Not too long ago, an article in Business News Daily focused on the favorite songs of 50 successful entrepreneurs. Nobody asked us, but here at West Virginia Hot Dog, we have our own thoughts on the best songs for success … so we thought we’d put a few simple melodies in your head that will keep you thinking about your beloved dogs for the rest of the day (you’re welcome). Hot dogs play a significant and undeniable role in American pop culture, and you won’t hear “hot dog” any more clearly than in these three commercial jingles firmly rooted in Americana:
- Chevrolet – General Motors’ 1975 eponymous jingle is arguably the most memorable car commercial ever made, a love letter to American culture that equated Chevrolet automobiles with the very heart of our country. “Baseball, Hot dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” became iconic in a time where Moms really did make apple pie from scratch, Dads played catch with the kids instead of screaming manically at Little League coaches, and a trip to the ballpark and a frank was not only affordable, it was–like driving a Chevrolet–a physical manifestation of the American dream. Ah, the good ol’ days. Written by “Polish Cowboy” Ed Labunski, the jingle spawned several commercials featuring the signature line and forever linked hot dogs with Americana.
- Oscar Meyer – The jingle that made the entire world ponder the beautiful benefits of actually being the thing they loved, the “Oscar Meyer Weiner Song” (“I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner”) was penned late one night in about an hour by the late Richard D. Trentlage. Trentlage, an advertising executive, was inspired to write the jingle after learning that Oscar Mayer was in the market for a new song promoting its hot dogs. The song debuted in the early 1960s and quickly became the meat company’s main jingle, appearing in advertisements around the world for the next five decades. The song was, sadly, put out to pasture in 2010– but in the age of social media, these laugh-along lyrics will never die.
- Armour – With all the love that gets showered on Oscar Mayer’s iconic jingle, it might be easy to overlook Armour Hot Dogs’ “The Dog Kids Love to Bite” song, released four years after Oscar Mayer’s and every bit as memorable and successful. Written by veteran musical director Clay Warnick, the actual commercial wasn’t particularly inspired–just a bunch of kids parading around a playground, reminiscent of a “Barney” episode minus the purple felt. The song, though, stuck in people’s heads and became one of the defining jingles of its era. In fact, jingle firm American Music Concepts recently ranked “The Dog Kids Love to Bite” as the fifth-best advertising jingle of all time … the song even warranted a scene in a 1994 episode of “The Simpsons.”
Given America’s current–and long overdue–interest in returning to more healthy food choices, there’s no telling how much longer hot dogs will remain a staple of American menus. But as long as these jingles can roll around in our collective consciousness and occasionally bring a smile, they’ll always be among our favorite songs.
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