11 Great Songs Totally Ruined by Adverts

By Gary Cutlack on at

If you live long enough, all the songs you like will eventually be in adverts. If you're lucky, the defining track of your teenage years will be used untouched to sell something nice, like a Twix or a car; if you're unlucky, a twee version of the first record you bought and touched a girl while listening to will be hammered for three months to sell kitsch umbrellas for Boots.

Here are a few classic tunes that have been slaughtered by their makers' baffling agreement to sell out to various Mans.

Blue Monday

Existed out of time like an alien sonic beacon for nearly 30 years, before being introduced to a new generation as the music from the sodding Mars bar advert. It was also the music for American Express for a while, which, given the notorious financial problems the track created for its makers, is quite appropriate. Either way: song ruined.


Axel F

This is so strange. It's like two things are open at once and the sound from one thing -- a terrible advert about how women like biscuits and might touch you for half a pack of the branded chocolate ones -- is being crashed by the audio from something else entirely. Hence 80s synth groove Axel F is now known to the youth as the background noise from a terrible attempt at making viral cat content for home TVs. Song ruined. Biscuits ruined. What else is there to life now?

Bang Bang

OK, so most of us know this because it was from a modern film so we can't be too high horsey about it, but still. EA committed the horrendous crime of changing the words to fit the product here, so well done if you made it through the line "Bang bang, their kill counts rise" without cringing so hard it set off the automatic tsunami warning beacons in the South China Sea.

Stayin’ Alive

Actimel used Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees to sell the vague health benefits of its weird little pots of gone off milk, clearly inferring that the product might help people to STAY ALIVE if they add it to their diets. The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against maker Danone for claiming health benefits of its yogurt in the past, although we don't know who to complain to about it rudely associating a classic tune with a fluid. The BPI maybe?



Quite the classic 2000s anthem, and MoneySuperMarket managed to make an even ruder video to accompany Christina Aguilera's banger than the original -- featuring entirely men. Now instead of Christina's red bra all you can think of when hearing it is men in sexy shoes and pale white legs. Ruined again.

I See You Baby

Being able to effectively screen out things like this disastrously infantile Just Eat advert is why it's a great idea to hit your satellite dish off the wall with a broom and go on-demand/streaming only. Netflix sub = not seeing stuff like this.

I Feel Love

This Grade II* Listed 1970s classic shouldn't be allowed to be used for anything other than serenely listening to on headphones during times of great emotional need. This sacrilegious nightmare from EDF combines it with a childish CG turd to sell electricity, as if electricity was an optional lifestyle product to be weighed up and considered, rather than a utility we're kind of stuck with. It's enough to make you turn lightbulbs off out of sheer spite.


Tired of Waiting for You

I don't want to go telling Ray and Dave Davies their business, as they're responsible for the greatest catalogue of socially aware music in the entire history of song. But given Ray's documented dislike of the mundane man and his processed little life, surely allowing one of their beautiful songs to be used to advertise pre-cooked potatoes for people who can't even be bothered to cook potatoes all the way through by themselves, is a bit off?

Ride on Time

Literally another one of my favourite songs ever, reduced to a 30-second joke to sell what looks like a shit kind of crisps to idiots who laugh at adverts.

What Is Love

Perhaps Haddaway isn't in quite the same league as Black Box and Donna Summer, but this track, er, encapsulates a certain time in music for people of a certain age and, er, OK I really like it. And so did someone at Next who bought it to sell dresses and must've given old Mr Haddaway quite the pleasant surprise when a royalty cheque reflecting a nationwide UK TV advertising campaign landed.


Disco 2000

No one at EasyJet listened to the words properly before using Pulp's #2 or #3 best song to sell its happy families concept of air travel, as it's sort of sad and about things not working out properly in life, no matter how long you wait. She had a baby with someone else mate, during the 20 years EasyJet has been operating. She's not going to want to fly from Stansted to somewhere with you now.