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Goodbye ‘Oh Boy!’ – another iconic Seattle tagline disappears

Seattle-based Oberto has dropped its iconic "Oh Boy!" tagline after nearly a century.

“Oh Boy!” is no more, as one of the oldest and most recognizable tag lines in Seattle business history is going away after nearly a century.

Oberto Brands, the longtime maker of the popular Oh Boy! Oberto All Natural Jerky line, announced Tuesday the biggest brand overhaul in its 95-year history.

Along with getting rid of the iconic Oh Boy! moniker, the company is also pushing a new look and a new focus on targeting health conscious consumers with a new mantra “Eat Excellent. Be Excellent.”

“The change began in 2012 when we overhauled our jerky recipe to be All Natural. Now, the new packaging and positioning further solidifies Oberto’s brand evolution: Oberto offers great tasting, protein snacks for active consumers who want to feel good about what they put into their bodies, so they can perform at their best,” said Greg Yahn, Vice President of Marketing for Seattle-based Oberto Brands.

That change is another blow to Seattle history, and fans of our past like local historian Feliks Banel. Banel says it saddens him to lose another piece of what makes our area unique.

Among his favorite tag lines from days gone by are Olympia Beer’s famous “it’s the water,” “ask the fellow in yellow” for Ernst Hardware, and Washington Mutual’s ever present “the friend of the family.”

“I don’t even remember seeing Washington Mutual bank branches as a kid, but you knew that Washington Mutual was a friend of the family.”

Also on Banel’s list of iconic tag lines, long since gone, are Seattle sportswear company Britannia and its slogan “my home is in Seattle, but I live in Britannia,” Dick’s Drive In’s “where taste is the difference,” and “Do the Puyallup” for the Puyallup Fair, which changed its name to the Washington State Fair this year.

“It’s just one of those little touches that distinguish a product and it’s those products that distinguish a region,” says Banel longingly.

But he also realizes it’s just the way of the world, as more Seattle-area businesses go national or get taken over by other companies, as in the case of Rainier beer, which is now brewed by Pabst in Los Angeles.

“As businesses consolidate, it’s cheaper to produce one ad for the whole country then it is for each region. That’s just a reality of business.”

But for history buffs like Banel, it’s a reality that still makes him feel a little sad as more of the past disappears into history.

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