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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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Design
This Amazing Clock Has a Different Hand for Every Minute of the Day
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In the video below, you can watch Japanese ad agency Dentsu transform passing time into art. According to Adweek, the project was commissioned by Japanese stationery brand Hitotoki, which produces crafting materials. To celebrate the value of handmade items in an increasingly fast-paced world, Dentsu created a film advertisement for their client depicting their goods as a stop-motion clock.

The timepiece ticks off all 1440 minutes in the day, and was assembled in real-time against a colored backdrop during a single 24-hour take. Its "hands" were crafted from different combinations of some 30,000 disparate small items, including confetti, cream puffs, tiny toys, silk leaves, and sunglasses.

"In a world where everything is so hectic and efficient, we wanted to bring the value of 'handmade' to life," explains Dentsu art director Ryosuke Miyashita in a press statement quoted by Stash Media. "We created different combinations of small Hitotoki brand items to express each and every minute."

You can check out a promotional video for the project below, which details the arduous crafting process, or view a real-time version of the clock here.

[h/t Adweek]

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History
The Time Walter Cronkite Angered R.J. Reynolds
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If you’re a stickler for the correct usage of “who” versus “whom,” or if you find yourself seething over the “10 Items or Less” sign at the grocery store, you have something in common with Walter Cronkite.

As a respected journalist and news anchor, Cronkite was very careful about his words, from his enunciation of them to the tone in which he said them—so you can imagine his indignation at being asked to deliver a line with purposely incorrect grammar.

In 1954, shortly after being named the host of a morning show on CBS, Cronkite was tasked with a live-read of a Winston cigarette ad. Though it’s hard to imagine Anderson Cooper or Lester Holt concluding a segment with an earnest plug for Budweiser or McDonald’s, anchor-read endorsements were commonplace in the 1950s. Cronkite had a problem with the commercial, but it wasn’t the product he took umbrage with—it was the tagline: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.”

Though it may sound fine to most ears, the word “like” is actually used inappropriately. Traditionally, “like” is used as a preposition and “as” is used as a conjunction, but the Winston ad treats “like” as a conjunction, or a connecting word.

Here’s the line in action. Just a warning: If you’re a grammar purist, the phrase “tastes real good” is also sure to raise your hackles.

Cronkite refused to say the line as it was written. Instead, he delivered it the correct way: “Winston tastes good as a cigarette should.” His former English teachers may have been beaming at their television sets, but the execs at R.J. Reynolds, Winston’s parent company, weren’t so happy, and neither was their ad agency. The agency pounced on Cronkite’s correction, but he remained unapologetic. “I can’t do an ungrammatical thing like that,” he told them.

Wording wasn’t the only problem—his smoking, or lack thereof, was also an issue. Cronkite wasn’t a cigarette smoker, but after delivering the offending line to the cameras, he was supposed to take a puff from a Winston. Though he obliged, he didn’t inhale. The agency reprimanded Cronkite for that as well, feeling that a spokesperson who clearly didn’t use the product couldn't convince viewers to pick up a pack. They asked Cronkite to inhale on camera—and that’s where he drew the line. “Let’s just call this thing off,” he says he told them. “CBS was up in the rafters, of course, about it at the time.” It was Cronkite's first and only commercial.

Here’s the story straight from the anchor himself:

For the record, Cronkite wasn’t the only high-profile person who had a problem with the Winston wording. “Like goes Madison Avenue, like so goes the nation,” Ogden Nash wrote in The New Yorker.

Years later, Winston tried to capitalize on the controversy with a commercial that depicted a professor lecturing his students about the sloppily worded slogan. The students doth protest, jumping up in unison and saying, “What do you want, good grammar or good taste?”

Unimpressed, The Wall Street Journal responded to the question in a 1970 op-ed: “It doesn’t matter which you want. In a Winston ad, you don’t get either.”

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