Tic Tacs. In recent days, thanks to newly surfaced comments made ten years ago on a hot mic by controversial GOP candidate Donald Trump, they have been front page news.
First produced in 1969 with a less catchy name, Tic Tacs were rebranded just a year after being on the market. They are named after the distinctive sound produced when they rattle in their hard plastic container.
The sound was immortalized in the 1997 Seinfeld episode “The Merv Griffin Show”. In it, Elaine’s coworker, nicknamed the Sidler, walked so quietly that he snuck up on people. Elaine tried to out-sidle him by wearing wrestling shoes to the office. Soon afterwards, she changed tactics, giving him a box of Tic Tacs so that it would be apparent that he was approaching. The tactic backfired when boss J. Peterman said it reminded him of an old torture method, and threatened to fire Elaine if he heard it again. Elaine then had to get the Tic Tacs back from the Sidler, an effort met with resistance, now that the Sidler had grown fond of the mints.
Elaine and the Sidler – this creepy new guy at work:
Tic Tacs were already a popular breath mint in the era thanks to a long running ad campaign featuring Kelly Harmon. The sister of actor Mark Harmon, and a star in her own right, appearing on NBC series “Bay City Blues” and a guest starring on hit shows Battlestar Galactica, CHiPS, One Day at a Time, and T.J. Hooker, she is perhaps best known for appearing in Tic Tac ads in the 1980s and 1990s. The wholesome, and stunning, girl next door sold the value of the 1 ½ calorie breath mint for about a decade.
Today, the Tic Tac ad campaign is animated, and talks about the tremendous amount of flavor packed into such a teeny little treat. Take for example, this ad for Tic Tac Orange, which has been airing this month. The color of the mint and the color of the Presidential candidate’s skin is, hopefully, a coincidence.