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POP ABROAD

It's little more than ear candy

October 13, 2002|Elaine Dutka

The lyrics: "I'm the strawberry, lonely without cream. Banana is my smoothie, you taste like a dream. Sourness is beyond you, gotta get my paws on you. You ain't seen nothing yet, orange you glad we met?"

The song: "Get Your Juices Going"

Where it's charting: Currently, No. 44 on the Australian pop lists, after hitting No. 28.

The artists: Starburst, whose members, for reasons that will become apparent, would prefer not to divulge their identities.

The back story: In this installment of "global stealth marketing at work," advertising firm D'Arcy Australia decides to try slipping a catchy jingle for Starburst candy onto the radio waves -- without revealing that lines such as "I'm the strawberry" are meant to be taken more or less literally. The song winds up with high-rotation airplay, supported by a video featuring candy-colored models and spinning segments of fruit. The project's origins -- it's a commercial! -- are revealed in a Starburst TV ad with the tagline: "You've bought the song, now buy the lollies."

What the principals say about the work: "If anyone knew it formed part of an ad campaign, no one would have taken it seriously," acknowledged Mark Collis of D'Arcy, whose writers supplied the song's lyrics. Adds Dan Bessant, music director of Nova-FM, which liked the tune and ran with it: "For us, it comes down to how the song sounds. It's a bit of fun. It's catchy." And, not coincidentally, a sweet deal for the candymen.

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