Daily Dirt: Oh, I wish were an Oscar Mayer wiener, that is what I’d truly like to be


Scott Gough and the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile (2016)

Once we hear them, many times it is impossible to forget them. We can love them, and we can hate them.

“They” are the commercial jingles that pound our brains — non-stop, it seems — both on television and on the radio.”

Jingles are written to be as easy to remember as nursery rhymes — the shorter the better, the more repetition the better, the more rhymes the better,” wrote Tim Faulkner in 2008 on money.howstuffworks.com.

Mr. Faulkner’s thoughts were a combination of both stating the obvious and well ahead of their time. Such jingles have been with us since the beginning of time (well, at least since radio and TV came along), yet have arguably never had the impact they do today with all the various media outlets we are subjected to on a daily basis.

“Jingles are designed to infiltrate your memory and stay there for years,” according to Faulkner. “Psychologists and neurologists who study the effects of music on the brain have found that music with a strong emotional connection to the listener is difficult to forget. Researchers have noted the shorter and simpler the melody, the more likely it is to get stuck in your head.”

I can’t argue with any of Faulkner’s reasoning. I’ve had certain commercial jingles mired in my head for years, some for decades. Here are my favorites, plus the most annoying. How many of these would make similar lists for you?

The best jingles

1. McDonald’s: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, onion on a sesame seed bun.”

2. Coors Light: The beer company used the O’Jays’ “Love Train” in a very well-received 2005 advertising campaign.

3. Coca-Cola: “I’d like to teach the world to sing … in perfect harmony.” Coke’s 1971 commercial was put to music by the New Seekers. 

4. Pepsi-Cola: “You’ve got a lot to live and Pepsi’s got a lot to give.” It wasn’t quite in the Coke ad’s stature, but this 1969 classic was a good one.

5. ABC-TV: The network’s “Still the One” 1977 commercial and accompanying song was used to promote its upcoming season. Unfortunately, the commercial/jingle was better than most of the ABC programming. 

The most annoying jingles

1. Winston cigarettes: “Winston tastes good … like a cigarette should.” (Cigarette commercials were banned on TV in 1970, and yet jingles like this remain in my memory bank.)

2. Alka-Seltzer: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz … oh what a relief it is.” I used to get ill whenever this commercial came on.

3. Doublemint Gum: “Double your pleasure, double your fun, chew double-good, double-good Doublemint gum.” Please stop it, Please.

4. Dr. Pepper: “I’m a pepper, he’s a pepper, she’s a pepper, we’re a pepper … wouldn’t you like to be a pepper, too?” No.

5. Oscar Mayer wieners: “Oh, I wish were an Oscar Mayer wiener, that is what I’d truly like to be, ’cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, everyone would be in love with me.” Just give me a Dr. Peppper and I won’t sing it again.

Special note: For the record, the first commercial jingle was “Have You Tried Your Wheaties?” It was released on radio on Christmas Eve 1926.

Overrated, underrated
Overrated: Diet Coke. That nasty after-taste of diet soda is just that — nasty. (The only exception is Diet Mountain Dew. The Diet Dew after-taste is much more agreeable to the palate than that of its rivals.)

Underrated: Coke Zero, which uses sodium citrate in a bid to mimic the taste of “real” coke without containing all the sugar (and calories).

Overrated: Carlos Santana, guitar player.

Underrated: Carlos Santana, baseball player. Hey, he’s hit 259 more home runs than the guitar player.

Happy birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: The former NASCAR star turns 47 on Sunday. That’s hard to believe.

Paul Simon: It’s birthday No. 80 for the the hall of fame singer on Oct. 13.

Sammy Hagar: The Red Rocker turns 72, also on Oct. 13.

And in the gone, but not forgotten category of October birth dates:

Penny Marshall: She was “LaVerne” on the old “Laverne and Shirley” ABC sitcom. Marshall, who later went on to a successful career as a director, was born on Oct. 15, 1943. She died at age 75 in 2018.

Evel Knievel: The famed daredevil was born Oct. 17, 2938, and died at age 69 in 2007. His real name was Robert Craig Knievel.

Chuck Berry: The St. Louis-born singing legend was born Oct. 18, 1926. He died at age 90 in 2017. Berry had three No. 1 hits on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues charts.

Steve Fact O’ The Day
It is mandatory for Steve to eat Chinese for at least one meal per week. He is especially fond of walnut shrimp. 

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