Tums is causing some upset stomachs these days, not relieving them, with a new commercial for Tums Dual Action that features the earnest '70s pop ballad "Hello, It's Me" by the much-revered singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren.
In my ongoing tally of egregious misuse of famous songs in advertising, this is a particularly unsettling addition. (I've searched online for the spot, so far without success, so this 1973 footage of Rundgren singing the tune will have to suffice for now.) Tums, as you might recall, has moved out of the diner, where it used to set most of its ads, starring people who had scarfed down chili, fries and other greasy-spoon fare and quickly regretted it. The marketer more recently tapped the iconic animated family The Jetsons (George's hectic life gave him heartburn) as a way to sell its instant-dissolving powder QuikPak. According to the new TV spot, some guy with a weak tummy can dig into a big pizza, as long as he takes the GlaxoSmithKline antacid. Hence, the tender love song in the background? Disturbing, because Rundgren has always seemed to be more concerned with artistry, even if it is soft rock, than with hits in his solo career. Now, he's licensing his tune about longing and loss, and the bile is rising.
Quick, get me a Rolaids.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley