It’s award season. You can hardly turn on the television at this time of year without seeing an awards show, or a commercial for one coming soon. In the spirit of awards season, Mister Boomer is presenting the very first (and probably last) Boomies Awards, dedicated to the culture of the Boomer Generation (insert overly exuberant audience reaction here). In order to keep our non-telecast down to a tolerable minimum, we’re only announcing one award this evening: the award for Best Use of a Boomer-Era Song in a TV Commercial.
Mister Boomer has penned several posts about how today’s marketers — more often than not Millennials and Gen-Xers themselves — are choosing boomer-era music to hawk all types of products and services. Who can forget recent nominees like Yoplait Yogurt’s 2015 puzzling use of All Day and All of the Night (1964) by the Kinks, or 2021’s Corona Hard Seltzer’s employment of I Like It Like That (1967) by Pete Rodriguez. Both of these examples had the temerity to use the original recordings. We see may current examples where a cover version is inserted. Nonetheless, in almost all instances, a full commercial-length snippet of the song is rare; usually we hear a hook, memorable melody or riff that is hand-picked for commercial purposes.
So, without further ado, the nominees, currently airing on a TV near you, for Best Use of a Boomer-Era Song in a TV Commercial are:
Walmart, Patio Furniture Ad: The Clapping Song (1965), by Shirley Ellis
Mister B is not quite sure if the original is what is heard in the TV ad. He thinks the snippet used may be a cover version.
Target, The Things We Value Most Ad: Best of My Love (1977), by The Emotions
The original recording is heard.
Whole Foods, Ad: Every Beat of My Heart (1964), by The Du-ettes
This may in fact be the 1964 version that is heard.
Grey Goose, Vodka Ad: Barefootin’ (1965), by Robert Parker
Again, this may be the original, but hard to tell since it’s just a small musical passage.
Samsung, Galaxy Mobile Phone Ad: Land of 1000 Dances (1966), by Wilson Pickett
This is another ad that uses a small sample of the song. Industry records say it’s the original we hear.
Ooooh, can you feel the excitement building across the country, boomers? What a night! Have we stretched the time enough now or have you changed the channel? (A model in a glittery gold evening dress walks across the living room and hands the envelope to Mister Boomer).
And the winner is … totally up to you, boomers! Do you find the whole kit and kaboodle amusing, amazing or appalling?
Mister Boomer has experienced all three conditions (amused, amazed and appalled) when confronted with TV commercials grabbing a part of our boomer history to market to a younger generation. One thing is for certain: now that so many boomer-era songwriters and performers have sold all or part of their catalogs, we are sure to hear more of them.
How about you, boomers? Does a TV ad come to mind that moves you to hate? Or have TV commercials reignited a passion for a song you may not have heard in years?