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Repurposed Pop Song

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"Everyone's using old rock songs now. They're not gonna hire a guy like me to write a jingle for tampons when they can just play 'Stuck in the Middle With You'".
Charlie, Two and a Half Men

So there's this song from your youth. Whenever you listen to it, it brings back a whole lot of good memories, and you end up going through the rest of your day with a smile.

What better tune to use to advertise a product?

Advertising is all about appealing to emotion to make a sale, and few things hold more unalloyed positive emotion than a favorite song. It's not surprising that the advertising industry very quickly seized upon the idea of buying the rights to a song and using it in an ad. The basic argument is that the good feelings the viewer has for the song will be transferred at least in part to the product, making a new customer or reinforcing an existing one.

As virtually everyone will tell you, it doesn't always work. But that doesn't keep the agencies from trying again and again.

Apparently this practice "works" often enough in the sense of selling enough of the product to make the practice economically sustainable, no matter how artistically objectionable. Spam email has to work on somebody too, right?

This practice come in several varieties:

  • Played straight. Usually the most expensive option. The agency bought the rights to the specific recording that everyone knows. It's used almost untouched except possibly for a bit of editing to make it fit the length of the commercial, or to get right away to the "good bits" (i.e., the part that has relevance to the commercial's pitch).
  • Cover version. The agency didn't buy (or couldn't afford) the rights to the actual recording, so instead they acquired the right to use the song itself and did their own version. Sometimes it's made as close to the original as possible; sometimes it's wildly different. Moody Trailer Cover Song applies this logic to trailers.
  • Product-specific lyrics. An extension of the "Cover Version". The song's lyrics are rewritten to extol the virtues of the product. This can have the biggest backlash if potential customers feel the original song is somehow "cheapened" or "ruined", so this treatment is often reserved for older or more obscure music.
  • You will sometimes even encounter altered versions of popular songs being used in really low-budget commercials or when they just couldn't afford the song they really wanted. (See that page for examples)
  • These commercials can also have an instrumental or acoustic version of the song while a disembodied voice talks about the product/service/help line/donation.

An agency with an especially low budget (or high concept) might also do any of the above with a song from the public domain, up to and including nursery rhymes. This has much the same effect, but with fewer lawyers and a lot less money involved.

A song can also be instantly repurposed if an advertiser buys the rights before it's even released. In such cases the commercial use hits the airwaves at the same time as the original song, or sometimes before, and effectively turns it into a Celebrity Endorsement.

Repurposing a pop song can have a Broken Aesop effect if the message of the song is subtler than you'd get by listening to the loudest parts of the lyrics. For example, there is a movement to make Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" the official state song of New Jersey, despite the fact that it's about how terrible it is to live in New Jersey and how much the songwriter wanted to leave. (See Isn't It Ironic?.) Seth Stevenson has written two articles for Slate about this.

Contrast with Top Ten Jingle. Compare Moody Trailer Cover Song, The Cover Changes the Meaning, Rewritten Pop Version, Isn't It Ironic?, Real Song Theme Tune.


  • Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" song was used and changed for 118 118. The line Who ya gonna call? commonly known to end "Ghostbusters", was edited to finish 118. Also in the full-length version of the original advert, a verse, the chorus, and the bridge were all edited, fitting in that it was advertising a directory.
    • The song was also used with rewritten lyrics by Courtesy Dealers, changing the lyrics to "If you need a car/or a truck or van/Who ya gonna call?/Go Courtesy!" Ditto for Appleway Motors, cutting more lyrics and changing the rhythm. Also, if you're from South Florida, Maroone Used Car Dealers. Or Bankston in Dallas. Et cetera.
    • Now that Maroone has become Autonation, Autonation has adopted this song for their ads. They even use it in the ones that say "(car dealer here) is now Auto Nation!"
    • A commercial for 3-liter bottles of Coca-Cola products sang this as "Thirstbusters!"
    • Bizarrely, the instrumental was used in a 1985 ad for the "World's Toughest Rodeo" that was preserved on a widely circulated copy of Disneyland's 30th Anniversary Celebration.
    • St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV 4 (then KMOX) used the song for their news division as "Newsbusters".
    • Ditto with this commercial for Coat Master paints, a brand of paint in the Philippines which has long since lost to the sands of time.
  • "Anticipation" by Carly Simon, used by Heinz to advertise the thickness and richness of its line of kinds of ketchup in The '70s. Played straight, the idea was that, due to its thickness, it poured slowly and was worth the wait.
    • Saturday Night Live spoofed this ad in the Parody Commercial for Swill Mineral Water. Because this water is from the then-horribly polluted Lake Erie, it also comes thick and "rich" out of the bottle as the Simon song plays!
    • Another Carly Simon example: in the late 1970s-until at least the mid-late 1980snote , local El Paso, TX CBS affiliate KDBC-TV used "Nobody Does it Better" (from the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me) in some of the station's promos.note 
  • "When You Say Love", a country hit by Bob Luman that was covered as a pop hit by Sonny and Cher, was re-written as a Budweiser jingle, "When You Say Bud".
  • "This Will Be" by Natalie Cole, used by, an online dating service. Played straight, the emphasis is on the next line ("an everlasting love," as in "This will be/an everlasting love") to convey the idea that dating matches that resulted from using eHarmony would last.
  • "Rub It In" by Billy "Crash" Craddock. A cover version with product-specific lyrics was used by S.C. Johnson & Son for commercials advertising Glade Air Fresheners in the 2000s and early 2010s, more than 30 years after Craddock had made the song popular.
    • A snippet of the song was used with unchanged lyrics in the 1970s(?) for some sort of skin-care product.
  • Kanes Furniture used Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet", turning the chorus into, "You ain't seen nothin' yet, KANES KANES!!!"
    • Toyota also appropriated the tune as a jingle in the '90s.
  • Fallout 3: "I don't want to set the world on fire..." (This is a deliberate case of Soundtrack Dissonance.)
  • The Beach Boys:
    • Good Vibrations:
      • This song was used for Sunkist orange soda.
      • Used as the advertising jingle for The Good Guys ("come in and see the / good good good / guuuuuys!") The Good Guys apparently proved, that if you stick with the same product (or in this case, store) specific lyrics for long enough, it will eventually work.
    • "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
      • Used with programming-specific lyrics in bumpers for TLC's batch of Summer 2010 programming.
      • The song was used in a series of claymation ads for Cadbury's chocolate, with the lyrics changed to reflect the crazy hijinks that would happen if the world was made of chocolate.
      • A cover version of 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' was used for the Volkswagen 'Think Blue' ad campaign.
      • The song is used in a bitterly ironic way in Roger & Me to contrast the problems that happened to Flint, Michigan at the time.
    • "409"
      • "409" was once used to advertise the cleaning product Formula 409.
  • Sheryl Crow's "Every Day Is A Winding Road" for the Subaru Impreza and Nissan Silvia.
  • Blondie's "One Way Or Another" has been used so many times, for the same illustrative purpose, that now (unless you were introduced to it via The Rugrats Movie, The Muppet Show or One Direction) it's almost impossible to hear the song without thinking about somebody trying to open a stubborn bottle lid, crawling around the floor looking for a missing contact lens, trying to get some Doritos out of a vending machine, or the Comedic Sociopathy of Cutthroat Kitchen.
  • Microsoft may as well hold the record for Comically Missing the Point:
    • The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" for Microsoft Windows 95. Note the Broken Aesop variant here; the next line to the song, not appearing in the commercial itself, is "You make a grown man cry." Another line not used is "I can't compete", which some snarkier types have found quite amusing in light of Microsoft's apparent monopolistic ambitions, coupled with notorious quality control problems (especially in the area of security).
      • They actually tried to buy R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It" which would have probably been even worse; however the band turned them down.
      • On the same boat, MS tried to use "21st Century Digital Boy" by Bad Religion, which is about overreliance on technology and the negative effect it has.
    • The portion of Mozart's "Requiem" that talks about the souls of the damned.
    • The commercials for the Microsoft Surface use Sara Bareilles' "Brave" — a song about standing up for yourself — because of the line "I just wanna see you".
    • Also, a viral ad for Microsoft's Origami platform contained Regina Spektor's "Us", omitting the line "We're living in a den of thieves".
      • The song appears to be about living in a crumbling, decadent, totalitarian empire. Take your pick whether it's the Soviet Union or Microsoft.
    • One ad for Microsoft Office XP used Red Rider's "Lunatic Fringe". Needless to say, the commercial ends before the lyrics start up...
  • Adverts for Philips electronics and Microsoft have used The Beatles' "Getting Better" with another Broken Aesop (the next line is "can't get no worse").
  • You want Comically Missing the Point: imagine Bob Dylan's counterculture anthem "The Times They Are A-Changin'" used to promote a bank. The Bank of Montreal thought it worked.
  • In late Spring 2006, Hampton Inns ran a commercial featuring a rewrite of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady.
  • Bananarama's cover of Shocking Blue's "Venus," repurposed for Gilette's Venus razors.
  • The Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds" for the New Volkswagen Beetle commercials.
  • Trio's "Da Da Da" for the Volkswagen Golf.
    • A version of "Da Da Da" with rewritten lyrics was also used to advertise Ariston domestic appliances in the UK during the mid-80s.
  • In 2001, progressive rock fans were surprised to recognize a fragment of Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" used in a Hyundai ad.
  • At some point in the 1960s, McDonald's applied product-specific lyrics to the old gospel tune "Down By The Riverside": "McDonald's is your kind of place..."
    • In the 1980s, they used "Mack the Knife" with product-specific lyrics such as "Mac Tonite" to promote longer operating hours. To drive the point home, the commercials featured a character also called "Mac Tonite", a lounge singer with a moon for a head.
  • In 1984, Elton John released the single "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" and simultaneously licensed it in a product-specific form to hawk Sasson Jeans by way of the Mondegreen "Sasson (Says So Much)". Worse yet, the video for the song and the commercial were all but identical except for length and that one line.
  • In 1989, Pepsi-Cola paid $5 million to use Madonna's single "Like A Prayer" in a commercial, but the soft drink company chickened out after protests by religious groups in the wake of the song's video release...A video that, for anyone that doesn't know, includes burning crosses, stigmata, and Madonna having sex with what they assumed to be "Black Jesus"note . Mmm, Pepsi.
  • Glad advertised its plastic wrap for a couple of years using Billy Strayhorn's "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" rewritten to "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Cling)".
    • As of 2007, Grolsch beer has licensed "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" for use in its ads for a lager sold in beugel bottles that have a swing-top cap.
  • A non-commercial version of the Broken Aesop effect can be found in the Kidz Bop CDs. These take songs that are popular on the radio and re-record them with children doing the lyrics; presumably, because some studio executive feared that Avril Lavigne may have been too hard-edged for children on her own. However, the actual content of said lyrics is almost entirely unchanged, resulting in songs about sex, drugs, suicide, and misogyny (among other things) being marketed toward kids. Chris Rywalt has pointed this out.
  • The Dandy Warhols' song Bohemian Like You was used for a Pontiac car commercial. The first line makes sense, "You got a great car", but fans of the group were singing the next line, "yeah, what's wrong with it today".
  • For years, Chevrolet used Bob Seger's "Like A Rock" for its line of trucks. It later switched to ridiculously Eagleland-ish commercials with John Mellencamp's "Our Country" (despite Mellencamp's criticism of Seger for "selling out"). And, after years of it seems a natural fit, Chevy has picked up "American Pie" — or part of the chorus, at least — for its car ads. Something about that Chevy at the levee...
    • A competing pickup truck ad called GM on the carpet for that. Its ad was a ballad about their truck coming across a broken-down Chevrolet truck and rescuing it. The end of the ballad is "It's some kinda rock, all right."
  • A positively painful Broken Aesop from years ago: "The City of New Orleans", about the death of the railroad industry, being used as a car commercial.
  • "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop is a rather harsh, cynical song about drug abuse and selling one's soul to the music industry. So naturally, it's been used as a jingle by everything from cruise lines to banks. Do the advertisers even listen to these songs before using them? The Onion mocked this with an article where the same song is used in a bank commercial "featur[ing] images of gleaming skyscrapers [and] money changing hands", though the spot is "notably absent [of] any footage of a shirtless, bleeding Iggy Pop in skintight leopard-print pants, repeatedly bashing himself in the face with a microphone on stage at the legendary New York punk venue CBGB's."
  • According to an Urban Legend that circulated in the mid to late 1980s, the re-election campaign for Ronald Reagan had originally wanted John Cougar Mellencamp's 'Pink Houses' as a campaign theme, apparently unaware of the actual meaning of the song. The response from Mellencamp — who is known for his radical politics (some versions of the legend even claim he is a Wobblie) — was supposedly rather colorful. Regardless of how much or how little truth there is to the UL, it reflects the way advertising campaigns often pick theme songs based on the tone and a few well-known lines without considering the actual message of the song as a whole. Another legend reputes that Reagan had also considered using Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" — a song about selling your soul to the Devil.
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Reagan campaign wanted to use Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.", despite it having a line that says "Sent me off to a foreign land / To go and kill the yellow man". There's an interview with the Boss where he basically says "I don't think the Republicans are actually listening to my music, especially not the Nebraska album." Hell, 90% of all the songs written by Mellencamp/Springsteen are all about how the Republicans are screwing over the working man. Yet their songs are the ones most likely to be heard at a blue-collar/conservative event.
  • In 2006 Garnier began using "Diamonds and Guns" by The Transplants, aka the "Woo hoo" song that isn't by Blur, in ads for Fructis hair care products. Because a song with the lyrics "Heroin, heroin, it's all gone, Smoked it all up, and now you got none" immediately makes one think "shampoo!" But to be honest, the song's Accent On The Wrong Syllable makes "heroin" sound like "hair on". Not to mention that the main theme of the song is about the selling of blood diamonds, as the title clearly indicates. Did Garnier's ad agency even look at the title?
  • The YMCA and U.S. Navy considered using the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." and "In The Navy", respectively, but caught on to the fact that the songs celebrated homosexuality before they actually started using them.
    • The latter song was actually used in promotional advertising for the United States Navy for a short time — as part of the deal, the music video was shot on a Navy frigate. The song was dropped from advertising because of protests over using taxpayer money to assist in the production of a then-controversial video.
    • Marshmallow Alpha-Bits used a product-specific version as their jingle in 2000, complete with letter-related puns (example: "You can wear your PJs, you can dance to CDs")
    • The tune was used in the UK to advertise the insurance comparison website, with lyrics unrelated to the original song.
  • General Electric's short-lived ad campaign promoting coal usage (with sexy coal miners) used "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, apparently oblivious to the fact that the song is about wage slavery. To the coal-mining industry.
  • Viagra's rework of Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" into "Viva Viagra". "Viva Las Vegas" means "Long Live Las Vegas". So "Viva Viagra" means "long live Viagra." Doesn't make it any less stupid, mind you, but at least Pfizer knows what it's doing. Not to mention that anyone old enough to remember the release of that particular movie/song is over 50. Pfizer knows their target market.
  • A Turn of the Millennium Pontiac ad campaign uses a cover version of Badfinger's "Come and Get It" — a parody of materialism written for the film The Magic Christian — to sell luxury sports cars. That alone would be bad enough, but in the movie, one of the early scenes has the Eccentric Millionaire protagonist presenting to his car company's board of directors the concept for an absurdly huge luxury car. Its reason for being is essentially to show off how wealthy, powerful, and British its owner is.
  • Craig David's "What's Your Flava" — a booty-call referring to the ladies as candy and ice-cream flavors — used to sell Popeye's fried chicken, of all things.
  • Sean Paul's "Get Busy", a song about ass-shaking, was once used for a Carl's Jr. milkshake ommercial.
  • Didijin and Minelli, two Venezuelan jeans companies, used a lot of covers of popular songs for their TV commercials, with lyrics changed to talk about how good their jeans looked.
  • Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)" almost seems like it was made to be used in Dr. Pepper commercials, despite existing for years before they started using it for that purpose.
  • Target went through a period where they used "Hello Goodbye" in its ads (they carefully changed the spelling to put on the screen "Hello Goodbuy") - but only the chorus and the "hey la"s. Any more, and we would still get hints of what this song is really about: the failure to connect. Target isn't trying to be touchy-feely, but you can only go so far...
    • And then there's Target's use of Devo's "Beautiful World" ("it's a beautiful world we live in..."), of course omitting the subsequent lines "...for you" and "it's not for me")
  • The infamous 1988 Nike ads using The Beatles' "Revolution" got such a big backlash that it's more or less the reason you only hear cover versions of their tunes used for this purpose unless it's advertising something Beatles-related.
  • And there are the "All You Need Is Luvs" ads, which ought to be Killed With Fire.
  • This Ethel Merman's "Vel" commercial
  • Buzzcocks' "What Do I Get?" was, weirdly enough, used in a Toyota SUV commercial. By reducing the song to its chorus of "what do I get/oh oh, what do I get" (the answer presumably being extra cup holders and plenty of cargo space), it omitted the song's whole unrequited-love theme, not to mention the fatalistic closing lyrics:
    What do I get
    Nothing that's nice
    What do I get
    nothing at all at all at all at all at all at all at all
    'cos I don't get you.
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" being used to sell Wrangler jeans. They only used the first two lyrics (about waving the flag, being red white, and blue), ignoring the rest of the song, which is about how politicians got their children out of Vietnam. Intentional in this case; Saul Zaentz (died 2014), who at the time owned most of CCR's catalog (he sold the company that owns the music in 2004), and whose company still owns J. R. R. Tolkien's movie rights, and was engaged in a feud with CCR singer John Fogerty for some years (he once -- unsuccessfully -- sued Fogerty for plagiarizing himself, in that his solo songs sounded too much like Creedence tunes), sold the song to Wrangler to anger Fogerty. Wrangler eventually relented and discontinued their use of the song.
  • The NFL advertised the competitive nature of their sport by using Edwin Starr's "War" to promote the league. However, they were careful about it in that they simply repeated the "War" portion of the song while stopping short of the "What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" portion.
    • It should be noted that ABC and ESPN have used a rewritten version of Hank Williams Jr.'s "All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight" to advertise Monday Night Football, performed by Bocephus himself.
  • One cell phone commercial has Meat Loaf singing Paradise by the Dashboard Light with different, cell-phone related, lyrics. This on its own is peculiar, considering the Anti-Love Song nature of the song itself. The fact that he's singing it to his son...
    • Another Meat Loaf single, "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" was used humorously for a Dr. Pepper commercial in which a man does increasingly unmanly things to please his girlfriend as the lyrics play. She tries to take a drink of his Dr. Pepper just as the chorus begins. And he leaves her.
      • Another commercial has Red M&M singing about doing anything for love-but then it turns out there are a lot of things he won't do...
      • Meat Loaf himself sang a portion of "Anything for Love" in a commercial for A1 steak sauce in which he starred.
      • The song was also used during a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment in Sausage Party.
  • The hook for of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (and Other Games)" rewritten for an Outback Steakhouse commercial ("Let's get Outback tonight"). Convincingly, too — it made it sound like their quirky indie hit had always been a commercial jingle. (Incidentally, this probably would be Isn't It Ironic?, except that "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (and Other Games)", like all of Montreal's songs, is completely incomprehensible.
  • In this strip from Dinosaur Comics, T-rex opines on product-specific lyrics.
  • In a weird example, Venezuelan folk singer and composer Simón Díaz (the old man who composed Caballo Viejo) is openly opposed to the use of his famous songs (not even in covers) in commercials. Instead, he offers to compose and sing songs especially suited for the campaign or the product. Not your typical jingle, I can assure you.
  • If ever there was a song begging to be used in a cell phone commercial, it's the Who's "Goin' Mobile". A 2008 ad for Fox's Seattle affiliate uses it to promote a service that sends you news headlines by text message.
  • In 1968, Jim Morrison vetoed a request from Buick, which the other members of the Doors approved of, to use the song "Light My Fire" in a commercial. In a bit of self-parody over the affray, when Robbie Krieger penned the song "Touch Me" later that year, he ended it with the four-note Sting from an Ajax commercial popular at the time, and the final lyrics are Ajax's then-slogan, "Stronger Than Dirt".
  • Samsung used the song "Signal in the Sky" by indie rockers The Apples in Stereo in a 2008 ad for one of their phones. This makes the ad painfully hard to take seriously if you know the song, as it was inspired by The Powerpuff Girls, who even appear in a Cartoon Network Groovie which was made at the height of the show's popularity during the Turn of the Millennium.
  • Toyota rewrote "Mambo No. 5" to describe all the improvements to the new Corolla. Perhaps the song's even better this way.
    • "Mambo No. 5" was also used as bumper music at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, the same night as then-outgoing President Clinton's speech. "A little bit of Monica..." is probably not what they wanted voters thinking about that fall.
    • Bizarrely, it was also sung by the children's TV character Bob the Builder, obviously with different lyrics.
      • It was used to advertise Ford motor vehicles in Australia, a few months BEFORE it became a huge hit in Oz.
    • There's a Disney version of the song, which was quite popular on Disney-owned radio stations.
    • And starting in 2013, Party City used repurposed versions of the song for their 2013 ad campaigns, with lyrics changed to talk about what they had for what holiday or special occasion was coming up, and they even did a generic version to promote regular birthday party supplies. It was first used around Saint Patrick's Day.
    • Lou Bega wrote a version of the song used for a Kids' WB! winter break special.
  • Applebee's once rewrote "Bread and Butter" to feature products it had on special. This was shortly before the chain changed hands...
    • Not to mention that shortly after Robert Palmer's death they used "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor Doctor)" as "Bad Case of Loving Twos" and "Simply Irresistible" became "Simply Irresisti-bowls".
    • Applebee's also had a commercial with the implied message that eating at Applebee's was patriotic and all-American set to the first few lines of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son": "Some folks are born made to wave the flag, ooh that red, white and blue." They neglected to use the very next line: "But when the band plays 'Hail To The Chief', ooh they point the cannon at you. It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no Fortunate Son."
  • An even more hilarious re-writing of "Bread and Butter":
    I like bread and butter,
    I like toast and jam,
    I like the pure and simple things,
    And that's why I like SPAM!
  • Tom Waits, who was notoriously anti-commercial in his early years, was saddled with a combination of the second and third variety of Repurposed Pop Song when a company completely rewrote the lyrics to his song "Step Right Up" (itself a parody of hucksterish commercialism) to sell their product. Waits refused to endorse the (re-written) song, the product, or consent to the use of the melody. So the company hired a convincing sound-a-like to sing the repurposed lyrics. Waits heard the jingle on the radio and spent some time calling everyone he knew in order to refute he had anything to do with it. All this to sell...Cheetos.
    • A later use of a Waits song (in Levi's ad) was made even more painful because the sound-alike hired was Screamin' Jay Hawkins, one of Waits's biggest influences.
    • He still is notoriously anti-commercial. He sued both these companies. And WON. That's why you don't mess with Tom motherfuckin' Waits.
    • Though he did allow All Elite Wrestling head Tony Khan to use his "Ol' 55" in the promotion's memorial video for the recently departed Mr. Brodie Lee, with AEW buying rights to the song so that the video would never have to be re-edited. Then again, that particular use isn't exactly commercial.
  • German internet service provider T-Online has set a huge TV commercial campaign to the tune of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black". The commercials highlight the wonderful advantages of having the world at your fingertips via broadband internet. The song highlights a horrible case of severe depression.
  • A long-running Pringles commercial had a repurposed version of "I Want Candy", replacing "Candy" with "Pringles".
  • Repurposed Country of 1 & 3 variety: Alan Jackson rewrote "The Mercury Blues" about buying, instead, a Ford Truck. Ironies abound. Hey, it's the same parent company getting paid either way...
  • GM used Smash Mouth's Walkin' on the Sun to advertise summer sales on some of their models from 2001 to about 2004/05. Because that song is well known for its relevance to car salesmen.
    • Not to mention that the song is supposedly about Generation X's disillusionment with the hippie movement becoming commercialized.
  • Crystal Light single-serving packets used a rather poor remake of "Shake Your Booty", which instead sang "Shake Your Bottle".
    • And a Pillsbury commercial that changed the lyrics to "Bake Your Cookies".
      • And diet "supplement" Sensa has used "shake your Sensa."
  • Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin Down" was featured in an ad for NCIS, an ad for the Tim Allen family film Zoom, and nearly showed up on Kidz Bop...until Fall Out Boy and their management intervened due to the song's sexual themes. Songs (with no subtle sexual themes this time around) from "Save Rock and Roll" like "The Phoenix" and "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)" have been used in many trailers for action-packed shows, movies, and sports promos.
    • In fact, the instrumental for "Centuries", from the album released after SRAR, was used in an ESPN promo a month before the song was officially released; they proceeded to use it throughout the season to hype up the inaugural College Football Playoff, where ESPN would ultimately play the song so much that Fall Out Boy actually apologized for it becoming an annoyance to college football fans.
  • In Australia, Kellogg's Sultana Bran repurposed Heard It on the Grapevine to It's sultanas from the grape vine/That makes Sultana Bran taste so fine!
  • Merle Kilgore, who co-wrote the Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire" with June Carter Cash, was approached in 2004 about selling the song rights to a hemorrhoid-relief company for an ad (they would've used a version performed by him and not by Cash). Rosanne and the other Cash offspring were not amused and blocked the sale (as they hold a veto power through June's co-writer credit).
  • George Harrison's (or, for more casual fans, The Beatles') "Taxman" was used by H&R Block because it's a virulent anti-tax song. (H&R Block is the biggest tax preparing corporation in America, and it's supposed to help its customers pay less to the IRS.)
  • Kahlúa? Nice stuff, but "Brown Sugar" did not help in selling it, since the song was about white slave owners having sex with black slave women. Classy.
    • Pepsi used "Brown Sugar" at some point in the 90s as well. In this case, it was sung by a CGI ant (or was it a fly?)
  • A Starbucks ad uses a reworded version of The Eye of the Tiger, complete with the band Survivor performing in the commercial.
    • A commercial for "Cool Quenchers" used the Epic Riff to accompany two boys arm-wrestling for the last Cool Quencher (which is taken by a small girl while they're doing it).
  • In Australia, "Bend Me, Shake Me" by Amen Corner is used to advertise — of all things — Bega cheese sticks.
    • Cheesestrings UK adverts changed it to "Bend me, shake me, any way you want me / You got a Cheeststring, you're alright"
  • The Six Flags commercials featuring "Mr. Six" used an instrumental version of "We Like to Party" by the Vengaboys.
    • Kids' WB! had a promo for The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries in which Tweety leads the entire Kid's WB lineup in chanting "We like da puddy!" Sylvester finishes it by saying "And I like the Tweety!" and swallowing Tweety.
  • Hampton Inn has a commercial featuring part of "With a Little Help From My Friends" — The line "get high with a little help from my friends" is not included.
    • It had previously been repurposed with the same altered lyrics by either Kmart or Target for store-brand children's summer clothing and pool wear. At least they had the "decency" to hack it to bits in order to remove any references to drugs or relationships.
  • Kids from The '80s remember the song "Happy Together" less by the Turtles and more by General Mills trying to sell us Golden Grahams.
    • It was also used in this brilliant ad for Super Smash Bros.
    • The song was used by a Malaysian chicken meat conglomerate called Ayamas to sell chicken produce.
    • It was also used as a love song between two star-crossed Twix bars.
    • Macy's also used it in a June 2015 ad, having it sung by various products in the store.
    • The same year, the song was played at the very beginning of Minions.
  • Velveeta, advertising specifically their "shells and cheese" recipe repurposed The Four Tops' "It's the Same Old Song" into "It's Not the Same Old Side" and even had them appear in the commercial. Their jingles often repurpose other well-known tunes.
  • A cover of "Space Oddity" performed by Cat Power soundtracks a Lincoln MKZ commercial. You know, the song about an astronaut's suicide?
    • The same company uses Peter Schilling's "Space Oddity" follow-up "Major Tom (Coming Home)" (as performed by Shiny Toy Guns) for a later model of that very same car.
    • While on the subject of Bowie, a Cadillac commercial used "Fame" as the background music, without realizing the song is not at all about luxury, but about how being famous is a bit of a drag.
  • "No Milk Today" by Herman's Hermits has been used for a widely-spread ad for the main dairy company in Norway, Tine Melk. Very funny, actually.
  • The Obama campaign used "The Rising" from Bruce Springsteen's album of the same name as a victory/rally commencement song. It's a rather depressing song about a firefighter climbing the doomed Twin Towers and just happens to have an upbeat chorus contrasting increasingly dire verses. Oddly enough, Springsteen endorsed Obama and played the song live a few times for his events.
    • Not to be outdone, the McCain/Palin campaign got Hank Williams Jr. to re-do his song "Family Tradition" into "McCain/Palin Tradition".
      • Before that, John McCain's campaign briefly used "Johnny B. Goode", but Chuck Berry made them stop.
      • The McCain campaign also attempted to use John Mellencamp's "This Is Our Country" without getting permission and without realizing that not only are the lyrics of the song extremely bitter and sarcastic but that Mellencamp is a Democrat.
  • Skyline Chili aired a long-running radio commercial using a rewritten version of "Twilight Time." "It's Skyline time" remained a catchphrase even after the advertisements switched to another song.
  • Sea Bond advertises with an upbeat version of "Bye Bye Love", sung gleefully (and painfully out of key) by three older women (and one older man, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Stanley Zbornak from The Golden Girls) as "Bye bye paste!"
  • There is a Benylin cough-medicine ad featuring the chorus of the Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go". Its context? Should the woman stay at home, or go to work?
  • The Goodies` theme song Goody Goody Yum Yum was used to advertise wine gums, the lyrics altered to Goody Goody Yum Gums.
  • Nena's "99 Red Balloons" (the English-language version of her "99 Luftballons") appeared in a jewelry commercial. Nothing makes one want to buy fake diamonds like the threat of nuclear holocaust.
    • Perhaps an even worse example for that same song: a local radio commercial in the middle Georgia area sets a jingle for a steakhouse to the tune of "99 Red Balloons".
    • A British local radio station managed to do even worse, by using "99 Red Balloons", with the first verse of lyrics, in trailers for a charity balloon release. Great choice: a song where nuclear Armageddon is accidentally caused by releasing balloons.
  • In another example of completely missing the point, Apple's latest iPhone commercials feature The Submarines' ''You, Me, and the Bourgeoise''. The song is about the emptiness of commercialism and how we should focus more on love and less on stuff. Of course, Apple may be fully aware and just thumbing its nose at us.
  • Devo re-recorded their own "Whip It" with product-specific lyrics for a Swiffer ad. Member Gerald Casale later expressed regret about having done so, but this was less because of any sense of cheapening the song and more because he found the ad itself "aesthetically offensive".
    • Before Swiffer, though, rewritten versions of "Whip It" were used in at least three other commercials: Gateway, Pringles, and a promo ad on Nickelodeon for The Fairly OddParents! merchandise (with the chorus changed to "Wish it good!")
  • Disney caused controversy by using Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" in a trailer for The Tigger Movie, despite not actually using the lyrics about drugs and sex.
  • The trailers for Flubber used the song KC And The Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight" with the lyrics changed to "Goo a little dance/make a little flub/get down tonight".
  • Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing".
    • This song was used for a shampoo commercial (either Pantene or Garnier commercial) some years ago.
    • This song was used in a Swiffer ad, and once again, "I believe in miracles" was emphasized.
    • This song was used in the commercial for the second National Dog Show (2003).
  • A 1982 7Up commercial used the last example in basically reworking Kim Carnes' version of "Bette Davis Eyes" for the soft drink (which also worked in a Pac-Man parody)
  • Frank Mills' Easy Listening hit "Music Box Dancer" has been used in many an ice cream truck ever since it hit the Billboard charts in the late 1970s.
  • One car company chose to advertise its work with the New Radicals' You Get What You Give, which is predominantly about refusing to surrender (and also states a willingness to kick celebrities' asses...really). How this is related to cars, Vecna only knows. Let's not forget the line "Every night we crash a Mercedes Benz"...
    • A few years ago Mitsubishi's Australian ad campaign was also based around "You Get What You Give." Refuge in Audacity, or corporate ignorance?
  • Visa Check Card commercials are particular offenders, using Raymond Scott's Powerhouse to invoke a factory floor, and (horrifyingly) using the theme from Brazil to remind us of a dystopian paperwork-filled nightmare, apparently. It seems so apt that it's almost impossible to chalk up to coincidence.
  • The NFL briefly used Morrissey's "Every Day is Like Sunday" in an advert - a song about how living in a resort town out of season can be so boring you'd welcome an atomic explosion just for a change of pace.
  • Toyota advertised 0% financing with a particularly terrible cover of The Fixx's "Saved by Zero", ignoring the song's "you can't fall from the floor" message.
  • In 1971, Melanie Safka wrote the song "Look What They Done to My Song, Ma", about this very trope and how much it sucks to write a song that means something to you, and then, having someone taking that song and turning it into something completely unrelated. So, obviously, in the 1980s the Quaker Oats Company [[Irony used a version of that song in their commercials for Instant Oatmeal]], with the revised lyrics "Look what they've done to my oatmeal".
  • Little Eva's "The Locomotion" was rewritten for a 1980s UK ad for petrol... the "Shell promotion", obviously.
  • This KP Choc Dips ad turned "Cool Jerk" into "Do the Dip", complete with mid-60s-style studio.
    • Cool Whip used the very same song in the US, turning it into "Do the Cool Whip"; it's still periodically used to this day.
    • KFC used a lyrically-altered version of the song to advertise Kentucky Nuggets in Malaysia back in the 80s.
  • The 1967 Pete Rodriguez song "I Like It Like That" saw a new life in 1996 when Burger King used a cover version of the said song (retitled as "I Like It") by the one-off Latin music supergroup The Blackout All-Stars, playing off the company's longtime slogan, "Have it your way".
  • Speaking of Burger King, a 2000 commercial featured the Backstreet Boys singing a rehashed version of their hit "I Want It That Way" (which ended with Burger King's "Have it your way" slogan).
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot did a jaw-dropping remake of "Baby Got Back"— with a Spongebob Squarepants (!!) theme— for Burger King in early 2009. The long version of the commercial is here. This was used to promote kids' meals with toys inspired by the show, and a lot of parents complained, although it only appeared on late-night TV.
  • Home Quarters Warehouse used a (slightly) product-specific reworking of "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass which worked "HQ to the rescue" into the refrain.
  • A 2004 ad campaign for Coke's short-lived "C2" used Queen's I Want To Break Free as its jingle.
  • A year or two ago, GE used Donovan's "Catch the Wind" in a commercial describing their use of wind power — a bit ironic considering that the singer uses the phrase "I may as well try and catch the wind" to describe how useless his efforts to woo someone are.
  • Sometime in the early 1990s, Domino's Pizza ran ads for their buffalo wings which turned the chorus of "We Will Rock You" into "Gotta be, gotta be Domino's (Buffalo Wings)".
    • Also used by Cranberry Juice Cocktail: "Crave the Wave!" Always wanted to try them together after that.
  • James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" was used in the early 90s commercials for Senokot (a laxative). One wonders why they didn't use Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "Constipation Blues".
  • The Discovery Channel's "The World is Just Awesome" ads are built on a Repurposed Traditional Song.
  • Cialis has used a cover version of "Be My Baby" in some of their ads.
  • A commercial for the 2010 Lincoln MKS features a techno cover of Burnin' For You, by Blue Öyster Cult, performed by Shiny Toy Guns.
  • Modern English's "I Melt With You" in any commercial involving melted food products. The song itself is about making love during a nuclear holocaust.
    • One use was especially ironic; it was for a limited-edition Burger King sandwich — some kind of "cheddar/mushroom melt" thing — but the band got really upset when they heard that because one of the band members was vegan.
    • Hershey's has been using lite pop covers of in some of their ads (like this one) for Hershey Bars, including a jolly Christmasy version for the holiday season.
  • Canadian restaurant chain Boston Pizza ran a series of TV ads featuring repurposed versions of Yello's "Oh Yeah".
  • Chrysler used the (very recognizable) hook from Hum's "Stars", a song about a nervous breakdown.
    • Speaking of Chrysler, for Super Bowl XLV in 2011, the company aired a 2-minute commercial for the Chrysler 200 with the instrumental riff of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in the background. The spot ends with Eminem himself taking the stage at Detroit's Fox Theatre and saying "This is the Motor City. And this is what we do." Of course, it must be noted that the spot was more about Detroit's (both the city and the US auto industry) comeback from economic catastrophe than it was about the car itself... which may well have appealed to Eminem.
  • Some years back, an ad for feminine products used "There She Goes" by the La's. Nice peppy little tune, superficially sounding in favor of an active woman. Except the next line is "racing through my brain", and the song is purported to be about heroin.
  • In 2006, Kraft got EMF to re-record their hit "Unbelievable" in a series of ads where the lyrics had been changed to be all about... Kraft Cheese Crumbles. (seriously). This silliness of this was later lampooned on The Colbert Report with a special report called American Pop Culture: It's Crumbelievable.
  • Not only is this phenomenon not limited to America, but even video game music isn't safe from this trope, as proven by this commercial (one of four variants) which uses the Bubble Bobble theme of all things to advertise for Samyang Ramen. Here's proof that Taito licensed the song. At least the song never had lyrics, to begin with.
  • A commercial for Hood (the milk company) once used the song "Scatman" by the late Scatman John.
  • It seems to be a "Perfect Day" to go to a Beaches report for a vacation (the song in question was performed by Hoku for the Legally Blonde soundtrack; the song in the commercial is a cover)...
    • The Sandals resort also wants you to come to their "Island in the Sun", as advertised through a cover version of the Weezer song of the same title that sounds almost indistinguishable from the original (besides the replacement of Rivers Cuomo with some studio singer.)
    • Another Sandals ad uses a version of the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" with lyrics from "(I've Had) The Time of My Life". What makes this mashup curious is that the group actually did do a song that Sampled Up the latter ("The Time (Dirty Bit)").
  • Inverted with the use of the song "Move This" in a Revlon commercial. The song first appeared in the commercial, then later became a popular hit for the band Technotronic.
    • Another inversion is "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" which appeared in the famous "Hilltop" commercial for Coca-Cola. It became so popular that a second version was recorded (minus the Coke references), and released as a popular single.
    • Two other inversions are Japanese songs by Scatman John: "Su Su Su Super Kirei" for a hair care product and "Pripri Scat" for a brand of pudding.
  • The PBS show History Detectives has the song "Watching the Detectives", a 1977 song by Elvis Costello, which is about...a woman who would rather watch TV (specifically, detective dramas) than make love.
  • In the UK, Canada, and maybe some other countries, a version of Eddy Grant's "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" with new lyrics is used to advertise the yogurt drink Yop. The original song was a protest against apartheid.
  • A German commercial for Buko cream cheese uses the beginning of the Velvet Underground song "Sunday Morning" together with all the happy family breakfast imagery. While the song possesses a tune that might remind you of a lullaby, the lyrics are rather ominous (Watch out, the world's behind you/There's always someone behind you/Here it comes/It's nothing at all).
    • "Sunday Morning" sounds pretty, and its lyrics are the least defiantly offensive on the LP The Velvet Underground & Nico. But on an LP notorious for topics including heroin addiction, masochism, brutal street life, obsession resembling Persona (1966), domestic violence, death and fashion victims [pause for breath], a cynical song could easily appear benign, in contrast.
  • Mazda's "Zoom Zoom Zoom" (or "Zum Zum Zum") is the first part of a song by Serapis Bey. The song is about capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art form), and at least one part of the lyrics talks about how dangerous capoeira is.
  • The NFL has been using Skillet's lead single "Hero" in commercials and bumpers, carefully staying in the instrumental without going through the praying-to-God-for-rescue lyrics. Hilariously, the FOX Network in bumpers advertising NFL games has been using Franz Ferdinand's song "The Fallen" which is about Jesus Christ.
  • Green Day's "Welcome to Paradise" has been played in ads for Couples Retreat. The song's about living on your own for the first time and in a bad neighborhood, not taking a vacation.
  • The current version of the Hess Truck jingle uses the tune of "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels for the catchiness factor.
  • "Everybody's Talkin'" by Harry Nilsson was originally written by Fred Neil but became famous as the song from Midnight Cowboy and Nilsson's version is often billed as the theme from Midnight Cowboy.
  • A yogurt commercial in the UK featured the song 'I Got Life' from the musical Hair. Unfortunately, the song is about a hippie explaining to his square parents just how much more awesome, cool, and alive his drug-addled self is than they are. Someone seemed to notice this, and the adverts now come with an awkward re-written cover describing the myriad flavours available.
  • In the 1970s, Miss Clairol Hair Color made things very tricky for all productions of the show SOUTH PACIFIC, and they got to the point when Nellie sings "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair" — because everyone in the audience was thinking, "wait, isn't it 'wash that GRAY right out of my hair'?"
  • The 1992 Clinton Presidential campaign used Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" (although they listed the title as "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow").
    I know you don't believe that it's true
    I never meant any harm to you
  • Circuit City used 'Just What I Needed' by The Cars for one ill-fated advertising campaign near the end of their corporate lifespan. The song is about a one-night stand.
  • The Mötley Crüe song "Kickstart My Heart" (about heroin overdose) was apparently played during the preview of the Pixar film Cars, most likely chosen for the "engine" sound at the start of the song and it's fast tempo. If only those parents knew that Nikki Sixx's heroin overdose convinced them to go to a children's movie...
    • Later on the song was used for a Kia car commercial, with Mötley Crüe themselves appearing.
  • An ad campaign for the Kingsford Charcoal Grill Company with the slogan "Slow down and Grill" features a bizarre psychedelic cover of The Human League's "Keep Feeling (Fascination)."
  • This 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee commercial might work as a sort of generic tribute to the American work ethic... if you didn't know that the song they're playing in the background Johnny Cash's cover of the American folk tune "God's Gonna Cut You Down". Either somebody's making a subtle jab at capitalism/corporations or the people at Jeep didn't figure that Johnny Cash is popular enough for people to recognize one of his most recent songs.
  • A Mississippi tourism commercial uses a tune that sounds uncannily similar to Eisley's "I Wasn't Prepared", a breakup song.
  • Get-Go was running radio ads for a while with a repurposed cover of Elvis Presley's "In the Ghetto", a song about how harsh life is when you're poor and the futility of trying to escape it.
  • Meijer did a hilarious parody of the lyric substitution in a radio commercial where they "saved money by repurposing an old song". Cue the song being played with periodically the audio completely cutting out and a deadpan voice inserted "Meijer" in place of the word in the lyrics.
  • In its commercial for the 2000 Super Bowl, Mountain Dew rewrote the "opera" segment of the classic Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody", and even recreated the look of part of Queen's original video as well.
  • In 2010, Rite Aid did a commercial talking about one of their customers who used to be a disco dancer. Instead of using an actual Disco song, or even a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, they used two Groovitron tracks.
  • KIA's infamous commercial using Hamsters and Black Sheep's "The Choice Is Yours".
  • A dating website aimed at married women ran an advertisement that took Schoolhouse Rock!'s "Interjection" and rewrote the lyrics to be about cheating on your husband. The animation was even in Schoolhouse Rock style, with bubble letters writing "Infidelity" when it came up in the song
  • UPS and the song "That's Amore" as "That's Logistics"
  • Inverted with McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It", which was originally derived from the German-language "Ich Liebe Es." ad campaign. Justin Timberlake was commissioned to perform the jingle in a six-million dollar deal he has since regretted. The Neptunes later developed this further into a song that Timberlake included in the album Live from London and as a promotional single.
  • "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" used Turn The Beat Around in a song and dance but changed the lyrics to be about...margarine.
  • KFC used a rewritten version of The Monkees' "Daydream Believer" in a commercial that aired in Malaysia in the 90s. The commercial also featured a pair of kids bickering over whether Batman or Superman is superior (KFC secured the merchandising license for the Warner Bros character catalog back then, so they're smug about it).
  • This '70s commercial for the Detroit Institute of Arts turned the Damn Yankees song "(You Gotta Have) Heart" to - what else? - "You Gotta Have Art".
  • The Clash's version of "Pressure Drop" was used to advertise for the Nissan Rogue. I don't know what the lyrics are about, but they don't seem to apply to compact SUVs.
  • In 2010, Macy's controversially used the song "Seasons of Love" (a song about measuring one's last moments) to sell jewelry. The use of only straight couples (the musical itself had a Cast Full of Gay) didn't help matters, either.
  • What's the perfect song to sell margarine? If you answered "Desmond Dekker's Israelites", then you'd be right...
  • A truly bizarre one comes from Egypt, where in 2011 this ad came out, using a rewritten version of "Bad Romance" to shill...Romero processed cheese. Add that Egypt is kind of a conservative country, and...
  • Saturday Night Live did a skit about this: a commercial for an album of classic songs that parents and teens could enjoy together—the parents because they grew up listening to them, the kids because they knew them from commercials. The Beach Boys/Sunkist example above was one of the selections.
  • The Atari 5200 commercial for Mario Bros. repurposed the opening theme from Car 54, Where Are You?.
  • Office Depot famously used BTO's "Takin' Care of Business" in a long-running series of ads.
  • Quite a few local Honda car dealerships have repurposed "La Bamba": "You should be driving a Honda, from [insert name of dealership] Honda..."
  • Marks & Spencer had a disturbing Christmas commercial with a children's choir singing "Falling In Love Again" from the film The Blue Angel. Most people don't realize the full implications of the song. The original song is "what Blazing Saddles was parodying with "I'm Tired" - a song sung from the perspective of a jaded seductress about how so many men destroy themselves out of a desire for her. (Come to think of it, that sort of song is appropriate for a corporation...)
  • Payless ShoeSource at one point thought it would be a great idea to shill children's shoes with the song Paleontologist by They Might Be Giants.
  • The Halifax Bank, a British financial institution with a reputation for auditioning its own staff to star in big song-and-dance musical adverts (which are generally as naff and dreadful as they sound) exploited Vanilla Ice's Ice, Ice Baby to shift a savings product known as an ISA (see what they did there?) Halifax adverts merit a trope all of their own...
  • At the height of the song's popularity, Kohl's used a product-specific cover of Rebecca Black's "Friday" to promote their Black Friday sale. Some of the ads do involve a little Lampshade Hanging about what an annoying Earworm it is.
  • "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", best known as the Cheers theme song, appears in State Farm insurance ads, minus the line about always being glad you came. Presumably, being glad that people are coming to them with insurance claims after various misfortunes would convey the wrong image.
    • The song is also used in a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze clean diesel car commercial: The ad starts with a man coming into a gas station where they greet him by name as the song plays. Then another man comes in and the song stops. He's got a clean diesel car so he rarely has to buy gas; nobody there knows his name.
  • One local ABC affiliate used to promote their airings of two episodes of Full House in a row with a version of Madness' "Our House" that changed the chorus to "Hour House" (since it's a half-hour show and all).
    • "Our House" was also used, with new lyrics, in ads for Maxwell House coffee around 2005-2006.
  • In 2011 Honda thought the best way to sell their Honda Civic Si to the young female demographic was with the fun exploits of a masked, super-heroesque girl flying around town in her Si to the tune of MC Chris's “Hoodie Ninja.” Which is about wrapping a sweatshirt around your face and, among other things, peeping on a girl from your homeroom as she undresses in her bedroom. Yeah, that fits the demographic perfectly...
  • Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" is now selling VW Jettas. Strange, considering Ted is well-known to be from Detroit/Michigan. Also, there are lyrics, that one wouldn't normally consider family-friendly.
  • Ben Folds' "Rockin' the Suburbs" was originally a profanity-laced Take That! aimed at bad radio rock and whiny suburban teenagers who like it. In Over the Hedge, however, the lyrics instead mocked suburban banality in language suitable for a family film.
  • The ending theme of the first season of Jackie Chan Adventures (when the station actually played it) was a snippet of a Wheatus song credited as "Jackie Chan's The Man". In truth, the song is nothing more than relevant lyrics written over their earlier song "Punk Ass Bitch". The makers of the program wised on to the Credits Pushback and the other seasons simply used the title music for the credits.
  • Vertical Horizon re-recorded one of their songs from an earlier album, 'Heart in Hand' for the soundtrack for the movie The New Guy. The lyrics were much blander for the experience, although the band does mix in some of the new lyrics during live shows.
  • The theme of Totally Spies! was Moonbaby's "Here We Go," with its lyrics rewritten.
  • An advertisement for Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition features Jessie J's "Price Tag" rewritten to go "It's all about the money, money". Yes, the exact opposite of what the original song says.
  • Played with in a Nortel Networks commercial. Rather than cover "Come Together", the commercial showed a guy reciting it (Minus the line "He shoot Coca-Cola").
  • Happens In-Universe in King of the Hill. John Redcorn gets hired to perform at a company picnic, but the rest of his hard rock band Big Mountain Fudgecake refuses to come along. When he's told to adapt, Redcorn takes a song about suicide and rewrites it to be about hygiene: "Wake up in the morning, wanna...wash myself, scrub my wrists, clean my brains out..." He's a big hit with kids and ends up becoming "the Native American Raffi".
  • World in Motion by New Order was repurposed for a Mars chocolate television commercial to celebrate the 2010 World Cup. On the other hand, it was originally written for the World Cup in 1990.
  • A series of Walgreen's commercials use a lyrics-free version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Down on the Corner" to signify their origin as an innovative corner store.
    • A version of the above song had previously been used for "Pocket Rockers" a music-playing toy made by Fisher-Price.note 
  • "We Are Young" by fun. was used for a Super Bowl Special ad for "Chevrolet Sonic" (Chevy Sonic). As Todd in the Shadows noted, that ad (along with its usage on Glee) propelled the song to megahit status.
    • Their song "Carry On" was also used in a late 2016 promo for NBC's Today.
  • Florence + the Machine's "Howl" was used in at least one car commercial, and "Dog Days Are Over" in various other places.
  • In 1997, ABC used a re-written version of "Respect" for a Recess commercial, changing the lyrics to be about the show, and the chorus was changed to "R-E-C-E-S-S".
  • Part of West Side Story's "I Feel Pretty" was used in a diaper commercial (replacing replacing "gay" with "dry").
  • Alice Cooper was in a commercial for "Staples" as part of his hit "School's Out" was played near the end. He was with his daughter, getting back-to-school supplies:
    Daughter: I thought you said "School's out forever."
    Alice: No, no, no. The song goes, "School's out for summer. Nice try though.
  • This "exclusive cut" of the 2013 M&M's Super Bowl Special has Red sing Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". He's trying to woo Naya Rivera of Glee but goes "But I Won't do That!" the moment she licks the back of his head.
  • Speaking of Mr. Loaf, here he is with his "signature dish", which he finds goes better with A1 steak sauce. In this altered version, his lyric is "And I would do anything for love and I always do this" (with "this" being accompanied by him pouring the A1 on the meatloaf).
  • Status Quo rerecorded a song for an Australian supermarket company with lyrics advertising the company. It makes every Australian cry with anger.
  • "Little Boxes" as a theme for how using a certain mobile phone will give you discounts for big chain stores? Why not?
  • Arthur Prysock later adapted his 1978 song “Here’s to Good Friends” into a jingle for Löwenbräu beer.
  • In another In-Universe Example, Phoebe from Friends reunites with her old singing partner, who had left to write jingles. Later she is horrified to find that her friend had appropriated her signature song "Smelly Cat" and sold it for use in a kitty litter commercial.
  • NBC has used the intro of Deep Purple's "Knocking at Your Back Door" to promote their show Shark Hunters...the problem is that even though that intro sounds like a Jaws parody, it's also a song about anal sex.
  • Toyota used the song "Bargain" by The Who - emphasizing the lines "I call that a bargain / the best I ever had." It's actually a song about how love is better than material possessions.
  • A cover of "Our House" by Crosby Stills & Nash was used as a jingle for Eckrich sausage in the '80s.
  • Janis Joplin's a cappella song "Mercedes Benz," a parody of consumerism, was used in a car commercial to flog... er... Mercedes-Benz. The advertising company responsible did not stop to think about the appropriateness of using a song by a poster girl for Southern Comfort, who if given a Mercedes-Benz to drive would have been so habitually wasted she'd have crashed it. They also did not stop to think that Joplin-savvy listeners watching the advert might have also reflected on the (not-used) third verse, which implores the Lord to buy Janis a night on the town, with all that implies for consequent drunken driving...
    Prove that you love me, and buy the next round! Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town...
  • The oddly-named Citroën C4 Cactus car was advertised using Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit. A song that extols the virtues of changing your state of perception by doing lots and lots of lovely LSD. Now let's drive a car in this state. Yeah, right. If you don't crash it or provoke a road accident because of all those dope-smoking caterpillars, self-animating chess pieces, red queens with axes, white rabbits, et c, popping up out of holes in the verge, here comes Mr. Policeman who discovers you to be intoxicated on Substances. Your trip now becomes a very bad one to the cells of the local nick. Yeah, right.
  • A series of commercials for Bud Light celebrates various superstitions that sports fans have, featuring the song Superstition by Stevie Wonder. Sounds appropriate, right? But listen to the lyrics again—they're about how superstitions are bad for you.
  • The IMAX film The Living Sea used several songs by Sting throughout, including the song "Why Should I Cry for You" in three different arrangements. While the song's nautical imagery is suitable for the film, its actual subject matter of its protagonist out at sea, alone on a boat, mourning his father and pondering his own mortality while his demons surround him, isn't.
    "All colours bleed to red, asleep on the ocean's bed. Drifting in empty seas, for all my days remaining. But would North be true? Why should I cry for you?"
  • As for examples that completely miss the point of the song at hand, there's a Citroen C3 commercial that features Simple Plan's song "Welcome to My Life" where every material possession of a family gets instantly upgraded according to the catchline "If you want more: change your life. Change your car". The song itself has an upbeat melody, the lyrics, though?
    To be hurt, to feel lost, to be left out in the dark.
    To be kicked when you're down. To feel like you've been pushed around.
    To be on the edge of breaking down when no one's there to save you.
    No, you don't know what it's like. Welcome to my life.
    • Yes, this is the whole chorus. And yes, you can hear it all in the ad itself.
  • During the 1970s, the then-called Plymouth Arrow (now called Mitsubishi Lancer A70), used the Harry Nilsson song "Me and My Arrow" from The Point.
  • In 1989, McDonald's had a "Menu Song" sung to the tune of "Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)". The song listed the items on McDonald's menu:
    Big Mac Mc DLT a Quarter Pounder with some cheese Filet-O-Fish a hamburger a cheeseburger a Happy Meal etc.
    • It was used in a radio commercial for Tysons Corner Center, a mall in Northern Virginia. This version listed the names of the stores in the mall.
  • British Gas uses an instrumental version of "The Universal" by Blur.
  • A commercial for Little Friskies cat food modified the 1920s song Ain't We Got Fun
    • It was also modified for use in a 1990 commercial for Royal Caribbean's "Carnival" cruise ship.
  • Parodied by spoof record label Clubbo Records. The soulful Break-Up Song "Yeah, Yeah, No, No, No, No" is sullied by a couple of increasingly poor cover versions, the second of which is then adapted for use in a cat food commercial.
    • In another scenario from the same site, the singer of a New Wave Music band learns that their song "Drip Drip Drip" was going to be used in a ketchup commercial, and is so pissed that he dresses as a ketchup-covered Jesus in protest.
  • A 2014 commercial for Apple's iPhone 5 uses the song "Ooh La La" by Goldfrapp. Of course, this is fitting seeing as how the lyrics start with "Dial up my number..."
  • For several years, NASCAR used Metallica's "Fuel" as a theme song. A pulse-pounding song about the thrills, and dangers, of street racing, with an addiction subtext. They even forgot to censor a Precision F-Strike in one of the lyrics.
  • British upmarket department store John Lewis & Partners is now mostly associated with ads (especially those that air around Christmastime) that, in addition to being incomprehensible, often involve quiet, brittle cover versions of songs that weren't originally like that at all (such as Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine", as performed by Taken By Trees), to the extent that any such cover version will now be dismissively referred to as "the John Lewis version".
    • Averted in 2018, when the original version of "Your Song" (which had been featured in a previous John Lewis Christmas ad via Ellie Goulding's version) appeared in that year's ad, starring Elton John.
  • Kelloggs had an ad around 2011, using kids singing the song "Yummy Yummy Yummy". The song itself is about Intercourse with You.
  • As of January 2015, a campaign on Youngstown State University's YikYak calling for the firing of a professor who allegedly sexually harassed students has begun to use the lyrics to the chorus of "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D. as a sort of rallying cry, which is very fitting. That is unless you listen to the rest of the song and realize it's actually a sad reflective song about teenagers who make poor decisions - including one who commits a school shooting.
  • A pro wrestling example - In the eighties, Hulk Hogan used to enter the ring to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" - apparently the promoters were unaware the song is meant ironically, not as a paean to American patriotism!
  • The Japanese gum Fit's is more an example of "Repurposed Anime Theme". The commercials use a version of the opening theme to the early 1960s series Ookami Shounen Ken.note 
  • Kirby:
    • The U.S. commercial for Kirby Nightmare In Dreamland used a parody of Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers.
    • The Japanese commercial for the original Kirby's Adventure uses a parody of "Neko Funjatta" ("I Stepped on the Cat"); an example of a "repurposed nursery rhyme".
  • Here's another example from Japan-AKB48 partnered up with Baitoru, a Japanese website that helps people find part-time jobs that pay 1,000 yen note  and higher to their workers each day, to produce a version of their hit song "Heavy Rotation" with the lyrics changed to be about Baitoru.
  • An especially bizarre example from North America happened in 2009 when the song "Hands" from 1970s-era Sesame Street was used to advertise faucets (!). Granted, it fit the context it was used in, but still...
    • An even weirder example was when "The Song of the Count" was used to underscore this Toyota commercial that must be seen to be believed.
  • In 2014, Ellie Goulding's cover of Elton John's "Your Song" was used in a John Lewis-esque commercial for Kraft peanut butter.
  • The piano riff from Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" in commercials for HTC smartphones (they used the 90s remix).
  • Coke had commercials for the Beijing Olympics using the riff from Sia's "Breathe Me", which is actually about self-harm.
  • This commercial for Google featuring The Muppets and set to Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" seems to reference the famous video of the busking puppeteer using two Kermit puppets to lipsync to that same song.
  • Waitrose in 2014 took a page from John Lewis and made a Christmas advert set to a cover of Dolly Parton's "Try" (from her Blue Smoke album the same year).
  • A 2015 ad for laundry detergent "All" was scored by Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" as part of a Peanuts homage (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • A 2015 ad for Philadelphia cream cheese used Dusty Springfield's "Wishin' And Hopin'" with product-specific lyrics.
  • Teen Titans Go! has two examples: "We're Rich", a parody of the theme song to DuckTales (1987), and "The Pee-Pee Dance", which is a repurposed version of Trick Daddy's "Take It To Da House". The latter also played in "Waffles" as background music.
  • Kleenex in Japan had one of the more controversial ones. They had an ad set to "It's A Fine Day" by Jane and Barton, that was met with viewer complaints that it sounded like a German curse (though the song is sung in English). Not helping matters was the visual content of the ad: a young woman and a child dressed like a Japanese ogre playing with a box of Kleenex in an eerily lit red room. This was all enough for the ad to play host to several urban legends involving the untimely deaths of everyone who worked on it (which proved false).
  • To promote their Halloween costumes in 2013, Canadian thrift store Value Village used an altered cover of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" at the height of that song's popularity.
    • They also did an altered cover of "Y.M.C.A." (We've got costumes! Da da da da da da...) and "Turning Japanese". (I think I'm turning Halloween, I really think so!)
  • A good deal of the promotion for Inside Out used the song "More Than a Feeling" by Boston, introducing new audiences to the decades-old song. Ditto for Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion".
  • Aretha Franklin's "Who's Zoomin' Who" seems to be tailor-made to be used in commercials for cameras with zoom functions. And indeed, it was - it appeared in a 1989 ad for Sharp, whose video cameras had improved their zooming.
  • "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. was featured in a PIF for the NSPCC, which played out like a Cinderella parody - except the Cinderella dies in a fire while her family is out on the town.
  • The Wallflowers' "One Headlight" was used in a 2014 Geico commercial.
  • Two similar campaigns for electronic devices ran 15 years apart. The iMac in 2000 ran four commercials, each advertising their ruby, indigo, sage, and snow computers with Dion and the Belmonts' "Ruby", Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes", The Muppets' "Bein' Green" and Cream's "White Room" respectively. During the 2015 Christmas season, Google advertised their Nexus phone with a commercial set to Darlene Love's version of "Marshmallow World". Both campaigns had similar visuals and an emphasis on older music making for a Hilarious in Hindsight moment.
  • Parodied by Mitch Benn, on a 2005 The Now Show segment about Bob Dylan's deal for Live At The Gaslight 1962 to be sold exclusively in Starbucks for 18 months, and the outcry that he was selling out. Mitch said "It's not like he's actually doing Starbucks adverts. Well, it's a little bit like that", leading into "The Beans They Are A-Grinding".
  • Irving Berlin repurposed his own song "Any Yams Today" for the war effort during World War II, creating the classic "Any Bonds Today?".
  • A fictional example. Greg from Steven Universe became a multi-millionaire due to his ex-manager from the 80s repurposing one of his songs into a burger jingle.
  • Carmen McRae's cover of "Just A Little Lovin'" was used in a Sleepy's commercial that aired during the 2011 Super Bowl.
  • Atlanta superstation Peachtree TV has aired a commercial that sets "Married Life", the main theme from Up, to the life cycle of a package of strawberries.
  • In 2009, Barbie commercials used the chorus from Aqua's "Barbie Girl" as background music (albeit replacing the "you can brush my hair/undress me everywhere" lyrics with "You can be a star, don't matter who you are"),bringing the memetic hit full circle.
  • The DiVinyls' "I Touch Myself", a song about masturbation, was repurposed as a song to raise up breast cancer awareness following lead singer Chrissy Amphlett's death in 2013, with various artists such as Olivia Newton-John covering it.
  • "Take on Me" (and its music video) were repurposed in this Reference Overdosed promo video for the Toronto Film Festival.
  • The late Southern California car dealer Cal Worthington had a very well-known jingle (with varying lyrics) set to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It".
  • The infamous "Trololo" songnote  was used for an Israeli bank commercial as a pun on "lo", the Hebrew word for "no". It even ends with a female teller telling a male customer "ken" ("yes").
  • This ad for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is to the tune of Game Boys by Scha Dara Parr.
  • Andrew Belle's "Sky's Still Blue" had to be rewritten for a Windows commercial because the original lyrics were too dark. The revised single ended up being more popular than the original.
  • A UK advertising campaign for Pampers disposable nappies featured women going into labour, going through labour, and holding their babies afterwards, set to the chorus of "Push It" by Salt 'n' Pepa, giving the song a completely different meaning without changing a thing.
  • From 1984 to 1987, the premium cable network Showtime used variants on The Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited" as part of their Showtime Excitement campaign; variants of the tune were used in intros from movies and specials in addition to promos and bumpers.
  • The Beatles song "Help!" was once used in an ad campaign by the electronics chain H.H. Gregg to advertise themselves as the chain that is able to help with any issues one might have on buying and using electronics.
    • Google also once used the song for a commercial for their signature search engine.
  • Speaking of Google, another commercial of theirs used the Daryl Hall & John Oates song "Maneater".
  • The song "New Soul" by Yael Naïm was used by Apple to promote their Macbook Air laptop. The commercial was so popular it propelled her song to be her only hit in the U.S.
  • While arguably most of the "product-specific lyrics" versions of this trope are with classic rock or older pop songs, the Southern US discount furniture chain Rooms To Go has jumped on board with a version of the The Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps" rewritten to be about storage containers (sample lyric: "Whatcha gonna do with all that stuff/All that stuff, that's quite enough!"). This commercial has seen a lot of airplay on Southern NBC affiliates in the latter part of The New '10s with a song that is barely a decade old.
  • The UK frozen fish company Young's not only rewrote Slade's "Far, Far Away" to be about fish 'n' chips, they got Noddy Holder to perform it.
  • The Christmas song "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" was used (without the most Christmas-specific lyrics) for a back-to-school ad by Staples in the US in 1996, for a summer food ad by the UK supermarket chain Co-Op in 2013, and with altered lyrics in a memetic ad for cranberry-flavored Sprite in 2018.
  • The song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin'' has been used in commercials for CareSource health insurance.
    • And his "Thinkin' About Your Body" was reworked to advertise Cadbury's chocolate in the UK, with the lines "Thinkin' about your body / Thinkin' about your face" changed to "Thinkin' about your choc'late / Thinkin' about your taste".
  • Fans of Prince were not happy to hear that Capital One used his song "Let's Go Crazy" to advertise their new Savor Card.
  • In 1987, Freddy Cannon sang a reworked version of his 1962 hit "Palisades Park" that was used to advertise Kennywood Park, the lyrics being altered to mention various rides that were active at the time.
  • In the eighties, UK hamburger chain Wimpy's had an advert with "Come On Over to My Place" by The Drifters reworked as "Come on over to my place/Hey you, we're having a Wimpy,/We'll be grilling, shaking and filling,/Won't you come on over tonight?"
  • Zig-zagged example. Country group Alabama recorded a song titled "The Fans" as a tribute to their fans on their 1986 Greatest Hits compilation album. The song was then revised slightly as "Richard Petty Fans" as a tribute to the man known in NASCAR circles as "The King" as Petty prepared to retire after the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup season, with the song playing as he drove through the track one final time at the end of the season-ending Hooters 500 race in Atlanta. The following season, the original version of "The Fans" was used prior to the start of the 1993 DieHard 500 following the death of Davey Allison in a helicopter crash in July 1993note ; which was the first race the #28 Robert Yates Racing Texaco-Havoline Ford Thunderbird which had been driven by Allison was entered in since Allison's death, with the song playing in the background as Allison's uncle Donnie drove the #28 car around the track before the race began.
  • Cirque du Soleil's Crystal, instead of original vocal songs in "Cirquish", features covers of Nina Simone's "Sinnerman", Sia's "Chandelier", Beyoncé's "Halo", and U2's "Beautiful Day".
  • State Farm runs some radio ads touting the quality of their coverage and then augments it with "covers" of snippets from 90s songs by soundalikes. The lyrics are replaced with references to car insurance.
  • The Addams Family is an example of a "repurposed TV theme song". In the early 1990s, the now-defunct HomeClub Warehouse chain used a version of the theme for its commercials.
    • At least one other commercial has used this theme, also in the 90s; a commercial for Nestlé Buncha Crunch.
  • Many unlicensed toys made in China tend to use obscure pop songs as sound chips:
  • A 2020 Dunkin' commercial made use of the Powfu song "Death Bed" (also known by its subtitle "Coffee for your Head") to advertise their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, though based on the song's main title, it was clear it meant anything other than coffee.
  • Temptations Cat Treats ran an advert in the UK in 2015 featuring "Demolición" by Peruvian band Los Saicos. The song is in Spanish and is about tearing down a train station, while the cats in the ad are tearing apart bags of Temptations.
  • UK confectionary Trio (consisting of a candy bar that is a chocolate-covered biscuit with toffee fillings) had its mascot Suzy sing about wanting Trios to the tune of "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)".
    Suzy: Trio, Trio, I want a Trio and I want one now!
    Not one, not two but three things in it! Chocolate, a biscuit, and a toffee taste, too!
  • The Cockney Rebel song "Mr. Soft" was used with modified lyrics in commercials for Trebor Softmints and Softfruits, which featured a sentient humanoid plush doll sharing his name with the song as a mascot.
  • There was an advert for Hellmann's Dijonnaise in 1993 that was accompanied by a jingle sung to the tune of Gene Chandler's hit "Duke of Earl".
  • In 1999 Walmart used songs from old TV series with altered lyrics in their Rollback campaign, including Rawhide (Rollin', rollin', rollin', keep those prices rollin', Rollback) and Secret Agent Man (He's the Rollback Man).
  • Eric Idle rewrote his own "Galaxy Song" from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life for a trailer to Professor Brian Cox's nature show Wonders of Life, moving the focus from the immensity of the universe around us to the complexity of the system that brought us here.
    You've a tiny little blink of life to try to understand,
    What on Earth is really going on,
    In biology and chemistry,
    Which made you you, and made me me,
    But don't ask me, I only wrote the song!
  • The UK sunflower spread Vitalite had a series of ads with the sun and sunflowers singing about it to the tune of Desmond Dekker's "Israelites".
  • The defunct UK supermarket William Low had an ad that reworked "Down and Out" from Bugsy Malone to be about how they kept their prices down.
  • Most people in the UK probably think Perez Prado's "Guaglione" and Leftfield's "Phat Planet" are just songs Guinness uses to sell stuff.
  • ABC adopted The Carpenters' "Let Me Be the One" as "Let Us Be the One" for the 1976-77 television season, and that pattern was repeated again in 1977 and 1978 using Orleans' "Still the One" and The Oak Ridge Boys' "You're the One,"note  respectively.
  • Alan Price's "Poor People" from O Lucky Man! was reworked as "News People in Touch with People" by San Diego-based jingle company Tuesday Productions.
  • There were some McDonald's commercials in the early 1990s where the McDonaldland characters sang a version of "Do You Believe in Magic" by The Lovin' Spoonful.
  • Older Than Television, believe it or not. Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians had a hit song in 1932 that went "let's have another cup of coffee, let's have another piece of pie" and in the late 40s Nescafe began using "let's have another cup of coffee, let's have a cup of Nescafe", doubling as Covered Up for a generation of baby boomers who know the commercial better than the song.
  • A trailer for Turning Red uses *NSYNC's "It's Gonna Be Me" with a line edited from "You might been hurt, babe" to "You might been hurt, Mei".
  • "Billericay Dickie" is a naughty song by Ian Dury about a despicable man (as told by the author himself on numberous occasions) and his "sexual relations" with women, what usually nowadays known as rape. So naturally you take the lyrics out, replace them with new ones in the same cadence, and you get one of the most iconic and long-running (1988-2010) series of Australian commercials for Ajax Spray & Wipe starring Paula Duncan, every single one of them with a variation of "Billericay Dickie" as their main theme.
  • Cadbury did an ad for their Caramello Koala candy bars where the mascot sang a jingle spoofing the Donovan song "Mellow Yellow".
  • Australia's Seven Network TV channel used a reworded version of "Mony Mony" for their 1992 "Yeah!" network promo.
  • An in-universe example in the Eerie, Indiana episode "Zombies in PJs", when the World o' Stuff store's Subliminal Seduction leads to Marshall dreaming about The Supremes lookalikes singing a jingle to the tune of "Stop! In the Name of Love":
    Shop! At the World o' Stuff,
    Because you need the stuff.
    Shop! At the World o' Stuff,
    You just can't get enough.
    Don't think it over...
  • The official trailer for Minions: The Rise of Gru used "Lose Yourself" by Eminem for some reason.
  • Zig zagged with the trailer for Despicable Me 4 which uses "Sweet Child O Mine" by Guns N' Roses and "Maneater" by Daryl Hall & John Oates; the first makes sense since it's over footage of Gru's new son, but the second is played during a fight with a honey badger.