Fresh and Full of Life
January 21, 2023 9:12 AM   Subscribe


(rest in power Brittany, love ya)
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 9:23 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]

What, no Footos?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:30 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]

My forever reference

I’m not sure they ever showed this advert here in the UK but it is burned into my brain nevertheless, because of Clueless.
posted by greycap at 11:35 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]

I don't know why I was expecting international language versions
Mentos - Die Frischmacher!
posted by bartleby at 11:52 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]

I’m DJ Mentos *turntable scratch* The Fresh Maker
posted by slogger at 12:34 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]

Damn. I completely forgot my "Mentos phase". At some point when I was in middle school I probably had some version of that Mentos FAQ memorized
posted by potrzebie at 12:41 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]

Needs more Diet Coke.
posted by MtDewd at 12:41 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]

Coming in to mention the Big Me music video, pxe2000 beat me to it.
posted by Tesseractive at 1:13 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]

The thing that is breaking my brain a little at the moment is that this version clearly lacks the Mentos branding: the lyrics are different in the chorus on which the familiar jingle cut is based. Which by itself isn't weird; if they adapted a song to a jingle, shimmy in the brand language and there you go.

But none of the links seem to get into that, or even mention the existence of a full-length, unbranded pop song. Not even the youtube post which seems? to be directly related to the songwriter or his marketing company. The "Music Production" link in the post, on the site, doesn't really dig into it either.

I'm just really genuinely curious whether (a) this was a song someone had sitting in the can already and they were like, yep, this is the raw material from which we shall birth the Mentos jingle, or (b) they worked up the song and jingle from scratch, wrote branded lyrics for the jingle, and then just fuckin' recorded a full pop version with the serial numbers filed off while they were at it because fuck it.

Oral history. I want some more oral history.
posted by cortex at 1:36 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]

Is mentos one of those German products that projects a fun carefree image but was really invented by the Nazis? I could have sworn reading that there was a dreadnought class Nazi battleship called Die Frischmacher.
posted by vorpal bunny at 1:53 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]

So, here's a taste of something: Hot Spots [spotify link] a 71 track album, from 1986, from our John Groves (i.e. the German one, not the presumably-unrelated American didgeridoo player who also shows up in searches).

It's, to be clear, 71 tracks that are mostly 20-40 seconds long, wordless, and each preceded by a voice (presumably Groves') stating the number of the track in what seems like mildly German-accented English. They're all little very-80s stings of stuff, no lyrics or vox, that could very easily turn into jingles or maybe a sitcom theme song. Feels very of a piece with Fresh Goes Better as far as compositional sensibilities go, but the production quality is comparatively janky. I'm just gonna let the whole album run and try not to lose my mind because I'm curious if a true precursor of Fresh Goes Better is gonna show up in here somewhere.
posted by cortex at 1:56 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]

Or maybe it was released in 1988? Or maybe that was the date of the CD release? In any case this Dutch music site has that date along with an album listing with 77 tracks, not 71, which explains why at some point the Spotify playlist above got the intro numbers out of sync with their track lists. The Spotify list also seems to get out of sync with titles for the missing tracks still being assigned to the available tracks in the original order, so that e.g. the actual "Tubular Smells" is not the track with that title on Spotify. You can hear the missing songs on the Dutch site.
posted by cortex at 2:13 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]

Actually I'm confused about what, exactly, the disconnect is between the Spotify number and the track listing; it seems like e.g. Tubular Smells is the same track on both lists, but it's #35 in order on Spotify and #41 on the actual album listing (the Dutch site has a shot of the back cover). Also on Spotify it's listed as "Tabular Smells" which way to bungle a just amazing title and reference.

And oh shit, there's also apparently a Hot Spots Vol 2, which you can get used on vinyl for five euros plus $18+ in shipping and no i'm not gonna buy it but. But.

John Groves has a short page on German Wikipedia; he seems to have once had a page on English Wikipedia that was subsequently deleted, but I can't find that bit of trail again now that I'm looking.

Anyway there's a little recurring melodic figure in "Highlights" married to a full-step down chord move that isn't Fresh Goes Better but could be a close cousin. Hmm! "Fantastic" also has some proto-Fresh vibes.

Also, "Scoop" has a turnaround that sounds a LOT like the turnaround in the Cantina music from Star Wars. John. John, is this a Jizz album.
posted by cortex at 2:31 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]

But none of the links seem to get into that, or even mention the existence of a full-length, unbranded pop song.

Thanks for digging deeper into this. When I first found the full-length version of "Fresh Goes Better", I poked around and wound up at the composer's (or music agency's?) website (my second link). I assumed that the "Mentos-free" version of the song was recorded so that the jingle could be adapted for other ad campaigns in case the client, Perfetti van Melle, rejected it.

Also, thank you for completing the script for my personal Mentos commercial:
1) Get Mentos jingle hopelessly stuck in my head; finds assorted information about the ad campaign online
2) Has an idea to make a MetaFilter post about the Mentos jingle; pops a Mentos
3) Writes and submits the post
4) Said post infects others with Mentos mysteries; I hold out my Mentos package and grin. Mentos: The Freshmaker!
posted by May Kasahara at 2:33 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]

Mentos ads were ubiquitous on early Comedy Central. Back in the day when Keep Circulating The Tapes was literal, not metaphorical, commercial breaks during MST3K episodes would be packed to the gills with the raucous Children of the Freshmaker, cutting capers that would have gotten most kids shot, with all instantly forgiven the moment they flashed the Mentos packaging at the aggrieved party. We figured it was some kind of cop thing.
posted by phooky at 2:34 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]

I finished the whole album. I feel like just did a speedrun of being on hold for an entire week. Didn't notice anything else that felt any more closely related to Fresh Goes Better. But "On Deck" is Accidentally Kelly Street and I claim my five pounds.
posted by cortex at 2:48 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]

Now I kinda wanna make an FPP about library music.
posted by box at 3:02 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]

Last year a wholesome book version of Accidentally Kelly Street was released
posted by slightlybewildered at 3:43 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]

I'm just really genuinely curious whether (a) this was a song someone had sitting...

I'm guessing this was created for some kind of convention booth, employee retreat, or sales conference to get people PSYCHED! to sell Mentos. Even if it wasn't developed for a specific event, the standard jingle-producer contract could have been for 30-second, 60-second, and 3-minute cuts (other lengths, too) -- just to cover all their bases.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:14 PM on January 21

Needs more Diet Coke.
posted by MtDewd

posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:45 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]

Listening to three full minutes of “Fresh Goes Better” is giving me some real “Too Many Cooks” vibes.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:53 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]

Needs more Diet Coke.

Coke adds life where there isn't any.
posted by aws17576 at 8:12 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]

I'll shoehorn my short Mentos story here. I worked for an early Internet hosting provider. Early enough that domain registrations were easy to get and brands hadn't gotten on board with the Internet yet. The owner of our company has registered a bunch of brand domains, including (because he loved them). Eventually Mentos came calling, and I don't know the details but one of the things he haggled for was an insane quantity of Mentos and a store display. For like 6 months our office was swimming in Mentos.

We were able to wash them down with a large supply of Dr Pepper, for similar reasons.
posted by Gorgik at 8:16 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]

pxe2000: “What, no Footos ?”
You know, I used to have that one in my act. Maybe I should add it again it's only been… Ah, shit. 26 years.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:04 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]

The mentos FAQ is a delight, I was going to go to bed, instead I went down a Mentos rabbit hole. Oh well, if I'm tired tomorrow I'll just pop a Mentos to freshen up.
posted by signsofrain at 1:46 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

When we read the Inferno in high school, our English teacher had us make movie trailers for a modern adaptation. Our group set ours at school and prominently featured "Dante" popping Mentos in a variety of situations.

-- Chased across the football field by a "wild beast" (someone's dog)? Mentos: The Freshmaker!
-- Navigating through Circle II (Lust) where people threw basketballs at you? Mentos: The Freshmaker! (This one made sense when we storyboarded it, but I've forgotten the reason in the intervening twentymumble years.)
-- Virgil (our English teacher) droning on and on about archetypes? Mentos: The Freshmaker!

It was really more of a Mentos trailer than an Inferno trailer.
posted by basalganglia at 7:36 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]

I travel for work not infrequently. To get through flights I often buy myself a pack of mentos.

I’ve always thought it’s because I don’t like gum, but eating mentos still requires some chewing action which helps with air pressure differences. Maybe I’m wrong though— being a teenager in the 90s may have convinced me that eating a mento will fix petty frustrations of the variety common in airport travel. So evidently I’m a walking mentos ad. Great.

Of course at least once the petty frustration was when I couldn’t find any mentos; DFW didn’t seem to have them. Instead they had a Wall Street Journal store. How can I overcome the encroachment of conservative capitalism in my life? I could pop a mento, but no, they don’t sell those here.
posted by nat at 10:04 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

Mentos is also beloved (somewhat) of MSTies for being ubiquitous on Comedy Central while Mystery Science Theater 3000 was there, and for being referenced in a couple of episodes.
posted by JHarris at 10:45 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]

Unrelatedly: I'm glad to hear other people remember Frente! They were one of Teen Mulp's favorite bands, and once I break into the (used, from an auction) car's cd player, both Marvin the Album and Shape will be back in the rotation.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:25 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]

Two thoughts:

The opening sounds like something very much out of the Sega Saturn game NiGHTs Into Dreams, which I would not have anticipated.

Also speaking of things that go hard, why does this Barbie Boutique track go so hard? The whole program is like that, evidently.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:12 PM on January 22

Back in high school or college, I got kind of bored one weekend and decided, based on some shooting-the-breeze chats I'd had at my part-time job, that it was time to call up Ferrara Pan and ask them, hey, what's the singular of "Mentos"? Is it "Mento"? Is it somehow something irregular, like "Menta" or "Mentum"? The person on the other end of the call was clearly not expecting this sort of question, and asked if she could call me back after she asked around. I gladly obliged, and a few minutes later she called back to let me know that the singular of "Mentos" is: "Mentos."

I never said it was a good story.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:15 AM on January 23 [8 favorites]

So that's where the extra s that should be on the plural of Lego went!

(Micky Donlenz used to joke that the two e's in "Monkees" were the ones they saved from being Micky and Davy instead of Mickey and Davey.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:18 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]

Translation? :)
posted by rhizome at 1:55 PM on January 23

I'm just here for the 90s haircuts.

And clothes.
posted by thefool at 3:44 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]

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