Monday, November 14, 2005

A Crummy Idea

Most of the time I can tolerate the use of artists' songs on television commercials. (They gotta make a living somehow.) And sometimes I recognize the melody only from the promo and not from the original: My wife recently pointed out to me the line "Cheese, glorious cheese," is actually "Food, glorious food" from Oliver! In turn I've pointed out to her the drums and guitar riffs used by Cadillac come from Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll."

But there is a limit. A few years ago David Segal of the Washington Post lamented the use of the Turtles' "Happy Together" in an Applebee's commercial: "Imagine steak and shrimp, or shrimp and steak / Imagine both of these, on just one plate."

Over the weekend this might have been topped. The ad was for the new cheese crumbles by Kraft. The song: 1991's "Unbelievable" by EMF (which stood for what again?)

But instead of "unbelievable," the Kraft voice sings, "They're crumbelievable!" (Other lyrics run something like, "The thing. You crave. The big cheese taste will blow you away...")

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pop music now exists to be commercial jingles.

Anonymous said...

My all time favorite was not a a pop song but was a bit if a musical faux pas. A recent Toyota commercial for a big blowout sale (I think it was back in September). As they showed their cars and trucks driving and gave the specifics of the sale, an orchestra majestically played "Drunken Sailor" in the background.

The lyrics, as I recall them, ask what you would do with a drunken sailor early in the morning. I for one, wouldn't let him drive a Toyota or any other car for that matter.

Bill Walsh said...

Ok, but credit where credit is due. Whatever advertising weasel decided to market cheese to "On, Wisconsin" was a freaking genius.

On your sandwich!
On your taco!
In your cordon bleu!
Ooh, Wisconsin!
Ahh, Wisconsin!
The cheese more people choose!


Dairyland representin', yo.

Wershoven said...

From wikipedia, 'cause I have so little to do at work:

"The name EMF officially stands for Epsom Mad Funkers, but there are unofficial alternatives, such as Ecstasy Mother Fuckers which occurs
in an unnamed bonus track on Schubert Dip."

Damian P. said...

"Unbelievable" was a hit in 1991.

The most inappropriate commercial use of a song had to be Wrangler using CCR's "Fortunate Son". Specifically, just the "some folks are born, made to wave the flag, ooh the red white and blue" lyrics. I take it they couldn't get "Born in the USA"...

Anonymous said...

I keep a mental list running of the worst offenders:

Other classic miscues were someone (kodak?) using the Cure's unbelievably depressing "Pictures of You" to sell film, and Carribean Cruise Lines using the Iggy Pop song "Lust for Life", which is, of course, about shooting up ('Here comes Johnny Yen again/ With the liquor and drugs/ And a flesh machine/ He's gonna do another strip tease.') - plus it's IGGY POP

Then there's Pepsi's use of "Brown Sugar", which, of course, is about interracial sex with slaves, and the NFL's using Lou Reed's "Perfect Day", also about drugs and suicide.

In the irony category, we have H & R block's using George Harrison's acerbic "Taxman" and Nissan using "How Soon is Now", by the Smiths, possibly the most depressing song of all time: ('There's a club if you'd like to go/ you could meet somebody who really loves you/ so you go, and you stand on your own/ and you leave on your own/ and you go home, and you cry/ and you want to die.')

Of course, you guys are right, the worst ones are the adds that change the words -- Nilson's "Lime in the Coconut" (you put the lime in the Coke, you nut) comes to mind, as does Applebees using Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It" (take this steak and top it?)

So many more.

Hugo

Anonymous said...

Well, if they're going to ruin a song for a TV commercial it might as well be a tune from crappy band nobody remembers anyway.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about those iPod ads featuring U2. Totally lame.

Anonymous said...

How about the Blue Danube Waltz for scrubbinng bubbles? Pretty much beats any misuse of some shitty pop song.

The Random Yak said...

All-time best unintended use of irony in advertising:


"Dust in the Wind" - as applied to SUV advertisements.

Wins for the line they DON'T sing on the commercial: "All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see."

Good choice to advertise your SUVs man. Good choice.

Damian P. said...

Don't forget the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" for Windows 95. I bought a computer with Win95 just after it came out, and it did indeed make this grown man cry-y-y...