Waffle House is known for its variety of waffles and deliciously greasy hash browns. However, Karlie Dobbs, a junior multimedia journalism major at the University of North Georgia in Athens, made a Waffle House jingle to the tune of Bruno Mars’ Grammy winning song “24K Magic.” Dobbs’ jingle makes a tribute to Waffle House’s breakfast foods by playing a popular tune.
Dobbs said that she made the first Waffle House jingle video to help Waffle House congratulate Bruno Mars on winning six Grammys. She titled the first jingle “24K Waffles,” to the tune of “24K Magic.” Within two weeks, the video reached 30,000 viewers. Southern Living published an article about it, and Bruno Mars has seen the video.
“Bruno Mars saw it himself, and then it jumped to 30,000. And then that’s when everyone was like, ‘Well, you gotta do another,’” Dobbs said.
Nadine Gillespie, the social media coordinator for Waffle House, Inc., explained how Dobbs’ first jingle led to a second one.
“She made ‘24K Waffles,’ and that was her first one, and then when it hit over 30,000 views, she decided to make a second one called ‘Waffle House is the Best,’” Gillespie said.
Dobbs wanted to mirror Mars’ music video for “Finesse” for her second video by having a lot of background dancers in her video. She invited some friends to be in the music video with her.
“We just cleared out their living room, and we did it,” Dobbs said.
Gillespie said that Waffle House started a Twitter hashtag with a group called Hooligans, which are Bruno Mars’ fans.
“We kind of did a Twitter party with the Hooligans for 10 days, so there’s a hashtag #HooliganTwitterPartyWithWaffleHouse — and then for 10 days we all interacted with each other, talking about Waffle House and Bruno Mars. So [Dobbs] made those music videos kind of us a piece of that Twitter party,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie noted that Waffle House has been positively impacted by Dobbs’ videos.
“Bruno liked the first video, so it gave a lot of attention when he liked it on Twitter. So as far as affecting Waffle House, it positively impacted our social engagements,” Gillespie said.
With Dobbs’ new found fame, she noted the difficulty of balancing school and her music.
“It’s hard to balance the two, especially in a time like now where everywhere you go, there’s a chance that someone is going to say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s the girl from the Waffle House video.’ And that’s happened to me know at least three times,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs’ biggest dream is going into the music industry full time.
“I say this all the time, and I don’t mean to say this in any means to encourage folks what I am about to say, but I’ve always said that if my music were to pick up as in viral or anything or I get signed by a major label, I’m quitting school,” Dobbs said.
Even though Dobbs mentioned she liked making the Waffle House parodies, she wants to produce more serious songs in the future.
“As far as like music wise, I don’t always want to do parodies for the rest of my life,” Dobbs said. “If that’s how it starts, that’s fine, but eventually I would pepper in like my own stuff, because at the end of the day, if I tour the world, I don’t want to be touring as ‘Karlie Dobbs, the Waffle House girl.’ I [would] rather be Karlie D, the R&B pop singer, or something like that.”
Dobbs said that she got her love for music from her dad.
“I guess I should say it was instilled on us kids. I am in a family of four. We’re all musically inclined, and I think we mostly get it from our dad. He was in a R&B group before we were born,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs was glad that she made the Waffle House jingles because it had such an impact.
“Waffle House is a great supporter. They’ve been nothing but nice to me about this,” Dobbs said. “I feel happy to help promote them, promote Bruno, as well as promote myself. I just feel like it’s a win-win-win situation.”
Gillespie says that Waffle House is a big Bruno Mars fan.
“I think he is incredibly talented. I think all the Grammys he won proves that too,” Gillespie said.
Corrections: The original version of this article's headline misidentified that Dobbs was a Waffle House employee. An earlier version misstated the hashtag #HooliganTwitterPartyWithWaffleHouse. Waffle House is correctly identified as Waffle House, Inc.