For Christians, the season of Lent is a time to prepare for Easter through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial. For some Christian religions, this “self-denial” includes giving up meat on the Fridays of Lent. As a result, fast food giants like Wendy’s and McDonald’s use Lent as a time to promote and sell more fish sandwiches. This year, McDonald’s is using a Big Mouth Billy Bass (you know, the singing toy that looks like a mounted fish and sings kitschy cover songs) and a goofy song to get the job done.
The scenario? Two 30-something guys are hanging out in a garage and one of them is munching on a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. Suddenly, Billy starts singing an awfully catchy tune while the Filet-O-Fish eater bobs to the music:
“Give me back that Filet-O-Fish. Give me that fish. Give me back that Filet-O-Fish. Give me that fish. What if it were you hanging up on this wall? If you were in that sandwich you wouldn’t be laughing at all.”
This song is catchy as heck and manages to stay in my head for days after I’ve seen the ad. Judging by the fact that this jingle is available as a cellphone ring tone, I’d venture to guess that I’m not the only one. It’s a commercial I love to hate. And it certainly gets the job done. I’m not a big fan of McDonald’s fish sandwich. But each week as I contemplate what to eat on the Fridays during Lent, Billy Bass reminds me to give that Filet-O-Fish another chance.