Nothing to relish here!

Why ‘Ketchup’ went splat, despite Sony’s obvious relish
It was touted as the Macarena of the new millennium, hitting No. 1 in 21 countries. But Spanglish dance novelty The Ketchup Song never made the splash in the USA that some radio and music-biz insiders had hoped for.
The failure wasn’t for lack of attention. An avid publicity campaign by Sony Music on behalf of the song and its artists, Spanish sister trio Las Ketchup, generated a media bonanza from outlets that didn’t want to risk missing out on a seemingly surefire sensation:
* Time, People, Entertainment Weekly and other top magazines did stories.
* Radio stations in New York, Miami and a few other markets, mostly those with large Spanish-speaking populations, gave the song massive airplay.
* Newspapers in those markets jumped on the bandwagon.
* National and local morning TV shows spotlighted the phenomenon.
Just one problem: It wasn’t a hit. The song peaked at No. 51 on Billboard’s airplay chart, which is based on the number of times it was played a week on the radio. On USA TODAY’s airplay chart, based on the song’s total weekly radio audience as compiled by Nielsen BDS, it peaked at No. 52. It fell off the chart Nov. 19, only eight weeks after its debut.
The culprit was the nation’s legion of local radio stations, each of which must be convinced that a record will be positively received by its audience. Tests of the song with listeners generally didn’t work in the single’s favor.
Ed McMann, a DJ at Boston Top 40 station WXKS-FM, says that despite some nightclub popularity, Ketchup never caught on with his listeners.
“The biggest hits are hits everywhere, but a lot of other stuff is localized,” says McMann, who is a fill-in host on Casey Kasem’s national countdown show, American Top 40. “Here in Boston, (Ketchup) seems to have fizzled.”
Frankie Blue, vice president of operations and programming at New York rhythmic Top 40 station WKTU-FM, says some program directors may have been too conservative to embrace Ketchup’s spicy blend of Latin, hip-hop and reggae textures. Blue, an early champion of the single, points out that it was the most requested song at his station “for six or seven weeks. It was a smash. But some people just play it too safe.”
Mark Bond, Sony Continental European VP of artist marketing, recently conceded to Billboard that his company “didn’t wait until all the perfect tools, like a new video and remixes, were together on this record … (because) we would have missed the boat in terms of radio over the summer.”
Yet Airplay Monitor editor Sean Ross notes that Ketchup “didn’t have the same chance to develop under radio’s radar that Macarena did. That song was around in the U.S. for close to a year before being promoted as heavily to radio as (Ketchup) was. It had a chance to become a phenomenon that was immune to a bad first week in stations’ research.”
As things stand, even Blue doesn’t see the single taking Las Ketchup beyond the 15 minutes of fame the group has already enjoyed. “A novelty song can only last so long. I think it’s over.”