If Julie Is Paula, Linda Kaplan Thaler Is Randy

And Gene Simmons Will Have to Take on the Simon Role for CBS Game Show 'Jingles'

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Ad-agency honcho Linda Kaplan Thaler will join outspoken marketing executive Julie Roehm on "Jingles," a new CBS game show that has gone into production. Kiss bass player and tongue wiggler Gene Simmons will also be on the judging panel.
Advertising Week
Linda Kaplan Thaler knows a thing or two about singing jingles. Watch this video of her performing the "Shaving Sucks" song at Advertising Week.

Produced by reality-show impresario Mark Burnett, "Jingles" has contestants write and perform jingles about a range of products, including foods, toys and health aids, or even a TV show. Sometimes, contestants may have to update a classic, already established jingle for modern times. To continue on in the game, they must convince the panel of judges that they have talent and wit. The winner will walk away with a grand prize of $100,000 and an advertising contract.

The series, which was originally scheduled to have its debut July 27 at 9 p.m. EST, was delayed after execs at the network felt they haven't had enough time to promote "Jingles," according to a CBS spokesman. CBS today said the show was in production and would debut "later this year."

Panel hastily assembled
According to executives familiar with the matter, the "Jingles" casting crew was sending out dispatches to ad folks just a month ago, citing a "time crunch" in assembling a panel of judges, with a focus on pinning down a female ad or marketing executive.

Ms. Roehm is well known to ad agency and marketing executives. The former Wal-Mart and Chrysler marketing exec found herself smack dab in the middle of one of adland's steamiest scandals in 2006 and 2007, when Wal-Mart pulled its account from Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB after unsettling details about behind-the-scenes doings surfaced publicly.
Kiss bass player and tongue wiggler Gene Simmons will also be on the judging panel.
Kiss bass player and tongue wiggler Gene Simmons will also be on the judging panel. Credit: AP

Ms. Kaplan Thaler, on the other hand, is better known for her way with a bit of song and a few words. An award-winning composer with a master's degree in music, she wrote the famous jingle, "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid." She is founder and CEO of Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group, the agency behind the famous "Aflac Duck" campaign.

CBS's interest in ad jingles comes several years after most advertisers have forsaken them. These days, many marketers are chasing after the latest hit song or trying to find a rock tune that hasn't already wormed its way into consumers' ears. In fact, some people who have tested jingles in the recent past found the short songs not to their liking. In 2002, rock group Ween tried its hand at a jingle for Yum Brands' Pizza Hut that had the chorus "Where'd the cheese go?" It was pulled quickly when a better sound failed to emerge -- ringing cash registers. Sometimes, a jingle can still jangle.
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