Name That Tune
22nd August, 2014
If you’ve popped over to Hudson HQ in the past you’ll know that music plays a very important part in my life. It can lighten my mood; it can reduce me to tears; it can help me whittle my waistline (yes the ‘70s disco classics are still working their magic as I bounce up and down on my little trampoline). I have also discovered that music can make me believe that I am hungry or thirsty… (even when I know I’m not).
I was listening to a radio show playing a chart from 1974. The opening bars of one of the hits came on. Outside it was raining and it was cold (yes… I’m sad to say that I did resort to putting the central heating on for a couple of hours) but as soon as I heard the music all I wanted was a long glass of a famous cola drink (with lots of ice, a slice of lemon and a straw). I didn’t even realise the song was on my “radar”… it went back to 1974 when I was far more interested in playing with “Tiny Tears” than watching Top of the Pops but…
The tune was “Hello Summertime” and had formed the musical background to a very successful soft drink advertising campaign. Even without being consciously aware the tune was firmly filed away in a corner of my brain clearly marked “Long Cold Drink”.
It set me on a train of thought about other food-and-drink musical “triggers”. I am sure I am not alone when I confess that I never sing the correct lyrics to “It’s Now Or Never”…. For me it is always “Just One (insert ice-cream cone brand name)… and I actually have to make a physical effort to think of the correct title to the song.
I mentioned this to my mum who reminded me of when Twin and I were very little and we used to put on “shows” for mum and dad. Apparently our favourite song to sing was the advertising jingle for a well-known “group” of sweets for very young children (the “jelly” variety are still in existence but it seems that “Candy” “Tiger” and Teddy didn’t have quite as successful a shelf life). Moving on from this a light-hearted moment in the 1993 film “Demolition Man” comes when it transpires that all music is outlawed other than jingles with the most popular being the tune advertising a brand of sweetcorn.
It just goes to show just how powerful “mental association” can be. And it isn’t just “treat” food and drink. “I Can’t Let Maggie Go” (which starts “she flies like a bird in the sky…” instantly makes me think of a low-fat bread product. If the advert were on the television again I am pretty certain I would be picking up a loaf on my next weekly shop. And given that it works just as effectively with low-fat, low-cal, waistline-friendly products, it does make me wonder why advertisers don’t use it as a marketing tool more often. If the makers of the low/zero calorie version of their cola drink were to bring back their advert using “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” and use it solely for the purposes of marketing the “diet” drink.. I am pretty certain nostalgia would prove a power “purchasing power” tool.
I am an advertisers dream when it comes to sound and thought. I am exactly the sort of person they target. I find myself humming a tune and my brain makes all sorts of links… and if they include food or drink then I’m afraid it takes a great deal of willpower to resist the mental lure of the chocolate ice-cream cone.
It also reminds me just how powerful my brain is and just how much it can help or hinder my weight loss journey.
And on that basis… it would be so helpful for me if the lettuce and tomato growers of the world would put together an advert with a really great up-beat song that puts me in mind of crisp fresh salad. If the makers of fat-free yoghurt could come up with a jingle that I just can’t get out of my head; I’m pretty certain that my consumption would increase. So I look forward to the day when I hear “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer and it makes want to eat low-fat chilli noodles or Quorn curry; “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond makes me crave fat-free fruit yoghurt and the hearing “Supernature” by Cerrone doesn’t make me think of Kenny Everett and Hot Gossip (giving my age away again…) but instead makes me crave salads, pulses and all the great natural foodstuff that is out there….
Have a happy and successful WLR Bank Holiday Weekend
With a Hug