Saturday, 29 Apr 2006

The true bottom of a bowl of soup

I forgot to mention where the reference came from on my last post. You may know that it’s from a Campbell’s Soup commercial. But it has a certain special significance for me. I used to teach religious ed (in a long-past life) when I was in high school. I worked with 4th grade kids and would frequently ask them to read out loud from the book. I had one student who flat-out refused to read. I assumed he had a learning disability or some other reason for being uncomfortable reading aloud, so I would gently encourage him to read just a sentence or two. Each week he would refuse. One day we had a bit of a show-down. I asked him to try to read a sentence and he just sat there… and sat there… and sat there. I was getting frustrated and the other kids were starting to fidget when one of the boys suddenly started to sing, “There’s nothing like getting to the bottom of a bowl of soup…” I had to choke back my laughter. The best part, though, was that my reluctant reader suddenly started reading and wouldn’t stop. And you know, he turned out to be the strongest reader in the group. Now, whenever I’m in a situation that’s taking longer than I would like, I just think of that song and have to smile.

The song now has new meaning to me! Did you know that in 1969 Campbell’s Soup was accused faking ads by putting marbles in the bottom of their soup to make it look chunkier? Perhaps the jingle I remember was poking fun at this FTC-imposed drama. (If you’re curious about the legality of this whole situation and related advertising ploys, here’s more than you could possibly want to know on the subject.)

I also consider it highly ironic that included in the many Campbell’s Soup Kids toy marketing campaigns are a set of Soup Kids marbles.

This may be more than you ever wanted to know about Campbell’s Soup, but if not… The Museum of Beverage Containers and Advertising has some more information about the start of the company as well as magazine ads from 1906-1929.

Suddenly feeling nostalgic with all of this talk of soup? Check out www.retrojunk.com where you can view commercials (including a few from Campbell’s Soup), TV show intros, and movie trailers from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.


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