When adverts ruin good music

When advertising creatives are looking to make an impact in the competitive world of commercials, nothing can be more tantalising than being able to secure the rights to the perfect song. Not only will a well known song capture viewer attention, it may very well make the advert more memorable and persuade someone to buy their product.

What they may not consider that these famous songs may never be the same again.

Two recent examples flirt dangerously into “ruining the song” territory.

Christian Dior’s current campaign for their latest men’s fragrance features teen favourite Robert Pattinson and, incongruously, Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. In the UK, Whole Lotta Love is inextricably linked with 1970’s era Top Of The Pops, for which it provided the theme tune for many years. Other markets and the younger generation in the UK are unlikely to get the connection, but should their first experience of Led Zeppelin really be through a Dior advert? Presumably, at some stage in the advert’s development Page, Plant, Jones and the estate of the late John Bonham agreed to it’s use in this context? As a fan, this disappoints me.

Repetitively playing currently on UK TV is the Toyota Auris advert, featuring a driver in a chaotic street singing along blissfully to America’s A Horse With No Name – a wonderful Californian anthem oft confused with Neil Young’s work of the same era. I don’t want to associate this song with this advert, I want it to evoke a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway. It is on TV with such regularity it’s impact is near destroyed.

Have any adverts completely ruined a song for you? Please add you thoughts in the comments.


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