"The original idea of the ranch as a place was one of the most natural things you could have," says copywriter Evan Fry. "And then through development with [CD] Andrew [Keller] and [ECD] Alex [Bogusky], we concentrated a lot on the song. We went through lots and lots of scripts about what the song might be like. Andrew suggested 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' and so we went from there, adjusting the lyrics to be about indulgence. It was a group effort, for sure." With additional collaboration with music company Beacon Street Studios, the song is decisively one of the most memorable of the year.
A choice sampling of lyrics wouldn't be complete without the verse: "I love the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch/The breasts they grown on trees/And streams of bacon ranch dressing/Flow right up to your knees/There's tumbleweeds of bacon and cheddar paves the streets/Folks don't fudge it cause you got the juice/There's a train of ladies coming with a nice caboose/Never get in trouble, never need an excuse/That's the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch"
What is it like to present a suggestive song like that to a client? "We're referring to chicken breasts and sandwiches. It's product-speak," says Keller, playing naive. Fry says, "We had extra lines in case there were some lines that they didn't like, and the lines that were debated are lines that are replaceable. We don't dwell on it. For every lyric that's in this song, there are six lines that were considered. The whole spot is about the ingredients, and we embrace the product."
"We love this client," adds art director John Parker. "It's not like we're getting something over on them." But double entendre, sexual innuendo and humor in the lyrics isn't all the song has going for it. "When we were thinking about who would be right, we put some voices to the picture, and when we put women with beautiful voices, it didn't feel quite right," says Keller. "It needed a quality of the original, which is sung by a man with a longing in his voice for this place. We looked for that in modern country singers, but they're more about America, big trucks and rock 'n roll-they seem happy and satisfied. Darius has that longing. When he sings it, there's an emotion in his voice. And when he came in and sang, he did two verses and it was amazing. He sounds like an instrument, a thousand year-old cello."