So this is Walmarts new "spring colors" commercial that caught my husband's attention. He usually makes fun of me, when I tell him to "stop the DVR and play a commercial". "Oh, miss designer needs to see the commercial". For the first time, he alerted me to this one. It is pretty sweet ad. I wish that the store experience could even be 25% of this sweetness. . . I wasn't too delighted to see the ending, it felt too much like recent graphic endings for Target commercials. But it is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery?
The commercials, by the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, promote women’s hair care, skin care and makeup products sold by Wal-Mart Stores. There are three spots in what is being called the Wal-Mart beauty campaign: “Happy Hair,” “Happy Skin” and “Spring Colors.”
The song “How Lovely to Be a Woman” is from the 1960 Broadway musical, “Bye Bye Birdie,” in which it was sung by Susan Watson as the Ohio teenager Kim MacAfee. Ann-Margret played the part, and sang the song, in the 1963 movie version.
Theresa Dunn, a spokeswoman for Martin, identifies the singer in the Wal-Mart commercials as Marisa Ferdenzi, a singer and songwriter, who recorded her version at the Lodge, a music production company in New York.
In the “Spring Colors” commercial, for the makeup products, Ms. Ferdenzi sings six lines from the song, including a couple that go, “How lovely to wear mascara/And smile a woman’s smile.” In the spots for the hair care and skin care products, the line about mascara is changed; for instance, in the skin care spot, she sings, “How lovely to shine so brightly.”
According to some movie buffs, the director of “Bye Bye Birdie,” George Sidney, came to like Ann-Margret so much during the making of the film that he added the memorable sequences at the beginning and end in which she appears onscreen by herself and belts out the title tune. That supposedly upset Paul Lynde, who played Kim’s father; the comment that has been passed down through the years is that he complained Mr. Sidney had turned the movie into “The Ann-Margret Show.”
I have always believed that “How Lovely to Be a Woman” is sort of a teenage version of “I Enjoy Being a Girl” from the 1958 Broadway musical, “Flower Drum Song,” which was made into a movie in 1961. Are there any Broadway historians among the ranks of my dear readers who care to comment on that theory?