The Oscar Mayer wiener and the golden age of advertising jingles

Whatever else you might say about the years during which I happened to be growing up at the Manse – the 19th-century house that I now live in once again, with my ever-patient husband, Raymond – I think you will have to agree that it was the golden age of TV advertising jingles. The years in question were 1964 to 1975, and man, were there some hummable and memorable jingles back then. Songs that everybody knew by heart because we’d all seen the ads a million times. Songs that were extraordinarily catchy and, sometimes, quite tuneful.

I got thinking about vintage TV ad jingles a while back when I was writing a post about things I resisted the urge to buy when I spotted them in an antique warehouse. One of them was a coin bank that looked like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Which of course got me thinking about the very classic “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener” jingle, which you too remember (don’t you?) and can hear once again (whether you need to or not) by listening to the video atop this post.

But there were so many more! I particularly remember “Let’s all go to A&W.” Really, I can taste it now – can’t you?

And then there were the Sugar Crisp commercials with Sugar Bear singing a jazzy lounge-lizard-type ditty about not being able to get enough of that Sugar Crisp. He sounds suspiciously like Dean Martin, actually. Was it Dean Martin? Judge for yourself:

Oh, and while we’re on to breakfast cereal, how about the Honeycomb Kid and the jingle’s variation on the popular Jimmie Rogers song:

And who could forget “Uh-oh! SpaghettiOs“?

Oh yeah, and a successor to the Oscar Mayer wiener jingle, the one with The Baloney Kid singing about – well, baloney:

Then there’s the irritating and never-to-be-forgotten “My dog’s better than your dog” song for Ken-L Ration dog food:

Much more uplifting, in my view, was Barry Manilow crooning “You deserve a break today” for McDonald’s. Now, I suspect Mr. Manilow is not happy about his eternal association with that jingle and has done something about it, because I cannot for the life of me find it on YouTube. Which is odd, because lord knows it was once ubiquitous on TV. But here’s an earlier version:

And finally, there the was the greatest of them all – an absolutely inspired (and groundbreaking) commercial that featured not a jingle but really a whole pop song. It was all about peace, love – and Coke:

Okay, people, those are my nominations for best TV ad jingles of the era. What are yours?

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