Wrigley “Serenading Unicorn”

It must be something about the spike. Unicorns, which always seemed to me to be a sort of My Little Pony with attitude, have become a regular Internet meme. (Check out Charlie the Unicorn 3, and The Amazing Robot Unicorn Attack.)  Now Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum is in the uni-sphere. As a phrase, “Sweeten your friends’ day with serenading unicorn” sounds translated from the Japanese. But that’s just what it is — a unicorn that sings love songs from the ’80s. (“Gotta have sweet” is the Juicy Fruit tagline.)

Created by Evolution Bureau, with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and Partizan Productions, it’s a viral campaign that you can send to your friends. There are three different videos to choose from, all pretty bizarre and random, but indeed funny: Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” Boyz II Men’s “On Bended Knee” and Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”

Given that Henson built the Unicorn puppet, it’s a little more sophisticated than what goes on 4 Chan, but still equally mystifying. My favorite is the Michael Bolton ballad — while earnestly looking into the camera, our furry friend emotes in a way that sort of resembles the open-shirted, curly-haired singer. The cuts — to a nostril or his legs bending — are hilarious. Mr. U ends the vocal drama with a big blue glycerin tear running down his face. When the video is over, an announcer says, “The sweet tears of a unicorn could melt anyone’s heart. Before you grab the tissues, pass on the love to your friends below.”

It reminded me of the drummer in the gorilla suit for Cadbury’s — an amusing idea that could work for any number of products. But Wrigley’s is in on the meme early enough to own it. We get the entire song, which is good for the artist, but it makes each video a little too long to watch at work (there are just so many fake, if funny, flowers, shorelines, gardens, twinkling candles, mountaintops and chirpy birds in the background that we can enjoy, after all.)

But I’ve got to say that while waiting for it to be over, I did develop an inexplicable desire to chew.
–Barbara Lippert