Saturday, June 22, 2024

Warning: This story will make you hum

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It’s been roughly 20 years since Chili’s launched a commercial jingle that planted an earworm that infected most of the nation—and made Baby Back Ribs one of the most popular styles of ribs with restaurant-goers and backyard barbecue enthusiasts.

Now, the chain is bringing it back, to have us all hum it again.

Chili’s is resurrecting the “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…ribs” jingle—and this time, they’re getting nineties boy band Boyz II Men to sing the updated version. The idea is the nostalgia of the song could bring a sales boost to the chain, which is in the midst of a turnaround effort.

The chain announced the revival of the ad with a YouTube video. Warning… it’s as pervasive as it was 20 years ago.

Chili’s isn’t the only restaurant chain that’s relying on old jingles to attract a new audience. Burger King has brought back its “Have It Your Way” theme in the past year to much acclaim, offering multiple takes on the introductory lyrics, but always bringing it home with the same refrain that was incredibly popular in the 1970s.

Chili’s popular jingle was the work of Guy Bommarito, who worked at the ad firm GSD&M. He didn’t expect it to have any sort of staying power, he has said in past interviews. In fact, he didn’t want to write a jingle at all, since they were far from in vogue, but Chili’s was insistent.

The hook stuck around until 2006, when Chili’s retired it. It became such a part of pop culture that it even made it into one of the Austin Powers movies.

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