Is there any other way to make your presence known in the world of fighting Gingivitis?
I’ve never held back on the fact that even at an early age, commercials had a pretty big presence in my life. Even when I was a baby in my walker, commercials got my attention. Perhaps it was the volume level of commercials as opposed to regular programming, but I’ve always had a fascination for commercials. I took interest in retromercials as a college freshman, probably due in no small part to my family’s Christmas video.
But it was almost two years after I finished college, alone in the house on a rainy day off from work, while everyone else was at work, that I went through the family videocassette collection and just pulled anything and everything I could from the tapes. I spent an afternoon watching more commercials than I had in years, and it has pretty much been part of my life since then.
Today’s commercial is one of those thirty second moments in life that always got my attention. It probably had everything to do with the song in the commercial, and not necessarily the product being promoted. It comes swinging in (literally) from 1993, and in the world of mouthwashes that promise everything, this one comes in on its own merits…with a kick!
To the tune of Baltimora’s catchy 1985 hit “Tarzan Boy” (#13, Billboard Hot 100 1985-1986), comes a product that…
Oh wow, who is this amazing dentist, and why is his theme “Tarzan Boy”?
Click play, click play, click play!!!!!!
Cool Mint Listerine, you’re AMAZING!
So, interestingly enough, this was not only the first time I ever heard “Tarzan Boy,” but also my first exposure to this commercial was on Telemundo. Yes, my first knowledge of Cool Mint Listerine was en Espanol. I’m not gonna lie, I was ten years old at the time and just assumed this commercial was a Spanish-language commercial. Turns out, the language of Listerine is not only for Spanish television networks, but also English-language networks.
Listerine has been toting its advantages, fighting Gingivitis and Plaque, since 1914. Created as a germicide and surgical antiseptic, Listerine is named for English doctor Dr. Joseph Lister, who demonstrated in 1865 that use of carbolic acid on surgical dressings would significantly reduce rates of post-surgical infection. Cool Mint Listerine found its way through the jungle of mouthwashes in 1992, packaged in the traditional glass bottle, before Listerine was repackaged in a plastic bottle, as it is today.
And yes, until 1994, those glass bottles were packaged in cardboard containers.
My husband uses the Cool Mint flavor, in the giant bottle. I usually use Spearmint (the clear one) – Cool Mint tastes great, but it is a bit intense for me.
I actually found out the animation work done for this commercial, as well as other Listerine commercials of the time, were done by Pixar. It certainly looks like their work, and the animation is really good.
As for “Tarzan Boy,” it was Baltimora’s only hit in the United States (they were slightly more popular in their native Italy), and it made a resurgence in pop culture in 1993 not only because of Listerine bottles swinging on vines, but because of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time. There’s even a 1993 remix of the song because of that movie.
And then there’s that version I originally saw, the one in Spanish. Sadly, I can’t find Spanish Listerine swinging on a vine anywhere. And that really saddens me – it was that version that made ten-year-old me so excited about mouthwash!
Ok, not mouthwash per se, but mouthwash swinging on vines to Italian songs about Tarzan.
I never said my childhood nostalgia was exciting. Apparently, not all of it was in English either.
Have a great Throwback Thursday!