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6 Famous Jingles by Barry Manilow

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Getty

Even if you’re not a Fanilow, you’ve almost certainly gotten some of Barry Manilow’s handiwork stuck in your head. And I don’t mean “Copacabana” or “Mandy.” During the 1970s, Manilow wrote, sang, or wrote and sang some of the catchiest jingles in history. Some of the tunes have become so identifiable with the product that they’re still being used now, 30+ years later. Here are a few of his greatest (advertising) hits:

1. Band-Aid, “Stuck on Band-Aid”

Manilow wrote the music and even sang in a childlike voice for one of the commercials.

2. State Farm, “Like a Good Neighbor”

The song, still being used in State Farm ads today, was written and performed by Manilow. He didn't get rich off of this one, though—he was paid a flat fee of just $500.

3. Stridex, “Give Your Face Something to Smile About”

Thanks to his work on campaigns like this one, Manilow received an honorary Clio Award—one of advertising's biggest honors—in 2009.

4. KFC, “Grab a Bucket of Chicken”

Manilow didn't write this feel-good commercial about how Kentucky Fried Chicken can make your day memorable, but he still sings it at many of his concerts.

5. McDonald’s, “You Deserve a Break Today”

There’s long been debate about whether Manilow composed this one—he even seems to confirm it in this appearance on Windy City Live. “That was the granddaddy of all of them. That was the first big one.” Manilow said. But what he means is that it was his first big break into the jingle business: According to Billboard, he only sang in one of the commercials. (But not this one. Sorry.) Despite his great success with the song, he’s not a big fan of the food. “I had one [Big Mac]. It gave me gas.”

6. Pepsi, “Feelin’ Free”

This is another one of the jingles Manilow sang, but didn't write. (This version is obviously not Manilow. You'll have to imagine his dulcet tones.) But he certainly wasn't faithful to Pepsi. He also recorded a jingle for Dr Pepper called "The Most Original Soft Drink Ever," written by Randy Newman.

Unlike some celebrities who do commercials, Barry doesn’t shy away from his highly branded background. Here he is doing a medley of his greatest commercial theme song hits:

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Rebecca O'Connell (Getty Images) (iStock)
How Frozen Peas Made Orson Welles Lose It
Rebecca O'Connell (Getty Images) (iStock)
Rebecca O'Connell (Getty Images) (iStock)

Orson Welles would have turned 103 years old today. While the talented actor/director/writer leaves behind a staggering body of work—including Citizen Kane, long regarded as the best film of all time—the YouTube generation may know him best for what happened when a couple of voiceover directors decided to challenge him while recording an ad for Findus frozen foods in 1970.

The tempestuous Welles is having none of it. You’d do yourself a favor to listen to the whole thing, but here are some choice excerpts.

After he was asked for one more take from the audio engineer:

"Look, I’m not used to having more than one person in there. One more word out of you and you go! Is that clear? I take directions from one person, under protest … Who the hell are you, anyway?"

After it was explained to him that the second take was requested because of a “slight gonk”:

"What is a 'gonk'? Do you mind telling me what that is?"

After the director asks him to emphasize the “in” while saying “In July”:

"Why? That doesn't make any sense. Sorry. There's no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with 'in' and emphasize it. … That's just stupid. 'In July?' I'd love to know how you emphasize 'in' in 'in July.' Impossible! Meaningless!"

When the session moved from frozen peas to ads for fish fingers and beef burgers, the now-sheepish directors attempt to stammer out some instructions. Welles's reply:

"You are such pests! ... In your depths of your ignorance, what is it you want?"

Why would the legendary director agree to shill for a frozen food company in the first place? According to author Josh Karp, whose book Orson Welles’s Last Movie chronicles the director’s odyssey to make a “comeback” film in the 1970s, Welles acknowledged the ad spots were mercenary in nature: He could demand upwards of $15,000 a day for sessions, which he could use, in part, to fund his feature projects.

“Why he dressed down the man, I can't say for sure,” Karp says. “But I know that he was a perfectionist and didn't suffer fools, in some cases to the extreme. He used to take a great interest in the ads he made, even when they weren't of his creation.”

The Findus session was leaked decades ago, popping up on radio and in private collections before hitting YouTube. Voiceover actor Maurice LaMarche, who voiced the erudite Brain in Pinky and the Brain, based the character on Welles and would recite his rant whenever he got the chance.

Welles died in 1985 at the age of 70 from a heart attack, his last film unfinished. While some saw the pea endorsement as beneath his formidable talents, he was actually ahead of the curve: By the 1980s, many A-list stars were supplementing their income with advertising or voiceover work.

“He was a brilliant, funny guy,” Karp says. “There's a good chance he'd think the pea commercial was hilarious.” If not, he’d obviously have no problem saying as much.

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How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience
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iStock

If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

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