Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sooner or later is assuming a lot......

From 1981, we have two full sing jingles for General Tire. some basic catchy lyrics assuming you'll buy general tires at some point because it sticks in your mind when you actually go shopping for tires (instead of looking for how cheap you can do it like the rest of us).

The first jingle here adds some really lame, clunky lyrics that come off like someone at the ad agency told them they had to add to the jingle, while the second one works far better, getting the basic message across "sooner or later you'll own generals" the funny thing is, it's almost too basic, because there really isn't a actual good reason reason WHY you should own generals. That's probably why the "donuts" are used...to add announcer copy to the spot.

From March 1981, General Tire Jingle Package
Produced by Leo Burnett Ltd
From Tape MCS-35061 (media communication services)
Cut 4-Alternative Full Vocal and Cut 1-Full Vocal each :60 (in that order)



  1. Thanks for this full-sing audio...I haven't heard it for decades and I don't believe the public ever heard the full-sing. Some background:

    I was Creative Group Supervisor on General Tire when this campaign was developed at the McManus, John & Adams ad agency in 1970-71; our original line was "One of these days, you'll own Generals". When we sent it to musician/lyricist Steve Karmen, he said "Sooner or later..." worked better musically and we agreed.

    You are very perceptive on two counts: (1) Repeating the "basic" lyrics possibly helped cement the line in the public's mind but (2) Doing this took away the "reason" you should buy
    a premium tire (like Dad and Mom did).

    Understand that Generals were not used as cheap OEM tires like Goodyear and Firestone so their whole market depended on people willing to "trade up" to a premium tire. This was the concept of the entire campaign.

    Probably the only two people who wanted the whole lyric to be used (at least sometimes) were Steve Karmen and myself, and for good reason:

    When I first played the jingle for a room full of General Tire execs, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was an immediate hit. But if not for those "missing" lyrics about Mom & Dad, the 15-year series may never had run. Karmen and I both felt the public would get the same emotional reaction to the full lyric but it didn't stand a chance with the bean-counters who chose to fill those 15-seconds with sales pitch.

    So I wrote the first two TV commercials and accompanying magazine ads and the rest is history. The spot on your site was, I believe, the 3rd or 4th in the series, after I had left the agency.

    Bob Monement, Sylvan Lake, MI

    1. WOW! I don't know what to say, other I'm way to late look at this comment and am totally guilty Bob, I appreciate your input on the Jetsam, as facts like this really get lost in time if that are not noted somewhere. I appreciate your input. This is fascinating to hear the start of the concept and how it comes to life.