Beatles in Diapers

Photo by Shad Bolling — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Is there a competition for irony?

If so, our Fest News carried a story that posits a question for our times: Where does the most irony lie? Michael Jackson makes money from diapers, or a song of peaceful inspiration sells a disposable diaper?

The Procter and Gamble company has purchased the rights to use the Beatles’ magical “All You Need is Love” to sell love — well, at least Luvs diapers.

Before you run out in a fit of rage to chant “All You Need is Cash”, and then disprove Luv’s claim-to-fame for creating “guaranteed ultra leak guards,” don’t blame the Beatles.

The publishing rights to the song are owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture of Sony and Michael Jackson. To sell the song for commercial purposes, they do not need to receive prior permission from Paul, Ringo, or any of the surviving Beatle family members.

Of course, this is hardly the first time a cherished Beatle song has been used to sell something: “Revolution” for Nike; “Help” for Ford; “Taxman” for H&R Block; “When I’m Sixty-Four” for Allstate insurance; “With A Little Help From My Friends” for Gateway; “Come Together” for Nortel; and, “Getting Better” for Royal Philips Electronics.

There have also been the cheesy rip-offs, such as for a Ford Dealership; the ever-so-current dancing for iPod; and the reverential - All You Need is Love…and a lot of lawyers for iTunes.

MSNBC has been inspired to run a poll on the worst pairing of classic rock tunes and commercials. Their current list includes:

  • The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” for Luvs Diapers
  • The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up”: Microsoft Windows
  • Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock”: Chevrolet trucks
  • Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”: Mercedes-Benz cars
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”: Wrangler jeans
  • Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life”: Royal Caribbean cruises
  • Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”: Mountain Dew

What would you add to the list?

Don’t lose hope: What we lose in nostalgia, we can gain back in satire.

- Bill Reichblum

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2 Responses to “Beatles in Diapers”

  1. Roger Mock
    July 25th, 2007 08:50

    How about Donovan:
    Happiness Runs - Delta Airlines
    Catch the Wind -Volvo
    Mellow Yellow - The Gap

    Quoting Donovan: “Embracing the modern world and invading the pop charts is what the bohemian folk singers did “¦ I consider commercials not selling out, but selling in, and of course, attracting many younger fans who have already written to me from the commercials saying they discovered my music or rediscovered it in an ad, and found something special to them that was missing in the artists they were listening to.”

    more here:

  2. Roger Mock
    July 25th, 2007 08:53

    Actually, I wouldn’t really classify those as worst pairings of pop songs and commercials. I rather liked the Delta and Gap ads in particular.

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