Pop songs that seem deliberately intended to end up in commercials

Sometimes I wonder if certain pop songs were actually written with the intention of whoring them out to advertising agencies for use in commercials or radio ads.

A great example of this is the song “The Heat Is On” by Glenn Fry of the Eagles. I think I’ve heard this song in approximately seven hundred thousand different commercials on the radio - usually for some kind of special sale at a car dealership, or great deals on steaks for the barbecue season, or some shit like that. Even by the most objective standards possible, it is a rather mediocre song that is not musically interesting or deep, and it actually sounds as if it was specifically written as an advertising jingle.

There are so many other examples of this but this one is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

Most commercials jingles rely on a quick musical hook. Bonus points if the hook has a nice catchphrase to it.

So any song written with an easy to remember/reproduce melody and some catchy verbiage does the trick.

That’s why I can no longer listen to Beatles songs. Specially those penned by McCartney.

Any more all of his songs immediatley sound like advertisements to me. And apparently that’s where many of them are now popping up.

I think the fact that every single track of Moby’s Play album was licensed for commercial use speaks for itself. Not that it’s necessarily a BAD thing… but the tracks are just begging to be used as background music for flashy car ads or a TV show montage.

IIRC, Moby has said on more than one occasion that he wrote songs with the idea of selling them for commercials in the back of his mind.

Smashmouth’s All-Star just sounds so poppy and in your face. You can totally just picture the kids playing their soccer game and then popping open an ice cold [insert beverage here] while it plays in the background.

Most of Natasha Beddingfield’s work.

I can’t think of any ad songs, but I’ve always thought that Green Day’s “Hope you had the time of your life” must have been written and released in order to be the graduation theme for every high school in the country.

The first time I heard the Foo Fighters’ “The best of you,” I thought they were saying “the best of brew” and that it was a beer commercial.

Which is funny, because the song’s real name is “Good Riddance” and the lyrics pretty much capture that exact sentiment. How this song ended up being the soundtrack to misty-eyed grads hugging each other and signing each other’s yearbooks puzzles me to this day.

On the other hand, Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever)”,which up to then was the default graduation song, has no hidden agenda whatsoever… it’s blatantly written for the sole purpose of being played over every soppy graduation montage on TV. Hell, the music video IS a soppy graduation montage.

That was Glenn Frey? I thought that was Kenny Loggins. Oh wait, his songs are destined to wind up on bad movie soundtracks. Never mind.

Easy to confuse, as “The Heat Is On” was written for the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, probably the only mid-80s movie to *not *feature Kenny Loggins.

I do remember joking that ZZ Tops’ “Legs” would end up in a panty-hose commercial, and about a year later, it did.

Much of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s output.

The same reason a lot of songs get used in commercials, even when it doesn’t make sense: most people don’t pay attenntion to the words.

The one about the “drink of cherry cola” (not “Lola”)


And the Barenaked Ladies one about fried chicken.

“Song 2” by Blur (Whooooo Hoo!)
“Ready to go” by Republica

I was driving listening to one of my kids mp3s one day when a song by Chris Brown was playing. Because of the lyrics I was thinking what is this crap a Doublemint mint commerical? Turns out :rolleyes:

My wife claims to have no memory of this song, that commercial or of ZZ Top for that matter. It’s one of the reasons I think she’s a plant form some alien civilization. Now I just have to figure out how I fit into their nefarious plans.

Daft Punk’s Technologic. The first time I heard it, my response was… “This will be an iPod commercial in 3…2…1”

Do they? The lyrics as I read them don’t suggest anything explicitly, and the song is sung in a more or less wistful tone. I could certainly see someone interpreting the song as “What we had was good, but it’s time to move on” rather than a straight-up “Good riddance.”

In the reverse of the OP, We’ve Only Just Begun, by Paul Williams, was written for a lending institution ad. Or part of it was – the story goes that they got so many requests for the song from the commercial that Williams completed it and turned a partial composition into a full song.

I remember being flabbergasted when CCR’s Fortunate Son was used in a Wrangler’s commercial. It went, “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag, ooo, they’re red white and blue…” and it cut off right there. How long can it possibly take for Rammstein’s Amerika to become the background of a truck commercial? At this point, it wouldn’t even surprise much less flabbergast me.