I always wanted to play guitar for The Smiths. But, life (and a pair of stones for hands) had other plans for me.
So when my 7-year old daughter Caroline got a six string for her birthday and started playing I had hopes we’d somehow travel back in time and form our own 80’s band. It can happen. Imagine my surprise when I heard her singing The Go-Gos We Got The Beat in our den. I started getting a little teary. That is until I listened to her chorus:
NOTEBOOKS AND JEANS! NOTEBOOKS AND JEANS! NOTEBOOKS AND JEANS! YEAH! NOTEBOOKS AND JEANS!
When she finally noticed I was counting all the heads on her shoulder she returned my puzzled gaze by saying, “Dad, those are the words they use in the commercial.”
In the commercial! It wasn’t till I started to really pay close attention that I realized it’s just one of a number of former MTV classics-turned commercials currently in heavy rotation.
Children of the 80s, you’re not imagining things. Many advertisers are digging through your dusty cassette bins hoping to strike a nostalgic chord by tapping into the songbook of our youth.
Topping the throwback charts is Target with a trio of back to school blast from the pasts. Not only do they tweak the aforementioned Go-Go’s hit, they tinker with Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded me with Science and Cameo’s funky fave Word Up.
Speaking of cameos, the Cyndi Lauper herself belts out several of her own tunes in an ad for the New York State Lottery. And she’s not alone. 80’s makeup metal heads Twisted Sister also make an appearance in a Stanley Steamer spot.
“We’re trying to send a spark by targeting Gen X Dads”, says Joe Baratelli, EVP and Chief Creative officer at RPA, the ad agency behind the wildly popular Honda campaign – an ode to MTV’s Headbangers Ball. There’s the odd-aged car pool covering Ozzy’s Crazy Train for its Pilot commercial. Even Judas Priest’s Another Thing Comin’ and The Hellion which is used to hawk Honda’s Odyssey minivan! “It has a retro feel,” adds Baratelli. “We know where consumers are in their lives. What this music says is, ‘Respect the van.'”
Respect the van indeed.
Check out the following list to see if any of your 80’s faves made the cut. The new commercial precedes the classic video (when available)
Target – The Go-Gos – We Got The Beat
Target – Thomas Dolby – She Blind Me With Science
Target – Cameo – Word Up
Icebreakers -Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
BMW – Billy Idol Dancing With Myself
Dior – Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
Staples – Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough
NY Lottery – Cyndi Lauper (several tunes)
Stanley Steamer – Twisted Sister
Liberty Mutual – Human League – Human
PayDay -Young MC – Bust a Move
Honda – Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Honda – Judas Priest – The Hellion
Honda – Judas Priest – Another Thing Comin’
Cisco – Gary Numan – Cars
Chevy – Spandau Ballet - True
Did I miss any that you may have seen recently? And how do you feel about the 80’s music trent? Send me a shout out at [email protected]