I saw this on Ellen yesterday, and if in any universe I could retroactively vomit up every last Tab I ever drank, (which was not a few, back in the day), in front of Tab headquarters (aka Coke), I would. This is messed up on so many levels, and yet, absolutely riveting, mind-sticking in it’s utterly and uniquely horrifyingly, hilariously absolutely unfeminist way.
Level 1. The obvious. I’m not sure what year this was made, and I have no memory of it so it could have been late sixties, but it seems to me that this must have appeared right smack in the middle of feminism in it’s glory years, which is truly stunning.
Level 2. Creepiness of the singer.
Level 3. Okay, putting aside the wrongheadedness of the message, lyrically, it’s just hard to imagine the jam session that produced this song. Were these guys on acid? Were they trying to hypnotize the women of America with this repetetive, weirdly insidious song? It’s impossible to imagine what made anyone think these lyrics were either catchy or like any other jingle that was out at the time.
a) Don’t you want to have a good shape?
He wants you with a good shape.
Shape with Tab.
b) When you can’t be with him, be in his mind.
Be a mind-sticker.
What? Be a mind-sticker?
And then, in case the song isn’t enough, enter the male voice over, a sexily but psycho-killer-type persuasive voice, who first repeats one of the lines of the song and then later says, “You know, keeping your shape in shape has it’s rewards. Be a mind-sticker.”
There’s really nothing else to say. Except that this ad will stick in my mind for all time.