Sunday, December 03, 2006

When Sara Lee met Ren & Stimpy, My Holidays Would Never Be The Same

Well, advertising smarties have once again done something to leave an indelible impression on my delicate psyche: I've seen the new holiday commercial for Sara Lee pound/cheese and other cakes that uses the ole "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" song from Ren and Stimpy (complete with holidy jingle bells.) I can't seem to find the holiday commercial, but it wasn't the first Sara Lee commercial to use the song. Sara Lee launched what's called its "Joy of Eating" campaign with a bread commercial that shows a number of people who are of the age to remember exactly where the "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" song comes from:

What's probably funnier is what the Chicago Sun Times had to say about the campaign, which is reported as named "The Joy of Eating"--in order to remind people of The Joy of Sex. However, whomever wrote the article seems to be woefully ignorant of the source material of the music, calling it "a mildly annoying jingle that speeds up along with the procession of images.", the Chicago Sun Times seems to forget that most people never hear of, nor learn, the names of ad campaigns--But by golly gosh we certainly do hear, and sometimes even know, the source material for their jingles! (mostly, too, because they don't hire jingle-writers these days. It's cheaper to rewriter--or just use outright--old stuff.)

It's too creepy to think that the ad agency, TWBA/Chiat/Day might have been thinking sex and ended up channeling Ren and Stimpy. All I can think is what the heck is going on in *that* creative department!

Just makes me think they've got to be a bunch of sick little monkeys...

AdWeek's AdFreak Blog even fails to mention the Ren & Stimpy connection, but the few commenters definitley did a fair number of astute bloggers including one who even posts the lyrics--which are anything but appetite (food OR sex) inducing. Watch it here and tell me if it makes y'all think of anything a grown-up as sex or politely eating a sandwich:

But I think it's intentional: I don't think, as the Sun Times reporter writes, that we're supposed to make the Joy of Eating/Joy of Sex connection. I think we're supposed to make the "food is fun! all the kids are doing it!" connection. Heck, just look at the faces of the folks in the bread commercial...they're hardly expressing sensual ecstacy as much as they are a child-like delight in gluttony--as in stuffing one's face like an eeediot and not worrying about the calories.

It's about letting go and being a kid--not about sex. If they wanted to equate food and sex (rather than food as kid fun) they would certainly found another song.

So, just goes to show how out of touch the Establishemen is if they can't even get the why a company might want to use a song from Ren & Stimpy to sell bread and cake to grownups. It's got nothing to do with sex and everything to do with being a kid again.

1 comment:

Tish Grier said...

Believe it or not, this post has been featured on Google Finance searches for Sara Lee! how goofy is that??