No Frills fans go bananas after grocer’s unexpected Tonight Show appearance

Jimmy Fallon’s teasing leads to a remixed version of its song ‘Bananas’ that playfully calls out the host and sidekick Steve Higgins
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon sits at his desk holding up the cover of No Frills music album

Every so often, brands can find themselves part of the cultural conversation, their name ping-ponging around the internet at the speed of social media.

It happened last year with Ocean Spray’s appearance in the TikTok video featuring the Fleetwood Mac song “Dreams,” and just last month with “For when it’s time”—Extra (Excel in Canada) gum’s much-loved ad referencing the end of the pandemic.

Last week, Loblaw’s discount banner No Frills found itself unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight when “Bananas,” the first song from last year’s 13-song “album” Haulin’ State of Mind—a distinctive piece of advertising based on its popular “Haulers” advertising platform—was featured in a segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The song, which describes bananas as “the portable fruit” and features lyrics like “who only buys one?” was featured in a Tonight Show segment called “Jimmy’s Do Not Play List,” in which the host mocks (mostly awful) songs by real artists.

Jimmy and sidekick Steve Higgins spent nearly two minutes discussing “Bananas” and the album that produced it, with Higgins mocking the cover (a half-peeled banana against a simple black background) and the track’s assertion that bananas are portable. “No frills on research,” he said as Tonight Show drummer QuestLove played along to the song.

The slip-up garnered widespread media attention in Canada, while a video of the segment on The Tonight Show’s official YouTube channel has amassed more than 104,000 views and nearly 300 comments, many from Canadians pointing out that No Frills is a grocery store.

No Frills itself even got into the act, posting a comment reading “Not bad for a Canadian grocery store, eh?” accompanied by the hashtag #FakeItTilYouMakeIt.

The brand then went a step further by releasing “Bananas Remix,” an answer track to Fallon that contains the lyrics “Jimmy and Steve, I’m glad you had a laugh/but we’re a grocery store that just happens to make tracks about…bananas. Oranges are cool, but we prefer banana juice. What’s a split without sliced yellow fruit? It’s like shopping at No Frills and spending too much loot.”

It’s unclear how one of the few physical copies of Haulin’ State of Mind found its way into Fallon’s hands in New York, but a spokesperson for No Frills said in an email statement that it played no part.

“It was totally organic,” said No Frills. “That said, when Canadians jumped in because Fallon miscredited the album, we couldn’t let the moment pass without a proper response—so, we dropped the remix. Just like the initial album, these are the kinds of things that our incredibly loyal customers and fans expect from us, and we never want to let them down.”

The Haulin’ State of Mind album, meanwhile, boasts more than 16,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. You might say it has a lot of a-peel.

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