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6 Famous Jingles by Barry Manilow

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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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technology
The iMac Was Almost Called the MacMan
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After breaking out with its Macintosh line of personal computers in the 1980s, Apple was in a slump. Sales had flagged as Microsoft's Windows operating system made waves. In 1998, the company was set to unveil a product that it hoped would reinvigorate its brand.

And they almost blew it.

According to Ken Segall, the advertising genius behind their "Think Different" campaign, Apple founder Steve Jobs was expecting the iMac to reverse the company's ailing fortunes. Where older Macs had been boxy, beige, and bland, the iMac came in an assortment of colors and had a transparent chassis that showed off its circuitry. The problem, as Segall writes in his new book, Insanely Simple, was that Jobs didn't want to call it the iMac. He wanted to call it the MacMan.

"While that frightening name is banging around in your head, I'd like you to think for a moment about the art of product naming," Segall writes. "Because of all the things in this world that cry out for simplicity, product naming probably contains the most glaring examples of right and wrong. From some companies, you see names like 'iPhone.' From others you see names like ‘Casio G'zOne Commando' or the ‘Sony DVP SR200P/B' DVD player."

According to Segall, Jobs liked the fact that MacMan was slightly reminiscent of Sony's Walkman branding concept for its line of cassette players. (Later, Sony had a Discman, Pressman, and Talkman.) But Segall, who named products for a living, feared the name would take away from Apple's identity as being original. It was also gender-biased, and alienating an entire demographic of consumers was never a good thing.

Instead, Segall suggested "iMac," with the "i" for internet, because the unit was designed to connect easily to the web. Jobs "hated" the idea, along with other suggestions, even though Segall felt the iMac could provide a foundation to name other devices, just as Sony's Walkman had. Segall kept suggesting it, and Jobs eventually had it printed on a prototype model to see how it would look. After encouragement from his staff, he dropped MacMan. With this key contribution, Segall made sure no one would be lining up to buy a PhoneMan 10 years later. 

[h/t FastCoDesign]

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entertainment
The Bizarre Reason Burger King Wants to Keep It Out of Russia
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For decades, Burger King and McDonald’s have been engaged in one of the most competitive corporate rivalries in fast food history. In the 1980s, the two actually went to court over accusations about Burger King's sourcing and preparation of meats. In 2016, a BK restaurant in Queens, New York, was draped in sheets and made to look like the ghost of McDonald’s.

The sniping continues, but this time McDonald’s isn’t really involved. According to The Hollywood Reporter and coming our way via Eater, the Russian branch of Burger King has filed a complaint with the country’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) over the recent horror blockbuster It. The reason? They claim the movie’s evil clown, Pennywise, is so reminiscent of Ronald McDonald that the release will constitute an unfair advertising opportunity for their competitor.

While this sounds like either a prank or publicity stunt hatched by Burger King’s marketing arm, the FAS confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the burger chain did indeed request the movie be banned. That doesn’t mean it’s not a marketing ploy—there must be economic advantages to comparing a chief competitor’s mascot to a child-murdering clown—but it does offer some substance to the claim. The FAS told the outlet that it “can’t be concerned” with a fictional character in a movie that has nothing to do with hamburgers, but hasn’t made any final decision.

Owing to the recent scary-clown hysteria, McDonald’s has actually dialed down Ronald’s appearances in public over the past two years, which does raise suspicion over what he’s been doing with his downtime. It: Chapter Two is scheduled to infuriate Burger King even more when it’s released in 2019.

[h/t Eater]  

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