80s, 90s, Blog, Celebrities, Commercials, Music, TV — July 2, 2017 2:12 pm

Ritz Crackers and the New Kids on the Block: An Existential Crisis

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There’s a point in everyone’s life where they realize they’re old. I’ve had brushes with this in the past– hearing Billy Joel on the “oldies” station, attempting to purchase Weird Al’s Mandatory Fun album on CD in 2014 only to have Target employees ask me: “CD, like for a computer?”, and trying to explain what Crystal Pepsi was to 7-11 clerks who thought I was asking for drugs back when Crystal Pepsi came back in 2016.

But this… this is different.

I have nothing against Ritz Crackers. In fact, crackers in general might be my most favorite food. Doesn’t matter what kind, I just know that I can’t have them in the house because I immediately eat all crackers in the vicinity. Breton minis? Gone. Cheez-Itz? Don’t even think about it. Four sleeves of saltines? Challenge motherfucking accepted. Ritz is pretty high up there for me. My mom would buy Ritz knock-offs that I would gleefully polish off. Later on, she upgraded to Ritz. I had a friend that hated Ritz crackers but would always eat them at my house because she claimed they “just tasted better” at my house. I am the cracker whisperer. Wait. That’s gross.

And you know full well I have nothing against the New Kids on the Block (besides Donnie making some questionable marriage decisions). I’m a Blockhead, through and through (seriously, Jonathan, drop me a line). I go out of my way to talk about the New Kids on the Block, like sneaking them into the Hi-C conversation when everyone was ga-ga over Ecto Cooler.

So then, what is so awful about this combination? Newer songs are used in commercials all the time. This isn’t even the first time a New Kids’ song has appeared in a commercial:

Of course, the Coca-Cola jingle wasn’t a preexisting song. It also wasn’t a ritzy (hah) sounding cover, either.

There’s a jarring realization that a song I grew up on, that somehow didn’t seem all that far away, is now viewed as something old and kitschy enough to be dusted off and revamped to sell crackers– admittedly one of my favorite foods, but at the same time one of the most boring and bland foods out there. These commercials aren’t aimed at kids, this is aimed at whoever is doing the grocery shopping– grown ups. Suddenly the song of my youth is now the anthem of getting up with the alarm at 6 a.m., going to your office job, picking up crackers on the way home from work, making dinner, and going to bed only do to it all again the next day. Over and over, looking forward to the weekend then realizing you have to mow the lawn or put furniture together.

Or, maybe my major issue is simply that “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” is mis-matched with the Ritz brand.

Come on, you guys all saw that coming.

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