryear trying to flog me their tat, but it does.
Since this seems to be accidentally turning into a series, you can find parts 1 and 2 or my adverts extravaganza here and here. Today I’m going to write about five adverts with insanely catchy songs attached to them. The genius of these adverts was that people (and by people, I mean me) are still singing the accompanying jingles twenty years on. It’s all very well having an expensive and arty ‘concept’ advert, but what good is that if no one can ever remember what's being advertised? If I was making an advert, I’d go for a catchy tune and a cartoon character singing the name of my product a million times over a dolphin having sex with a chessboard, or whatever.
I present to you, in no particular order – five advert jingles they really should release as singles –
1. Milky Way
I know they brought this advert back in recent years. However, they brought it back in a stupid cropped form, thus taking all the context out of the advert. Nowadays it’s just a red car and a blue car having a race. Not much happens, and in some versions we don’t even get to see the part where the bridge collapses, thus negating the whole point of the advert, which is ‘if you eat Milky Ways instead of lard, you won’t get fat’. Still, at least 7/10 for effort.
Late 80s/early 90s summer power ballading at its best. You’ve got surfboards, you’ve got hair gel, you’ve got guys called Brad frolicking in crashing waves with girls called Cindy. And, bizarrely, a can of Sunkist balancing on a girl’s bottom. No doubt cashing in on the Neighbours/Home and Away inspired ‘everyone wants to be a beach bunny’ wave of hysteria, the Sunkist ad managed to inject a wave of real sunshine into our gloomy British days.
3. Birdseye potato waffles
Undoubtedly, the only part anyone ever remembers from this song is the last line, followed by the cuckoo clock chime. But had you been paying attention to the rest of the song, you’d have learned that Birdseye potato waffles go with all kinds of things, from cheese to chilli to burgers to eggs, with about a bajillion things inbetween. You could probably eat them with raw petrol and they’d taste nice.
4. Crisp N Dry
A badass jazz/blues/skiffle number complete with singing nuns. Ok, the nuns aren’t singing, but if they were they’d be awesome. Let’s face it, nuns liven up any advert. The main message of this song is that with Crisp N Dry cooking oil, your food won’t end up tasting like it’s smeared with lard and therefore from the North of England.
A cool reggae journey through your average Carribean village. Apparently, in your average Carribean village, not only does everyone stand around all day doing no work, but they also have a ‘Lilt-man’. I’m assuming this is in place of a milkman, and that the residents of this village substitute Lilt for milk in all areas of their life. I’m assuming they have Lilt in their tea, and Lilt on their cornflakes. This is all well and good, but at least a milkman wouldn’t just ride around throwing bottles of milk at your head, which you just happen to be lucky enough to catch.