At some point in the 1970s, my Mother started drinking diet soda. Now we didn’t always have soda pop in the house and when we did it was either Coca-Cola or some sort of Grape Soda for the kids and Tab for my mother. That meant that the tab with its distinct packaging was off-limits. Which of course piqued my interest.
I had no idea what Tab was, diet sodas were not on my radar, so I just assumed it was a fancy soda. Something delicious that adults hoarded for themselves. Which of course meant I needed to have one. One day I managed to finagle a dollar for a slice and a soda from my Mother and went to the pizzeria, but instead of ordering my Normal Coke and Slice, I got a Tab and slice.
I think the guy who worked the counter gave me an odd look when I bought it, not understanding why a little kid would be drinking diet soda. Grabbing my slice and that cold can, I ran to my favorite table behind the video games by the window.
That first sip of Tab sticks with me, because it was the most disappointing sip of soda that I have ever had. I am pretty sure it is what turned me off to Diet Soda my whole life.
Still, Tab did have some very memorable commercials and jingles. In this one, a woman emerges from the ocean in a bikini with a Tab in hand and starts walking towards a guy and his girlfriend sitting on a blanket. The guy can’t stop leering at her in a creepy way and is caught by his girlfriend.
To stop him, she picks up the cooler, that has no ice in it and very little water, and dumps it on his head. He turns to her and you think fireworks are about to fly, but no she just laughs and kisses the guy. The seventies were a weird time, with very different rules for relationships.
Watch this classic the classic “Beach Commercial” for Tab Cola
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