Darrell Huckaby: Jingles, slogans were advertising gems of years gone by

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

It always strikes me as funny when I run across things about which the younger generation -- with their vast knowledge -- knows nothing. Last week it was advertising slogans and jingles. Young people of today are incredibly visual creatures. They will recognize a logo -- like a pair of golden arches or a "swoosh" on the side of a sneaker, in a heartbeat. Jingles and slogans -- not so much.Nike. "Just do it."

That's about the extent of my children's generation's knowledge on the subject -- and they think that Tiger Woods did a superb job of living out the motto.

I came up during the period when modern pop culture was transitioning from radio to television and, at the time, producers and advertisers were treating the newfangled boob tube like a radio with picture. Jingles and slogans were a lot more prominent than they are today. Last weekend I got into a conversation with a few folks who have as much gray hair as I do and we were reminiscing about some of our favorites. Meanwhile the youngsters in the group were saying, "Do what?"

Let me give you an example or three.

"Half the fun of having feet is ..."

No. Digging your toes into the sand is not the correct answer, although there is a lot to be said for that. There is a lot to be said for having your toes in the water while another part of your anatomy is in the sand, too -- and you can thank the Zac Brown Band for that visual.

But the appropriate response is "Red Goose Shoes."

Believe it or not, advertisers have been targeting youthful audiences for a long, long time and back in the day it was a toss up at back to school time between Buster Brown and Red Goose. Red Goose usually won out because they came up with the ingenious idea of placing a giant red goose in each shoe store that would "lay" a golden egg with an honest to goodness prize with each purchase. That beat a cardboard cutout of a little boy with a dog named Tag every time.

I recently learned that Diane Howington owns the original egg-laying red goose from Gailey's, her grandfather's shoe store in Olde Town Conyers -- and now I am extremely jealous.

Here's another one for you. Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya. Use more, only if you dare. But watch out, the girls will all pursue ya ... "

Give yourself a gold star if you knew the last line. "They'll love to get their fingers in your hair."

Honesty compels me to admit that I never was a Brylcreem boy. That was considered the "greasy kid stuff" as far as I was concerned. Of course I went through the flattop stage, too. You used the foul smelling pink "Butch Wax" for that particular hair style. Now, of course, I don't use anything -- primarily because I don't have enough hair left to style.

"You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with ... "

Yeppers. Pepsodent. Their jingle didn't work for us. We were always a Colgate family.

Most of the ad campaigns were a lot of baloney, of course -- including the ones for Oscar Mayer, which actually made "bologna," as well as not one, but two of the most popular jingles ever.

"My baloney has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R. My baloney has a second name it's M-A-Y-E-R. Oh, I'd love to eat it every day and if you ask me why I'll say, ... "

"'Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A."

The second, even more classic jingle, was "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, that is what I'd really like to be. 'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, everyone would be in love with me." Throw in those two jingles and add a wiener whistle and a Weenie Mobile and Oscar Mayer might have been king of promotions in its day.

There were some great slogans back in the day, too. Some of the best ones were for cigarettes. Folks would walk a mile for a Camel and with Winstons it was always "what's up front" that counts. Here's one for you. Long before the surgeon general began to lay a guilt trip on smokers, what cigarette company claimed their product had "not a cough in a car load"

That was "Lucky Strike," who also had a slogan, "LSMFT -- Lucky Strike means fine tobacco."

Coca-Cola was "the real thing" and things went better with Coke, too, which generated one of the corniest corny jokes of all time.

"What do monsters eat?" Things. "What do monsters drink?" Cokes "Why?" Because -- things go better with ...

I told you it was corny.

M&M's would melt in your mouth, not in your hand and Campbell's Soup was "M-m, M-m Good and Avis tried harder because they were number two and Kentucky Fried Chicken was finger-licking good.

And now I've made myself hungry so I think I'll stop and get a bite to eat. If I overindulge don't worry. I'll just try a little "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" and see y'all next time.