The year is 1978. Disco, clubs, those long sparkly gold and silver scarves a bunch of us wore around our necks trying to look/be cool. Christie Brinkley was the model of the day and Billy Joel’s 52nd Street was the #1 album of the year – Big Shot was the anthem of the wild New York coked-up beauty queen. My contemporary, Brooke Shields, played a 12-year-old prostitute in Pretty Baby. Star Wars had come out the year before and the idea that Times Square would someday look like Disneyworld would have been preposterous.

I was young, but just old enough to realize boys existed and that there might something remotely interesting going on there. Rod Stewart’s cheesy disco song Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? moved me. I had absolutely no clue why, but it did. Big time. I suspect that you have a few embarrassing yet sacred songs like this one, even though you’d never admit it.

So last night I hear the song coming from my TV and look up from the newspaper to see a huge claymation Chips Ahoy cookie singing “If ya want my body, and ya think I’m sexy, come on sugar let me know/If you really need me just reach out and touch me…” to a blonde female claymation figure sitting on (the bachelor cookie’s) couch looking – uh – hungry. Here’s the ad:

I was – plundered. Horrified. I mean, I’d seen Bob Dylan shilling for Victoria’s Secret and heard the resulting cries of angst but it hadn’t affected me: wrong coming-of-age decade. But now, Nabisco had taken my delicate young girl memories and, and, turned them into a chocolate chip cookie! Have they no shame? Will marketing people stop at nothing??

And the commercial most certainly did not make me want a cookie!

My friends and I sometimes get a good laugh out of trying to picture the client/agency meeting that spawned an idea. Picture it: you are the cookie brand/category manager at Nabisco and someone suggests Da Ya Think I’m Sexy for Chips Ahoy. What. Goes. Through. Your. Mind?

Oh well. I’ll be ok. But if anyone uses Yvonne Elliman’s If I Can’t Have You to sell a candy bar, I’m a goner.

P.S. Oh. My. G-d. At this very moment, Meatleaf is singing a version of Paradise by the Dashboard Light (1977) in a TV ad for the AT&T GoPhone. Except this time, it’s Paradise By the GoPhone Light. I have to go lay down.


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