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Season 3: "Great Canadian Campaigns"

Broadcast date: May 18 & 23, 2009
Originally aired:: March 7, 2009

There's no "Made in Canada" label on ad campaigns: but Terry O'Reilly often wishes there were. This week he proudly tells the story of some Made-in-Canada success stories. They're ad campaigns with maple syrup in their veins; how an idea resurrected from a wastebasket put one retail chain on the map; how a campaign that ran on TV just six times is still talked about, nearly four decades later. And how a three-word ad phrase brought a nation to its feet.

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 27:30)


Previous Comments (22)

Season #3 Episode #7 “Great Canadian Campaigns” - should that not be episode #9?

Greta shows! Keep it up!

Roel Hurkens, March 6, 2009 6:11 PM

Irritating Ads are not necessarily successful because the clients sales are going up.
An irritating Ad may mean sales are going up despite the irritation of the Ad and could be even more successful if the irritation was removed and re-structured.
I have called the company doing such Ads and they will tell me; "Well our sales are up" and I tell them that properly done, their sales could double plus leave a better impression on their target audience

I'm not completely pulled over the line of; 'repeated Ads being an error' It happens too many times in an otherwise flawless airing.
Do you see that happening in your local newspaper???
Free Ads through error!

I see major mistakes in the advertising industry and where a more productive commercial could be done

I am seriously looking at forming my own Ad agency with a different approach....something like a micro brewer... just a little company doing successful Ads.

I found your show on advertising interesting even if I have strongly apposed opinions.

Over and out!

Wayne Weeks, March 9, 2009 5:51 PM

Terry and Team

thank you for this show!

Y Leung, March 12, 2009 10:28 AM

Ads that stick in the mind...

I went o a wedding in Dublin in the early '80s. Being an Irish wedding, everyone had to sing a song. The groom (from NZ) got up and sang...... a toothpaste commercial. It was from NZTV in the 1960s. He was so nervous that it was the only thing he could remember the words to. Apparently, the ad ran for many years and is a second anthem to many Kiwis.

Odd really..... but it proves our point.


Steve Clarke, March 13, 2009 3:30 PM

Much can be said for the great education benefits of this series but equally is the great simple pleasure they bring.

barry.haley@sympatico.ca, March 15, 2009 12:20 PM

Surprised you didn't mention that the Smarties jingle took it's tune from "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?" which also, it seems to me, would appeal to both grandparents and kids. It was written by Billy Rose in the 1920s.

Neil McKay, March 15, 2009 9:49 PM

I can't count the number of times in one program the ad for the "Sound of Music" has recently aired back to back to back to back, to back,...well, you get it. I too can't believe that this is a "mistake". You may believe that an advertiser had nothing to do with this, that it was just an error on the part of the station,and I may be a worn out, annoyed ad cynic, but can a station really make that many mistakes in one night. As much as I like the musical, I don`t think I would buy a ticket for it purely on principle. There is a saturation point we all reach in advertising and it will vary based on content, quality and `repitition. However, once it has been reached (and recently that saturation point has been achieved more frequenty - and not just with this particular example), then the annoyance factor seems to spill over to other less ànnoying ads - sort of like collateral damage.

Linda, March 18, 2009 11:50 AM

Thanks to Neil McKay, I now know where the tune to the Smarties Song come from. But plagiarism aside, I can't believe that no one has posted one of these original commercials on YouTube. My kids thought "there goes crazy mommy" when I sang this tune correctly.

Terry, you may be the smarts, but your team also does a great job!!! Once again the Pirates have put together a beautiful show, that entertained and educated its listeners. And they do it so well because: They Are Canadians! Love the William Shatner Rant as well (I listen to it on a regular basis).

I will listen to another podcast while I finish my work in the kitchen. And tonight, I will ponder which of the rec. readings to put on hold at my local library.

Valerie, March 26, 2009 3:23 PM

Wow, I am always impressed with this show I certainly love it. . .

Great job once again


Robert, March 29, 2009 2:15 PM

I enjoy your show very much - the whole presentation is well done. Thanks for such a great, informative listening experience. You mentioned 20 ads that changed the world- but I missed the show and that info. Could you direct me where I could get the program or the list.
Beth O'Bright

Beth O'Bright, April 1, 2009 3:10 PM

I was so delighted to hear the Smarties jingle and was surprised to realize I still knew every word of it! Great work as usual! (And yeah, if you do a fourth season I'd love to hear your original credits gal--she has one of those voices that makes you want to listen to credits).

Isabel, April 12, 2009 6:22 PM

If a person has what they think is a great idea for an ad for a particular product, what do they do with it? (I am sure lots of people think they have great ideas for ads)

LOVE your show!


Norma Reimer, April 16, 2009 5:55 PM

Short and simple:
-' Mister O'Reilly, you make good even excellent shows'
Aidan/Port Credit, Ont

Aidan, May 18, 2009 8:43 AM

I can't believe you are going to feature my youtube channel (nancytoday) on your next show (wk of May 25th).

I've been thinking and thinking, wondering what in the world about my channel will relate to the Age of Persuasion, marketing, or selling campaigns.

I guess I will just have to keep a lid on my curiosity until I hear your show!

I'll keep promoting you, too! You've got the best show ever!

Take care,

I can't wait!

Nancy Today, May 19, 2009 10:39 AM

Hi Folks,

Thanks for all the wonderful emails.

Now, to answer some of the questions above:

To Beth - we haven't done a show on the 20 ads that shook the world, but there is a book by that title that we often refer to. It was written by James B. Twitchell.

And yes, the tune to the Smarties jingle probably did appeal to both kids and grandparents because it was originally written in the 20s. Excellent point.

Loved the story about the nervous wedding groom only remembering a jingle! That certainly does prove our point.

Thanks for all the comments. And thanks for listening.

Terry O'Reilly

Terry O'Reilly, May 19, 2009 11:39 PM

Mr Terry O'Reilly love the show - the wit, the info etc.But no matter how hard you try - you cant change the funadmental underpinning of N. American advertsisg. Which is consumers are idiots.
We apparently only live for better hair, whiter teeth, sexier beer, and O O that new car.
And when we get these products and truly embrace them - then and only then can we become a better person - sort of a cross betwen Jesus, Mother Terressa and superman/woman.

Those of us who dont buy these products- are destined to stay unloved, lost and unhappy - lonely unfulfilled humanity.

The underlying theme is we are idiots and we cant tell the difference between life and a product.

love the show

martin gover, May 21, 2009 10:16 AM

I think the cut about the smarties jingle should have mentioned that it was based on Lonnie Donegon's hit from 1961, "does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost over night?" which in turn was a knock off of an earlier version based on spearmint! Wikpedia and other sites describe this whole sequence including the smarties. I'm in favour of giving the right amout of credit - neither too much nor too little.

L C Hopkins, May 23, 2009 8:00 PM

"Mr Christie, you make good cookies" was created by me in 1969 - and, contrary to Mr O' Reilly's statement about using real children, featured in one case an entire kindergarten class, and in the other, two youngsters on swings, in the first two commercials. Also, there was no announcer, just a jingle and then the punch line, delivered by one of the children.
By the time Brian and Al came onto the account, I had left McCann - and Lord forbid that they should use someone else's work :-) (Not that I blame them - you don't build a reputation rehashing an existing ad)

Pat Bryan

Pat Bryan, May 27, 2009 5:23 PM

Speaking of Great Canadian Campaigns --- "You got it Pontiac"

At some point in the late 70s early 80s there was a Levis commercials

I bought a pair of Levi's, really been around, taken 'em camping, and laid'em on the ground.They've come with me to parties, they've climbed up a tree,They've been to school so often, they're nearly smart as me. (MY FAVORITE LINE) And after years and years of wearing my Levi's in and out,I couldn't help but notice that the knee wore out.So I sewed on a patch, a flower here and there,and they look so good again I can take them anywhere. Now I'm wearing them as cut-offs and flyin' through the air. I really think it's time that I bought another pair.
You can live in Levi's........

Can anyone tell me about this ad? Was it only Canadian? When did it run? What ever happened to it? When did it run?


Sandy in Montreal, June 3, 2009 11:19 AM

I sang along with the Smartie campaign... I still remember every word. In fact, I still sing it when I buy Smarties, and my kids know it too and have never heard the ad anywhere but from me. I guess it works.

Susan Stulen, June 4, 2009 12:47 PM

I still catch myself saying at work "You got it, Pontiac!" & then realizing that my 20-something co-workers have no idea what I mean or am referring to!! (I'm 47)Absolutely LOVE the show. Am a Canadian listening from North Carolina online; cheers, Lisa

Lisa, September 23, 2009 12:37 AM

the Levis commercial....if anybody tracks that one down....post it on youtube, send it to me. I've been thinking about that one for years and would soooooooooooooooooo like to see it again

Bridget, October 30, 2009 10:32 AM
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