With songs like “Bongo Booty” and “Don’t Tickle the Pickle” in his repertoire, Todd Millenacker might not sound like the ideal choice to write a new jingle for Little Caesars. But the Savage, Minnesota songwriter surprised everyone—including himself—by selling the chain a hip-hop tune that’s now featured in a national campaign.
As the Star Tribune reports, Millenacker has penned about 450 songs and shared them on sites like Bandcamp and Free Music Archive. He records the songs in his basement and posts them online under the name Monkey Warhol, an allusion to the famous quote attributed (perhaps wrongly) to artist Andy Warhol: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
Millenacker hasn’t exactly earned global acclaim, but he’s now sold two jingles to Little Caesars, and a revised version of one of them has been featured on the TV show, “This Is Us.”
Millenacker said the idea for the song came to him after he and a friend took a pizza-eating challenge. Before long, he was throwing up in a bucket, and his wife later joked that his belly was full of “pizza babies.” Millenacker took the idea and ran with it, creating an intense but super-catchy rap song that started out, “Pizza, pizza, so nice to meet ya … let’s get married and have some pizza babies.”
He sent the song to Little Caesars with no real expectations, but soon heard back from the chain’s senior director of advertising, Walt Frederiksen, himself a jingle writer and former DJ. “Ninety-nine percent of what I hear is godawful,” he told the Star Tribune. “But this thing rocked. This thing was catchy.”
Millenacker's next effort for Little Caesars was inspired by his daughter’s efforts to sell Girl Scout cookies. With a slight tweak to the lyrics, another hit jingle was born.
“You know you want it (yum yum)
You know I got it (yum yum)
You know you want it (yum yum)
I got your five-dollar lunch combo”
Next, Millenacker created a rap-style jingle for the Mangroomer, an electric razor with a long handle that can be used to shave men’s backs.
“I got your back, my buddies always say
But when I ask them to shave it, they say, no way
Now I’ve got the answer right here on my shelf
With the Mangroomer, baby, I don’t need no one else”