The Awkward Guide

In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself

11 Songs With Strangely Inappropriate Associations

If you’ve lived in Britain and you’ve owned a TV then the chances are that there are some songs you won’t be able to hear without thinking about something that apparently has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual song. And it’s all thanks to advertising. (At least if you didn’t before then you will by the end of this, I should be on commission).

Unfortunately for the advertisers, or more specifically, their clients, the unusual associations that are likely to spring to mind often have nothing to do with the product they were trying to sell either. Here are 11 of the finest examples.

1. “Heartbeats” Jose Gonzalez – Bouncy Balls.

They were hoping you’d be thinking “Ahhh, Sony Bravia LCD TVs, yes, I should buy one of those” whenever you hear this song. But you’re probably more likely to remember something a bit more like this: “bouncy balls are cool, San Francisco is hilly, and the frog that jumps out of the way is a legend.” I would imagine it would make people more inclined to go out and buy bouncy balls rather than TVs, so yeah, sorry Sony.

2. “Rhythm is a Dancer” SNAP – Dancing Thunderbirds.

The wise-cracking jokers at Britvic were hoping that everytime you hear this song you’d think “Man, I really could use a nice thirst-quenching bottle of Drench water.”  But I bet you’re actually more likely to be thinking “Man, I wish I could dance like that Brains guy from the Thunderbirds.”

3. “My Favourite Things” Julie Andrews – Really Big Cake

They were hoping that a simple viewing of ‘The Sound of Music’ would miraculously make this thought cross your mind: “I really want a Skoda Fabia.” Sadly for them, it’s more likely to be this one: “I really want cake.”

4. “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” REO Speedwagon – Mary the Cow

The marketing guys at Muller were hoping that hearing this one would make you want to eat lots of Fruit Corner yoghurts, but really it just makes you want to let the stallion within run free and gallop down a beach like Mary the Cow.

5. “In The Air Tonight” Phil Collins – That Gorilla

Let’s be honest, no-one hears this song and thinks “chocolate” do they? No-one even hears this song and thinks “Phil Collins” anymore. The only thing we think about when hearing this song is a gorilla playing the drums.

At least most people do remember it was for Cadbury’s, unlike the Sony Bravia advert – the best I can usually do with that one is remembering that it might have had something to do with televisions, but yeah, bouncy balls are awesome.

6. “You’ve Got A Friend” James Taylor – Singing Men in High-Vis Jackets

These guys did better than some on this list. When you hear this James Taylor classic, visions of people in highly reflective jackets coming to rescue you from car-related distress do tend to spring to mind. So I’m sure the AA would be pleased about that. Although it can be difficult to remember that it wasn’t an advert for the RAC – less pleasing to the AA I’m sure.

7. “Samba Pa Ti” Santana – Confusingly Erotic Christmas Food

Marks & Spencer were here doing to advertising what Nigella Lawson did to cookery shows. Admittedly, these were very effective adverts, and major kudos must be given to Dervla Kirwan for managing to maintain a sultry bedroom voice whilst talking about cabbage.

However, on hearing Santana’s melodious notes again I’m not sure whether most people would think “must go and buy food from M&S”, or whether they would simply be struck once again with sheer wonder at how on earth they managed to make mustard sound arousing.

8. “Simply Unstoppable” Tinie Tempah – Slightly Intimidating Boxing and Drumming

Given that when I started looking for this advert I thought it was for Addidas or possibly Nike, I’m going to guess that it didn’t really sell Lucozade too well. But I did remember that it involved someone boxing, and someone else playing the drums. I also remembered that they seemed like people I probably wouldn’t want to unexpectedly bump into down a dark alleyway.

9. “We Love To Boogie” Marc Bolan & T.Rex – Dancing Orange Squash

Yes, Robinsons Fruit & Barley have stolen this one from Billy Elliot. When this song comes on shuffle you probably no longer think of Jamie Bell tap-dancing down the streets of a Northeastern mining town. Thanks to Robinsons and the animators at Aardman Commercials, you probably now think about orange squash getting its groove on. But hey, at least we remember what the advert was for, which is more than can be said for most.

Then Coco Pops went and totally stole their whole “food dancing around when it really shouldn’t” idea, thieving rascals!

10. “The Rhythm Of Life” Sammy Davis Jr – Cavemen, Flying Squirrels, and Disapproving Fish-things

Now, most people remember that this advert was for Guinness, and won them lots of lovely awards. Although I did begin by searching for the Carling evolution advert before I realised it was actually for Guinnes. So, you know, not really THAT memorable. And I bet that when most of you hear this song again, it will make you think of “that advert where the guys turn backwards into cavemen and then flying squirrels, and then end up as wierd disapproving fish-things”, rather than “mmmmm Guinness”.

11. “Don’t Stop” Roc C – Argentine Tango

Now you wouldn’t really expect a hip hop record to remind you of something that sounds like what you might see on Strictly Come Dancing (not that you watch it, obviously). But then, it’s not like these dancers in any way resemble the fake tanned and tassled-up folks attempting to girate their way through a Saturday night prime time slot. It seems fairly easy to remember that this was a car advert, what make of car not so much. But to be honest, when the advert is this freakin’ cool, who cares?


2 comments on “11 Songs With Strangely Inappropriate Associations


    That Marks and Spencers ad really makes me question just what they want me to do with their food. Really enjoying the blog, keep it up 😀


    • alotlikejen

      Haha yeah, the M&S ad can make watching TV with your family an uncomfortable experience!

      Thank you, I’m thrilled you like it! 🙂


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