Before Michael Jones’ kids memorized his phone number, they knew the number to the Starlite Drive-In.
Laura Oblinger will never forget what time Hog Wild Pit BBQ closes, and she believes, for the record that, it closes entirely too early.
Michelle Harms once found herself on an elevator with the two attorneys who make up the Patterson Legal Group and suddenly felt a strong urge to recite their phone number to them, just to show she could.
Anne Cyboron had lived in Wichita for only a few months when she found the Rusty Eck jingle was perpetually stuck in her head.
“I knew then that I was officially a Wichitan,” she said.
If you live in Wichita and have ever listened to the radio or flipped through television channels, you probably have a similar testimonial to offer.
Whether you want to or not, you know that Spangles “just tastes better,” that “you’ll find it at Star” and that lawyer Brad Pistotnic is just a 1-800-241-BRAD away.
It’s just that easy.
Recently, we asked Wichitans on Facebook to name the jingles for local businesses that were most permanently stuck in their heads, and we got dozens and dozens of answers.
From Don Don Hattan Hattan to Super Car Guys to Cherry Orchard Furniture, a long list of local businesses claim ownership to jingles so catchy, they might be the most effective form of advertising available.
“Once it’s out there and it’s associated with you, that’s your brand,” said Rene Steven, who’s the pitch woman and director of operations for Spangles, a Wichita fast-food chain. “If it’s attached with a jingle, it’s easier for people to remember. It’s like when you sing the ABCs. You can remember it better when it’s with a song.”
And Steven would know. Spangles is one of the top producers of catchy Wichita jingles, from “It just tastes better” to “M-m-m-mudslide” to “Go Go Cookie Dough.”
Like most businesses, Spangles uses a company from out of state to write and produce its jingles. The process usually involves the owners giving the jingle writers some “bullet points” and waiting to see what they come up with, Steven said.
Some turn out better than others. “It just tastes better” was worth every penny and has had years of staying power. Steven said she remembers another jingle the company bought that was set to a country tune, and they were barraged with callers who begged them to stop playing it.
“Sometimes, it’s a home run, and sometimes we don’t use them,” she said. “It’s like a song. Sometimes they’re a hit, and sometimes they’re not.”
Jason Jabara, the CEO of Jabara’s Carpet Outlet, also owns one of Wichita’s most catchy, ear worm jingles. It was created back in 1985, when the carpet store first opened.
“Every day’s a saving’s day at Jabara’s Carpet Outlet.”
The jingle works, Jabara thinks, because it’s short and easy to remember. As a businessman, he loves that it drives home his message — that his store doesn’t need Labor Day sales to move product. The inventory is sale priced every day.
Jabara said he’s purchased jingles for some of his other businesses that, for whatever reason, didn’t catch on. No one can hum the jingle for Jabara’s Home Improvement.
But everywhere he goes, people will sing him the carpet outlet jingle — whether he likes it or not.
‘I’ll go get my hair cut, and the person cutting my hair is humming it,” he said with a laugh.
Wichitans are split on ear-wormy jingles.
The ones we polled seemed to agree that they were effective methods of advertising.
Matthew Ammons Wellemeyer, for example, noted that for a period, his niece insisted that the Hog Wild Pit BBQ jingle was her favorite song.
Others said Wichita’s jingles could be a bit too effective.
Paul Trujillo is so tortured by the ukulele-accompanied Reddi Rooter jingle — “Call 491-1111, Don’t worry, call Reddi” — that he swears he will never call them, no matter the circumstances.
“I would drown in an eruption of sewage before I’d call Reddi Industries,” he said. “I HATE that commercial.”
A list of Wichita jingles you can’t get out of your head
“The good guys are the way to go. Call 687-2400” — Patterson Legal Group
“Take the Donovan Drive” — Donovan Auto & Truck Center
“Don Don Hattan Hattan. Shop us last. You’ll love us.” — Don Hattan Chevrolet
“You’ll find it at Star.” — Star Lumber
“Call 491-1111. Don’t worry, call Reddi” — Reddi Rooter
“Wichita’s best health club, Genesis Genesis Genesis” and “Don’t put it off. Take it off at Genesis.” — Genesis Health Club
“Every day’s a savings day at Jabara’s Carpet Outlet.” — Jabara’s Carpet Outlet
“Rusty Eck Ford yeaaahhhh you can’t do better than that. Absolutely unbeatable!” — Rusty Eck Ford
“Roth Heating and Air Conditioning: The Name you Can Trust.” — Roth Heating & Air
“You’ll love the NuWay. You’re gonna love the NuWay way. You’ll love the NuWay. You’re gonna love the NuWay Cafe.” — NuWay
“Your kind of dealership, Davis Moore.” — Davis Moore
“Go Hog Wild Pit BBQ. Hog Wild, get some for you. But don’t be late we close at 8.” — Hog Wild Pit BBQ
“Spangles, it just tastes better” and “M-m-m-Mudslide!” — Spangles
“Shop Cherry Orchard Furniture for selection, price and quality.” — Cherry Orchard Furniture
“Johnson’s Garden Centers, where gardeners grow.” — Johnson’s Garden Centers
“The Starlite Drive-In gives you more. Call 524-2424.” — Starlite Drive-In
“Call 1-800-241-Brad!” —Brad Pistotnik Law
“Auto Craft Collision Repair: Where the mark of a good body shop is no mark at all.” —Auto Craft
“Buying a car doesn’t have to suck” — Super Car Guys
“Call noooowwwwwwwww.” — Though he’s not singing, everybody loves the strange guy at the end of the Continental Siding ad
A few classic jingles that are STILL stuck in your head
Here are a few classic jingles that readers said they were still singing after all these years:
“From WAAYYY BACK in Wichita - Pepperoni Express, ‘263-88-88, 263-8888.’ 30+ years later, and I still remember the number!” — Lisa Davis Barger
“Old school Wichita natives: ‘David’s, the name, you never can forget, David’s the store, for low price and more, on all of the quality names that you wanna see.’ Played over and over during Santa’s Workshop!” — Elana Siruta
“’Do you need luck to start your truck? A four-leaf clover to turn it over? A leprechaun to turn it on?’ That was a good 10 or 15 years ago and for the life of me I can’t remember the dealership. Anybody?” — Susan Kesinger
“I think the store’s name was Charles Roberts. It was a gift shop in Twin Lakes mall. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to find a store that’s a little unique? Charles Roberts!’ The end of the jingle was ‘Now you know, you have a place to go, where you can find something special or unusual!’” — Lori Sherrill
“I like Feist, I like Feist! It’s the only book you need! You’ll find what you want In the Feist directory! I like Feist!’ #OldSchoolPhonebook.” — Chelsea Bartel