tough road

There’s no Ratso Rizzo, and the main character is female and cleverer than Joe Buck, but BBDO Chicago’s most recent television spot for Wrigley’s Extra gum has a decidedly Midnight Cowboy feel to it.

It is, in fact, the movie’s theme song, “Everybody’s Talkin’,” by Harry Nilsson, that plays in the background as a weary bus traveler encounters a host of annoying travel companions. They include everyone from an overly amorous couple to a talkative toddler to a man who simply stares at her.

“We had the film first. We wanted something quirky” to go with it, said group creative director Jim Hyman. “When we put this piece of music with it, it just worked.”

The spot has a happier ending than the 1969 Academy Award-winning film, however. In Wrigley’s world, the weary traveler finds solace in a stick of Extra gum, “The official gum of bumps in the road.”