Thursday, October 31, 2013

Song Remakes for Commercials


Don’t lie. You know you love puns. My greatest advertising guilty pleasure is punny song remakes for brands. The lyrics of a popular song will be altered to feature product-relevant words or phrases. Recently, Cheerios and Nelly collaborated on this remake of “Ride Wit Me”:


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Relevance of the artist/song to the target market of the brand is vital. Familiarity with the song is necessary, so they are generally limiting themselves to a younger demographic. Consumers' attitudes towards Nelly will determine the effect on Cheerio's equity. If they have a negative perception of this hip-hop star, these feelings may transfer onto Cheerio's image. Moms don't necessarily like (or know) Nelly, so maybe this was not the best move. On the other hand, here is an excellent pairing:



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Hot Pockets and Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) reproduced his very popular "Drop It Like It's Hot" single to make "Pocket Like It's Hot". The targets for these two overlap so perfectly that the effort seems significantly less cheesy. Similarly, attitudes towards Snoop among the target will generally be positive, which makes this a very tactical move on Hot Pocket's part. Finally, this is the winner in my book (and appropriate for Halloween): 


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Macklemore's original is actually called "Thrift Shop", so this is the most relevant pairing, in terms of song content. The reference is current, and hits the target precisely (see what I did there), since the teens most likely to buy Halloween costumes will know and like this tune.


This technique of remaking songs for commercials has been quite popular historically. A notable example is Pepsi using Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" in the '80s. Toyota nailed their remake of "Mambo No. 5" for a Corolla spot, as did UPS with their "That's Logistics" parodying "That's Amore". Inevitably, Rebecca Black's "Friday" was covered for a Black Friday sale at Kohl's. Finally, the most ironic example I found was a Monopoly ad, modifying Jessie J's "Price Tag" to say the exact opposite of the original's meaning: "It's all about the money, money" instead of "It's not about the money, money".


Just for fun, I thought of this remake for Daft Punk's hit "Get Lucky", with the brand Duck:


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