Sufficient to say, then, that I’m usually in a get-it-and-get-out mood while grocery shopping. That mood was broken in surprising fashion, however, as I bustled along the condiment aisle. I glanced at the offerings in the sauces and glazes section while passing and then did a double-take at what looked for all the world like Jed Clampett.
Turned out it wasn’t just Jed - it was Jed and Granny.
And Elly May. And Jethro.
Well. That got my attention.
The iconic characters of the classic 1960s CBS sitcom - this has been a Filmways pre-sen-tation! - now used to hawk sauces and glazes for Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods. (And yes, Fischer & Wieser has appropriated the domain name “jelly.com.” I guess that somebody had to, sooner or later.)
It should be noted that Jethro himself - that is, actor Max Baer, Jr. - has “partnered up” with Fischer & Wieser to create this poignant marketing opportunity.
The new Beverly Hillbillies line of specialty sauces is an exciting new project for Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods. “We are thrilled to be working with Max; he is an American icon,” Case D. Fischer, CEO and President of the company states. “The Beverly Hillbillies is a brand everyone can connect to. When you see the faces of the characters on the bottles, you start humming ‘The Ballad of Jed Clampett’ in your head.” Max Baer, Jr. agrees, “Americans love brands. They feel comfortable with well-known products.”You’d be foolish to deny it. Of course, everyone from Paul Henning to CBS to Paramount to Fox to Eclipse Comics (and a certain insurance company) has made money off the marketing of the television show and its characters, so why shouldn’t Baer and Fischer & Wieser?
I note that there’s no indication that Donna Douglas, the only other surviving cast member of the show, is sharing in any of this marketing largesse.
Rather than issue a judgment, I merely offer this cultural note for your consideration - that, along with this:
Come and listen to a story about a sauce from Jed,Sigh.
Best you’ve ever tasted, all the kinfolks said.
Then each day he’d be grillin’ up some food.
And pour’n on his sauce, even Granny said, It’s goooooood!
Well the next thing you know, even Elly May can cook.
Maybe them boys will give ‘er another look.
Buy yourself a bottle and give yourself a see and have a heapin’ helping of our hospitality!