Juicy Fruit Wants Consumers to Choose a New Version of Its Famously Suggestive Jingle

'Take a sniff, pull it out' makes a comeback

Juicy Fruit’s inimitable 'The taste is gonna move you' spot first aired in 1986.
Juicy Fruit

If you’re over 40 and grew up anywhere near a television, you probably recall a certain chewing gum commercial from the mid-1980s showing a bunch of very happy, very white college-age kids hitting the slopes for what looks to be a totally excellent weekend. These kids are athletic and carefree but, sensibly, they had the presence of mind to bring along enough gum. The ensuing 30 seconds features one of the last of the great jingles—one so bright, so catchy and (for many) so enduringly ridiculous that it stuck in the heads of an entire generation of Americans.

We speak, of course, of Juicy Fruit’s inimitable “The taste is gonna move you” spot. First aired in 1986, the guitar-strumming ditty remains, as the Chicago Tribune put it, “branded in the neurons of anyone who watched TV during the 1980s.”

Now, the chewy anthem appears poised to take over the neurons of a new generation. Until the end of May, Wrigley, with some creative help from DDB, is giving consumers the chance not only to hear five all-new versions of this classic earworm, they can also vote on the one that the company will ultimately use. (You can hear all five and vote here.)

The catch here is that the vote is open only to our neighbors to the north. By visiting a dedicated website, Canadians can listen to remixes of the tune, including country, R&B and hip-hop versions. (The Juicy OG Remix is closest to the original.) So far, the hip-hop take has the lead, according to the real-time tally chart on the site.

But why rework the tune now? A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley Confectionery Canada explained that “consumers have a special connection to the jingle and we’re going to tap into a new generation of fans with the Canadian relaunch.” (As to why the voting isn’t open to Americans and whether the new jingle will be used in the U.S., Adweek was told only that “we do not have additional information to share.”)

There’s nothing wrong with continuing a legacy, of course, but for Juicy Fruit, the stakes appear to be higher. Juicy Fruit parent Mars is privately held, so sales for the gum are not publicly disclosed. But it’s no secret the chewing gum category has seen better days. Chewing gum sales in Canada fell by 9.9% from 2013 to 2018, per Euromonitor.

According to Toronto-based retail expert Bruce Winder, legacy packaged goods like Juicy Fruit are clearly “looking to remarket themselves to the newer generation of millennials and Generation Z to fuel growth.”

“They have lost relevance with these groups based on their lack of innovation in product and message,” he said.

What’s more, Winder added, “One of the best ways to relaunch is to engage customers and let them have a say on the new campaign. These newly targeted customer groups value customization and want to be heard. Thus, the choice of jingle. It instantly makes the brand look modern and collaborative as the range of songs spans from the original version to pop to hip hop, etc. It shows that the brand is aware of today’s trends and wants to become more relevant.”

The new jingle will be used via programmatic radio and on Spotify in Canada. Juicy Fruit will announce the winner on May 27.

A curious wrinkle to these modern remixes is that regardless of the version, all contain a line from the original spot that’s led to more than a little head scratching on the part of consumers—those, at least, who heard it in the old days as a bit sexually suggestive.

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