Commercial Catchphrase Memory Lane: ‘Where’s The Beef’?
Song's can get stuck in your head. You know the ones. You hear that song, you like that song, and then the next thing you know you're out mowing the lawn, or maybe making dinner, or possibly in the shower early in the morning and you find yourself singing that song. It won't go away!
But it's not only songs that can last for (what seems like) forever.
Commercials can do that, too. Or rather, a line or catchphrase from a commercial. You can remember from your childhood, or at least from your 'younger years', that one line, that one phrase from that one commercial (actually, probably from a series of commercials). People from today will have them, too. Think 'Dilly, Dilly'.
It was 1984 when we first heard it. 'Where's the Beef?'
A little old lady named Clara Peller got her so-called 15 minutes of fame. It's was a series of Wendy's commercial's, remember? Little Clara and her friend would be at the counter of some generic fast food place (I'm sure they weren't thinking of those whopper...golden arches) and in her unmistakable voice ask 'Where's the Beef?'
Of course you remember that.
But do you remember when that commercial catchphrase took on a whole new political meaning?
Suddenly a somewhat boring 1984 presidential campaign got a shot of adrenaline and fun when, during a democratic primary debate, candidate Walter Mondale was listening to candidate Gary Hart's proposal's and said "When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, 'Where's the beef?'" And little Clara Peller, already a burgeoning commercial star, got even bigger. And we all knew the phrase and used it in a variety of ways.
Just a couple footnotes. Walter Mondale went on to become the democrats presidential nominee (the general election wasn't nearly as successful). Gary Hart went on to scandal. And Clara Peller?
Just 3 years later in 1987 Clara passed away at the age of 85. But she lives on in our commercial catchphrase memory.