I heard that A Charlie Brown Christmas was going to be aired on ABC tonight and it got me wondering about something totally random. What was the deal with those Dolly Madison snack cakes? The ads were very clever – my favorites featured Snoopy as the Zinger Zapper (see below). Presumably, Dolly Madison had a contract with Peanuts in order to use the characters in their ads – normal enough. What was weird was that the ads were only ever shown during the five or six Peanuts specials that were aired in primetime throughout the year. Remember, this was the late seventies and early eighties – way before syndication and the advent of specials getting aired 20 times each during the appropriate holiday season. Furthermore, I never saw Dolly Madison snack cakes in the grocery store. Maybe it was just that the Northern Michigan grocery store chains where I grew up preferred Little Debbie and Hostess (because I surely had Swiss Cake Rolls and Twinkies!). So much mystery and intrigue surrounding those Zingers!
In my extensive research for this blog post, I tried to get the goods on Dolly Madison, but all I could come up with was that Hostess ended up acquiring Dolly Madison in 2004 (not surprising when you consider it was a company that only advertised 5-6 times in year in markets where it offered no product). Even Wikipedia left me dry. So help me out here people! Is my memory serving me on this subject? Has anyone out there (particularly those from No. MI) ever eaten a Dolly Madison snack cake? Is anyone still eating them? In the meantime, enjoy this clip of one of my favorite DM commercials (ya gotta love YouTube!).