ADVERTISING jingles are designed to bore their way into our heads so that we will consider the product on offer next time we’re wandering around a supermarket; but sometimes, such as in the case of Waterford man Eric Shevlin, they can do their job a little bit too well.
“I first heard the Gino Ginellli pizza ad in 1991 when it hit the airwaves. I was 19. Every day since then has been a waking nightmare” explained Shevlin, opening up about the rare condition known as Retained Advertising Tropes Syndrome, or ‘RATS’.
“As far as I know, I’m the only living person in Ireland who suffers from RATS. There was a woman in Clare who couldn’t stop singing the Homestead theme, but she died last year when her house fell on her. Every morning when I wake up, it’s all that plays in my mind until the end of the day. I can’t hear other music when it’s on the radio. It played in my mind when I was having my first dance with my wife on our wedding day. I don’t even like pizza. It’s hell”.
Shevlin is referring to the incredibly catchy jingle that played during the commercials for Gino Ginelli pizzas, the leading supermarket pizza brand in Ireland until the arrival of a rival brand by a German medical GP.
Although the Gino Ginelli brand also ran a separate, equally catchy campaign for their line of ice-creams, it’s the pizza jingle that has haunted the now 50-year-old Shevlin for his entire adult life.
“In Rome it makes a party, Salami. Olives, pepperoni… take a Gino home with you” he sadly sang, as his family gathered around him for support.
“I would just ask all brands to stop and consider what they’re doing the next time they commission a tune for their ads. Think of people like me who might have to live with the consequences. Their product is no longer on the shelves, but my agony lives on”.
In breaking news, hundreds more people are reporting that they now have the Gino Ginelli song stuck in their heads since the publication of this article.
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