We Got the Colgate Pump!

Are you ready for your mid-week 80s earworm?

No, it’s not a song that spent ten weeks at number one on American Top 40 or the theme song to The Facts of Life. It’s a commercial you probably thought you’d forgotten (watch below). But now that you hear it, you totally didn’t forget it – am I right?!? I came across this little nugget around two weeks back and it’s still going through my head on a loop.  While it didn’t chart in the US, the song used in the commercial was a hit in the UK in 1980 where it spent 20 weeks in the charts, topping out at #3.  The insanely catchy tune is the song ‘Baggy Trousers’ by Madness off their 1980 album, Absolutely (check out the original Madness song and video at the end of the story).

I know. I’m sorry. I thought that maybe by sharing the Colgate Pump love it may leap from my noggin into yours.

But you gotta admit, this ad for kid’s toothpaste was pretty damn catchy. Like a mini MTV music video: kids in little spy outfits, lots of sunglasses, bowties, a pint-sized Uncle Sam, jungle-themed toothbrushes, bright colors, and English accents (real? fake? I’m not sure). All this is happening while an insanely catchy tune plays and silhouettes of people hand-in-hand do a very methodical crouch/stand/crouch/stand march to the music.


Oh yeah, and let’s not overlook the images of that toothpaste in a pump that I had to have! Because, well, it was in a pump!

Colgate Pump

Maybe Apple borrowed the bright colors and silhouette idea for their early ipod ads?

Apple iPod People

But it was the song; the song that got stuck in your head and made you crave the Colgate Pump. Standing at the grocery store with your mom how could you not robotically grab it and sing cockney style, “WE GOT THE COLGATE PUMP! WE GOT THE COLGATE PUMP! WE GOT THE COLGATE PUMP! WE GOT THE COLGATE PUMP!”

An song that can still get stuck in your head 30 years later? That’s pretty good marketing, don’t you think?

Colgate Pump Kid

“What makes it good is MFP!”

Here’s the original song by Madness, ‘Baggy Trousers.’

Author: Lori Ferraro

Lori is a writer and actor living in Portland, OR. Her website, Drawn to the 80s, is where her 5 year old draws the greatest music hits of the 1980s. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post and her own blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about important things like beauty products, music, her obsession with Mick Jagger and of course...the 80s.

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  1. This song is a Madness song called Baggy Trousers, super catchy song. I do remember this commercial too, it was one of my favs as a kid

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    • Thank you so much for tracking down the song used in the commercial! We’ll add it with a video link – definitely a very catchy song!!

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