Sunday, October 08, 2017

Weekend Diversion: Selling magic moments on TV

This isn’t now a regular feature on this blog, unless it becomes one, but advertising and pop music both interest me, and how and where they're combined does, too. The ad above is just another example of that.

The ad is for Oceania Healthcare, a provider of “Rest Home, Hospital, Dementia, Respite and Palliative/End of Life Care, as well as Independent Retirement Village living, at 48 New Zealand locations.” It’s a cute ad, and does a good job of portraying compassionate and creative approaches to caring for seniors. The YouTube description says, “This ad was based on a true story that took place at one of our rest homes.” That’s nice to know—and I did wonder—but, to be honest, it was the song that made me pay attention.

“Magic Moments” is a song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and recorded by Perry Como in 1957 [LISTEN], for whom it was a hit. The version in the ad uses the same basic structure and arrangement as Como’s hit, but with a different vocalist. The song was also recorded by Amanda Lear in 1985 and Erasure in 1997 [LISTEN], among others. I’ve never heard Lear’s cover, but I have Erasure’s on CD. Much as I love Erasure, I was never all that keen on their cover.

Actually, I was never much of a fan of Como back in the day, but in more recent years I’ve come to appreciate some of the old singers who were hopelessly old fashioned when I was a young adult, people like Doris Day, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Frank Sinatra, etc. Maybe it’s an age thing. In any case, I kind of like the old-time songs now, even if I rolled my eyes at them decades ago.

This time, the song in a commercial was one I knew, so I didn’t need to search it out. It may even have been the familiarity of the song that made me pay attention to it, but the clever use of a thematically appropriate snippet of it in the commercial was particularly well done, I thought—so much so I wasn’t even aware that the commercial has been running for up to six months. I guess familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt.

Still, maybe one of these days I should talk about an ad/song combo that just doesn’t work. It’s not like there’s a shortage of examples, after all.

No comments: