New Musical Line
Pringles commercials of the late '90s were, to say the least, noisy. For those of you who have not seen them (and probably, we deduct, have also not looked at a television for the last ten years), allow me to elaborate. They depicted the hip trendy youths of today (now yesterday since it's tomorrow) using the product's container as the swiss army knife of musical instruments. Simply by picking up a can, they immediately develop a perfect sense of rhythm and begin to entertain themselves by spontaneously ad libbing compositions, the intricacies of which Mozart would be amazed by. Somewhere in the midst of the boisterousness, a nerdy, square guy would bust out his Popular Competitors (in a bag) brand chips promptly causing the party to crash faster than a college student after finals. But never fear! One of the trendy youths would show that Popular Competitors chips are greasy and detestable whilst Pringles remain trendy and tasty. The youths would then go back to their musical number as if nothing happened, and we never really do find out what happened to Nerdy Square Guy. Presumably he graduates from college and gets a high paying job while the others are doomed to attend "Pringles Anonymous" meetings.
Keeping this in mind, we decided something else had to be done about the seemingly unrelated subject of beans. Beans, particularly of the baked variety, have been known for a number of centuries as being the musical food of choice. We decided that beans have had a monopoly over dinner time musicians for far too long now, and we were going to do something about it. It suddenly became clear. Pringles were the logical successor to Beans. It seemed easy enough; a commercial, short and to the point, much like the Pringles ads we knew so well. In fact, the Pringles company itself would have been wise to use the idea. We took it to them and were promptly shot down. Since we're not the types to easily let go of a brilliant idea, we decided to do with it what we do best. We screwed it up.
The original parody was to work somewhat like this: A hip trendy youth of today single-handedly busts a beat so groovy that it makes the grand canyon look like an unwanted scratch on the surface of a new CD. Half way through his rhythmic jive he is rudely interrupted by a nerdy square guy who is disgusted at the grease level of his Popular Competitors brand chips. The shot returns to the youth who wraps up with a saxophone solo, played on the Pringles Can. The camera then zooms in on the featured product, which happens to be Pringles, and the voice over declares "Pringles! The new musical food!"
The shoot went off without a hitch. The Youth drummed, the camera panned, the Guy got disgusted, the camera panned again, the Youth played the sax, the camera zoomed, and the announcer hit his line. Perfect. Until we played the tape back and realized that, horror upon horrors, the final tagline could not be heard. It wasn't said over top of any music; everything stopped to allow this startling revelation to be conveyed. Nevertheless, because of the position of the camera and the announcer and the volume at which the line was delivered, it could not be heard during play back. We slowly realized that without this last line; without this line of punch that defines the entire idea and is, in fact, the whole purpose of the idea, and the summary to the singular joke in the sketch, that we had simply made a Pringles commercial.