Ad Targeting for Beautiful People

Remember Sarah Ripley, the future of marketing?

She emailed me a link to this TaB commercial from the olden days (well, the ’80s).
Her observation was that with only a jingle, the commercial was very simple. No voiceover, no copy, no actors reading lines. Couldn’t be easier.

I was curious about another thing.

After I watched the ad, the jingle was stuck in my head. Don’t you just hate that?

“TaB cola has a beautiful taste
So good for beautiful people
TaB cola beautiful to you and me
‘Cause every can has less than two calories
TaB cola helps a beautiful shape
Just right for beautiful people
TaB cola tastes so good to you
Great taste low calorie TaB”

The line that stuck with me was “So good for beautiful people” and again near the end, “Just right for beautiful people.”

I got to thinking about it. You could never say that in spoken copy without sounding like a total jackass. “Enjoy TaB, the preferred drink of beautiful people.”

How strange that you can sing it, and slip it right past the judgmental left brain. Huh.

A good jingle can be very powerful. Because music is processed by the right hemisphere of the brain, you can take in a message and remember quite disturbing thoughts if you do so in lyrics. Think about songs such as the MASH Theme, Mack the Knife and any country song about adultery.

So, it was actually quite brilliant of TaB to slip in an unspoken message through song rather than announcer voiceover.

Can you think of any other jingles that do this to us?

10 thoughts on “Ad Targeting for Beautiful People

  1. Craig Arthur


    The line “for beautiful people” is what I remember too.
    Very clever.

    And thanks for reminding us how music lyrics are processed differently than spoken words.

    Craig Arthur

    PS…Here is one of my most memorable ads… proudly Aussie…

    The girl on the bike went on to have a successful singing career 😉

  2. Sarah Ripley

    Hey Dave,

    Its funny what different people pick up from Ads! The part about “for beautiful people” isn’t what stuck out to me – it was more the “‘Cause every can has less than two calories”. Interesting what different people or perhaps different genders/generations remember?

    Anyway another example of how a company has used a jingle rather than the spoken word is the classic “Slip, Slop, Slap” Ad from (again the “olden days”) the 80’s. I’m beginning to sense a trend in Australian advertising in the 80’s – they all have corny jinlges, picking just one to reply with was a challenge 🙂

    Hope you enjoy as much as I do – and I still sing the little tune in my head everytime I go out in the sun and “Slip, Slop, Slap”!


    P.S There’s something too about the duck and his slight lisp that makes this more memorable also 🙂

  3. Michael Carwile

    It is interesting the things that stand out to different people about an ad. You noticed how they slipped in the “beautiful people” via song, another noticed the “2 calories”. I noticed how the girlfriend/wife pours a bucket of water on the guy’s head, then they are both laughing about it.

    The unfortunate side effect, though, of a successful jingle is that it seems to make small business owners think they HAVE to have a jingle for their advertising – even if it makes them sound ridiculous…

    One of the jingles that used to get stuck in my head all the time:

    Michael Carwile

    1. Dave Young Post author

      Thanks Michael. I don’t remember ever seeing or hearing the Fanta ad.
      Wikipedia says they were produced by Ogilvy and Mather in 2002.

      We had unplugged our cable and I have almost a decade of zero awareness of TV commercials. It’s like a self-induced amnesia!

  4. Jess English

    Watching commercials from other decades and also from other countries is so insightful and interesting! The ways our culture, advertising, media outlets…etc have changed is incredible.

    Brand On!

  5. Matt

    Love the Tab cola video! Very well put together! Jingles need to be thought about carefully as they could “annoy” the target audience if not done correctly. There is a fine line between annoying and catchy…


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