CNN, New York — A classic jingle that has been recognized for generations is coming back. As part of a new marketing effort, Chili's is reintroducing its catchy song, "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...ribs," which has been a mainstay on the chain's menu since the late 1980s.
In response to the misunderstanding that many people might have had that the R&B group initially recorded the jingle around the time of the release of their fourth studio album, "Evolution," which sold two million copies in the US, the chain has recruited Boyz II Men to sing an updated version of the jingle.
The jingle, which was last heard in the middle of the 2000s, became into an earworm for TV viewers in the 1990s when it seemed to fill the airwaves continually. Chili's is hoping that the restaurant business, which is going through a turnaround, can attract more customers by appealing to nostalgia.
Chili's competes with other chain restaurants for the business of those who aren't very brand loyal. Though the company has lately been able to increase sales with a redesigned assortment, in recent years, stale menu offers led guests hunting for fresher options. Chili's is stepping up its advertising this year in an attempt to build on its success.
This month, Boyz II Men's updated rendition of the jingle will be included in a new TV commercial that will also be promoted on social media.
The group stated in a release that it "feels natural for us to rerelease the 'Baby Back Ribs' jingle and pay homage to Chili's legendary menu item in a nostalgic way."
Guy Bommarito, an advertising creative director at GSD&M, wrote the original jingle. He didn't realize the song would be around for almost 30 years; he expected it would be "gone after six weeks."
Jingles were the "heart and soul of the entire industry" in the past, but by the 1990s, their popularity had dropped because they were the "lowest common denominator form of advertising, and everyone avoided them because they were typically annoying and unpleasant," he said in a 2015 interview.
Chili's insisted on creating a jingle, though. Bommarito penned the jingle himself, despite his admission that he was "embarrassed" by the job.
Later, he told Vice that rib sales would increase following the airing of the commercial. He remarked, "They could juice sales every time they put that spot on television for years because ribs would be sought out so much."
Before being discontinued in 2006, the jingle was widely utilized in the 1990s. In 2009, Chili's briefly revived it to highlight a new rib recipe.
The restaurant business claimed that the most recent edition is the "biggest rerelease of Chili's iconic earworm yet and doesn't stray too far from the original version."