Thursday, June 18, 2009

We were originally going to cast Samuel L. Jackson in Jeff's part. (The Best Ad Jingles, 3)

It's a MiniBest!

Not too long ago, The Boy asked me "What's on a Big Mac, anyway?"

That's the kind of conversations The Boy and I have. We talk about what's on burgers, or we cast imaginary movies we're making up, like the movie I'm definitely going to write, called The Examiner and starring Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Banks, Richard Gere, Rachel Weisz, and featuring Helen Mirren as Judge Donna McCormack...

Or we discuss things like whether there was always a character named Murdock in every space movie ever, put there for the purpose of having a character say "Murdock, we don't do things that way!"

Or, we discuss things like whether there is really a "Musical Road" where the grooves in the road make cars play songs as they drive over it. (Turns out The Boy was not making that up, and I was probably wrong to ground him over his claim that it existed.)

But we also talk about what's in a Big Mac, anyway, and when The Boy asked me that, I answered without any hesitation whatsoever: two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions in a sesame seed bun.

That, of course, is the Third Best Ad Jingle Ever: The ingredients for The Big Mac:

A commercial jingle that dates back all the way to 1975, when I was only six, but still was able to fully absorb the Big Mac ingredients and remember them, in that exact order, forever.

Seriously. Forever. That jingle is so effective, I will probably be able to recite the ingredients to a Big Mac even after they get me out of Hypersleep and move me into a retirement home on Ceti Alpha VI -- as I expect will happen someday; eventually, I assume, young people will get tired of old people like me constantly reminiscing about old ad jingles and making fun of their "grunge" bands and will forcibly ship us off to "Retirement Planets" where we will subsist on game shows and NutriPills (TM) but even then I will be able to recite the Big Mac jingle, as will people in the UK (who will do it in a sing-songy way):

And as will Aussies, who will take their NutriPills and hum the jingle with a disco beat (what, no grunge?):

(As an aside, didn't it look for a moment like the "Says Who?" Dad was gonna smack that kid?)

The jingle was necessary, for a couple of reasons. First, it set the Big Mac apart from all those other mysterious burgers. Ask someone what's on a Whopper, for example, and they'll fumble around, saying something like:

Um... er... ahhhh... Can I get back to you on that?

(It seems as though I asked that of Walter Mitty, doesnt' it?)

And second, because since the ad doesn't air anymore, kids are lost in a world where they don't know what's on the Big Mac -- and that's a world I don't want to live in. And, apparently, one I won't live in, eventually. I hope Ceti Alpha VI gets Jeopardy! transmissions.

I'm thinking about ad jingles because I am engaged in trying to change the very nature of publishing -- by selling ad space in my upcoming book. Click here to read more about that.

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