Browse Month: March 2011

Throwback Friday: Jingles

Remember the era of the great jingle? The catchy little advertising tune you couldn’t resist singing along with when it came on the TV screen or the radio?  They were an advertising mainstay between the ’50s and the ’90s. Not that they’re officially dead and gone, but by comparison to those extremely memorable chords and words of yesterday, today’s jingles seem non-existent and forgettable. Below are eleven clips of old commercials with some of my favorite jingles. I focused on the 80s, with the exception of Coca-Cola’s famous early ’90s jingle. Considered adding the Soul-Glo commercial from Coming to America, but figured that would be cheating…

Some Memorable Jingles of Yesteryear

Juicy Fruit. I can sing this song in its entirety. With an…appropriate…level of over-enthusiasm. Don’t judge me.


Big Red. Gum was clearly an obsession in North America for a while…


Zest Soap. I always wanted that giant towel. As for the very scientifically sound soap-scum-on-the-shower-door experiment in every Zest commercial, can’t say I ever conducted such trials in my own home…


Extra. See ‘Big Red’ description above.


Coast. Bar soap commercials had a way of working themselves into the mind. I often found myself smelling the bar and getting a stupid smile on my face, like all the showering folks in the Coast commercials. Again, don’t judge me…


The Clapper. An a capella jingle, but a note-worthy jingle nonetheless. Who didn’t know this one? I always lamented that I never had a clapper in my home, and today I often wish I had one when I feel too lazy to switch off a lamp.


Folgers. Those commercials made me want it, but Folgers wasn’t allowed in my house. My father was a strict Café Bustelo man who only prepared the family’s coffee in “the third-world coffee maker”– the nickname my sisters and I gave to our stovetop espresso maker– “third world coffee maker” being a misnomer, of course, because this type of coffee maker was invented in Italy…Still haven’t experienced “the best part of waking up,” but I remember the song.


GEO. G. E. O-whoa-whoa-whoa. My sisters and I used to sing that line. Over and over.


Frosted Flakes. “Show ’em you’re a tiger, show ’em what you can do…” Frosted Flakes commercials had a common theme– most of them featured an underdog needing to unleash the tiger within. The jingle is short, but effective.


My Buddy/Kid Sister. A catchy little tune. The jingle was undoubtedly the bane of many a parent’s existence, and the toy itself merely one more link in the long unbroken chain of children’s imaginary friends.


Coca-Cola. I don’t drink soda, but I’ve never forgotten this song. Obviously, Coke knew it had a winner with this tune and wanted its message engrained in people’s minds–it’s not often a product displays its jingle’s lyrics, karaoke-style, in its commercials. In my humble opinion, they’ve never had a stronger ad campaign.


Ohh, alright. I couldn’t resist. Here’s a little “Soul-Glo,” courtesy of Coming to America

Did I miss any of your favorites? Please share!

On wearing hats

I never wear hats. I always want to, but I don’t. I admire men and women who wear nice ones–ahh, such panache. Whenever I put one on, I feel loud…then self-conscious. One of my best friends is getting married this year, and for her bridal shower, she asked her guests to don hats for a lovely Sunday lunch. While I did have a subtly nagging sense of dread that I wouldn’t look quite right, those thoughts were crowded out by the pleasant idea of seeing my best friends in hats.

My friend, behatted

Perhaps in order to pay homage to the high pressure all-nighters of my school days, I procrastinated with my headpiece assignment.  After hitting a few stores unsuccessfully, and feeling slightly panicked with less than 48 hours left until the shower, I texted my besties for advice on stores, materials, and styles. All responded immediately (because they are the greatest friends in the world) with ideas and reassurances. 24 hours before the party, I headed to Burlington Coat Factory where I found a slew of hats. Some reminded me too much of a church service. Some were too warm for outdoor Florida weather. Some looked nice hanging on the hat rack, but absolutely ridiculous on my head. I took a few different hats to a fitting room along with some dresses. After frantically changing in and out of ten different outfits and hearing pieces of bizarre conversations from fitting rooms next door, I went back to the hat rack, eyes fully peeled. My eye settled on a fun green one with a flower; I swear it hadn’t been there before. I grabbed it and ran back to the clothing racks and found a springtime-is-here halter dress covered in  a violet, blue, and green flowery pattern. I walked to the fitting room, confident that this combination would be the answer to my silent prayer.

Testing my outfit out before a mirror

Come Sunday, I arrived at the shower, turned off the car and sat there staring at the hat on the passenger seat, all at once in love with it, yet loathe to put it on. A few moments later, I walked onto a patio filled with behatted ladies, each one all the more lovely and unique thanks to those expressive accessories adorning their heads. There were all kinds–there were straw hats and fascinators, there were ones made of linen and of raffia, some had feathers galore. Each woman’s hat was a compliment to her personality and style. While all of us experienced certain obstacles when searching for and choosing our hats, we all agreed that we’d like to wear them more often. My friend’s shower was wonderful, and I won’t forget that I wore my first real hat for her.

A glowing bride-to-be, her aunt, and my lovely friend

Myself and the hostesses with the mostesses

More ladies, more hats

The bridal party


Thank you, dear Olivia, for sending me pictures #6, 7, and 11!

The hotel greeter

Moments of shyness. Even those of us who get along easily with all sorts can find themselves suddenly gripped with bouts of timidity. I had one recently. My husband and I were visiting the hotel where we got married and upon arriving, saw the familiar smiling face of the hotel door greeter, Richard. Richard is an affectionate darling of a gentleman who has been greeting guests at Disney World’s flagship resort, the Grand Floridian, for decades. When we pulled into the valet area, I squealed with delight upon sight of him. My husband urged me to go talk to him while the valet unpacked our bags. Overcome with a spell of shyness, I declined, explaining that I didn’t want to bother him because he looked busy.

Richard holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always seen him standing at the hotel entrance, making people–myself included–smile whenever they walk through the doors. Besides being polite (a given for someone in his type of position), he has an honest smile, the kind that reaches the corners of the eyes. His sweetness and his pleasant sense of humor are unforgettable. On my wedding day a few years ago, once dressed, I sat in my hotel room with my mother and sister, and we heard a knock at the door. My mom answered, and I heard some happy commotion. She turned to me smiling and said, “Le bonhomme est la!” (The nice chap is here!) Richard was standing at my door, smiling and waiting; he had come to escort me from my room and help carry my train. The wedding planner hadn’t mentioned that he would be there, so I was genuinely surprised. He helped me in the hotel lobby with my dress for the pre-ceremony photographs, and then helped me into the car that would take my father and me over to the chapel. He conversed with me the entire time. I loved that he was there, and appreciated what he added to my day.

Richard helping me climb into the car
Richard holding my flowers while my dad and I smile for a quick shot.

On the last day of our recent vacation when we checked out, we waited for the valet to bring the car around. My husband reminded me, “He’s over there, go talk to him while we wait.” I noted that Richard was speaking to another hotel employee; I didn’t want to disturb them, but with a mixture of reluctance and nervous hope, decided to approach him anyway. He stopped his conversation, turned to me and smiled. I told him, “I got married here a few years ago, and you escorted me from my room to the lobby and I never forgot it, and just wanted to tell you that it was very special to me and made me so happy.” He immediately pulled me in for a tight hug, chatted with me for a while, happily obliged me by taking a couple of pictures, and basically had me smiling for the four-hour drive home.

I’ve often found myself ready to slip into shyness. I now have no doubts whatsoever that shyness is a useless quality that consistently manages to keep people from doing things that are good for them, and keeps them from interacting with others in a potentially meaningful way. The voices in your mind that babble nonsense like ‘he’s too busy,’ ‘he doesn’t care what you have to say,’ and ‘what would you say to him anyway’–they are naysayers, masking themselves less threateningly as that which we call “shyness.” They should be categorically carted off to a rocky island where they can ponder and atone for their ruinous behavior. It’s always worthwhile to tell someone that he or she is doing a good job. It’s always worthwhile to tell someone that he or she has made you happy in some way. Never let the naysayers tell you otherwise.

Richard, the Grand Floridian's hotel greeter, and I on my last day of vacation

**Wedding photography by Christopher Patrick Photography