If you grew up in the Capital Region and owned a television set, they were unavoidable. By “they” I mean, the memorable local advertising jingles that were circulated during news or TV show ad breaks over the past few decades (many are still kicking). So what if these businesses didn’t have the ad budgets to hire the Don Drapers of the world to do their “Coke” ad? They landed the next best thing: A small, local agency that believed a catchy, ear-worm of a song or catchphrase could resonate with a community and become part of its conversation. The majority of the time, they knocked it right out of the park.
The first local TV ad jingle I remember learning, word for word, was that of Lake George’s mini-theme park, Water Slide World. I probably came across the ad as a child in late spring or mid-summer on a Saturday morning, when I was glued to G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero or the World Wrestling Federation. And, well, because I was musically minded—from a young age, I was told I had a good “ear”—I picked up on its nuances right away. It was sort of like an extra-credit music class away from the rudimentary one I attended weekly at Lake Avenue Elementary School. My ear picked up on the excitement in the female ad-jingle singer’s voice, the one engraining in my psyche that I had to go to this mythical place in Lake George, where multiple water slides existed and young boys, just like myself, slid down, all the while enjoying the absolute hell out of life. (The irony of this never really dawned on me until now—that to enjoy Water Slide World, one would be avoiding the area’s main attraction…a gigantic, enjoyable, non-man-made lake.) Nonetheless, the jingle stuck, and below, I’ve included it, written out, with all of its inflections, for posterity.
Water Slide World, I’m really crazy ’bout your wild slides (wild you bet!)
Water Slide World, the No. 1 in family fun (fun you bet!)
C’mon-a baby gonna slide, slide, slide
C’mon-a baby gonna glide, glide, glide
C’mon-a baby gonna slide, slide, slide
Go wayyyyy (?)
Gonna glide down, fly high!
Whirl around, touch the skyyyyyyy!
Water Slide World…I really love the way you feel.
That jingle is so notched in my memory that I actually remember that its little musical denouement (“I really love the way you feel”) was only included in one version of the ad spot. I can’t help but wonder why they had the two versions, and better yet, what “I really love the way you feel” has to do with the rest of the song. Is the singer referring to the water slides? In other words, “I really love the way you [water slides] feel”; or “I really love the way you—that person you’re brushing up against in the water slide queue—feel.” Or maybe I’m missing the meaning altogether. Either way, the ad jingle was worth its weight in gold. It’s no doubt driven multitudes of excited children to their parents, asking, pleading for a trip to Water Slide World. (Ironically, to this day, I’ve never actually set foot in the park; my grandparents had a place on the actual lake when I was a kid, so it was an easy out for my parents.)
Below, find the two Water Slide World variations, as well as nine other memorable local ad jingles or catchphrases that you know you know by heart.
Water Slide World – Lake George, NY – “Water Slide World Theme,” Opus 1 and Opus 2.
Enchanted Forest Water Safari – Old Forge, NY – Besides Water Slide World, this one would be on my local ad jingle greatest hits record, because it’s not only a fully formed song, but it’s also got one of the greatest catch-phrase outros ever: “Enchanted Forest, Water Safari! Where the fun never stops!” Dammit, now it’s stuck in my head.
The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom – Lake George, NY – Splashwater Kingdom is basically a competitor of Water Slide World’s, so their ad writers needed to figure out a way to set themselves apart. A bluesy duet? Check. A bitchin’ bassline? Check. Jingle jangle go the coins in their pocket.
Martin, Harding & Mazzotti – Niskayuna, NY – My late grandfather, himself a lawyer, had a decorative plate mounted on his kitchen wall, with the famous William Shakespeare quote from Henry IV, Part II on it: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” For being a quiet man, he had a great sense of humor. But look, lawyers have a place in this world—especially, local ones such as Finkelstein, Levine, Gittelsohn and Tetenbaum (another lineup I remember by heart from my early days); and Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, the latter of which has one of the funkiest, most out of character—yet tremendously catchy—ad jingles of all time. Do it again!
Jack Byrne Ford – Mechanicville, NY – The brains behind the Jack Byrne Ford ad campaign had such a novel idea: Get a bunch of different people throughout the years—including young children!—to sing the classic jingle. Like the Enchanted Forest tune, it’s less about the complete composition than it is the tagline. But it’s a memorable one. Confession: I looked far and wide on the interwebs and couldn’t find a single pirated version of my favorite version of the ad, where a little kid sings, in an adorably off-key tone, “Everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody, everybody likes Jack Byrne!” But at the end of the video above, a bunch of guys say it. That’s good enough for me.
Metro Mattress – various upstate locations – I lived in New York City for 14 years, and I used to hear this one on TV all the time. But then I moved back upstate, and what do you know? It’s still on. And there’s a Metro Mattress in Saratoga Springs. The next time you have a bad night on your uncomfortable, old futon, singing this jingle might make you feel better. Or want to go out and buy a new one. At Metro Mattress.
Hippo’s Home Entertainment – Albany, NY – So short, yet so effective. Yes, Hippo’s has it.
Saratoga Race Course – Saratoga Springs, NY – Everybody’s favorite horse track has had some memorable jingles throughout the decades. Not that I remember any of them by heart. The Race Course never really needed a jingle, in my opinion; the fact that it’s right along the main drag when you get off the Northway is the best, freest advertisement an entertainment venue could ever ask for. But they cut some dope tracks back in the day. Like the OG one above.
Huck Finn’s Warehouse – Look, I know the business has since rebranded to The Warehouse at Huck Finn’s, but the way I’ll always remember it is per its ad jingle, “Huck Finn’s Warehouse and More.” It’s basically just a quick ditty, but it’s oh so pretty.
Fuccillo Automotive Group – Even though this isn’t a song per se, I had to include Billy Fuccillo and company on this list, because his gonzo ad campaigns—which seem like they’re being videotaped in real time using a camcorder—are some of the greatest achievements in the medium anywhere. Hell, it got him on that BuzzFeed list that got shared a bazillion times, which your high school friend on Facebook thinks published yesterday. Who needs a song? Just be HUUUUUUUUGGEEEEE.
If I missed any, be sure to leave them in the comments section of this piece, tweet your pick at saratoga living‘s Twitter handle or post them in the comments section when we post this one on Facebook.