Maybe Of Montreal Should Sell A Few More Songs To Commercials

Oct 20th, 2008 // 29 Comments

“Saved by zero!” You’re pissed off already, aren’t you? Well, if it’s any consoloation, you’re not alone. All sorts of people have complained about the Toyota ad that features that maddening jingle, and there’s even a Facebook hate group devoted it it. What makes it so annoying? Well, it’s running in “seemingly every ad break during NCAA Football, MLB Playoffs and NFL games,” it’s sometimes shown multiple times per break, the song has only one lyric, and that one lyric is repeated four times in thirty seconds, with a straight rhythm that makes it feel like you’re being yelled at. Oh, and the lyric doesn’t mean anything. Sadly, though, it’s not a unique case.



The worst jingles these days seem to be confined to local ads. Witness Wet Pets.

And Alexander and Catalano.

And, of course, Empire Carpets, whose jingle hasn’t changed since they were a Chicago-area store.

Surely you all have your favorites. But arguably the new era of indie-soundtracked ads isn’t much better, at least if Noah and the Whale’s Saturn ad is anything to go by. Maybe in two years we’ll all be dancing to some underground DJ from Topeka (former dental assistant!) mashing up snowplow jingles with those Looney Tunes PSAs they used to run on WPIX all the time, and we can shed a single tear for Neil Young.

‘Saved By Zero’ Makes Viewers Into Victims [AdGrabber]

  1. Anonymous

    Montgomery Flea Market is easily the best here.

    [uk]

  2. brasstax

    Yes, the commercial is VERY annoying, but it’s really not that bad a song in its original form.

  3. janine

    Well the Free Country coat ads miss the point so much, they’re awesome.

  4. Eugene Langley

    I am so happy that I am not the only one whose urge to shoot themselves in the face over the past week has been encouraged by this terrible commercial.

    That said I am all for terrible nonsensical jingles of the charming, pleasantly melodic variety of which Cherry Hill Nissan – the friendly Nissan Giant – is a good example.

  5. Anonymous

    The part of the song in the commercial “only has one line,” but the original version by the Fixx is not a “jingle” but a full song, with lyrics. Admittedly, those lyrics are meaningless, and the original itself is arguably maddening. Regardless, its hard to believe that even Idolator seem to think the song (which is still in occasional radio rotation) was written for this commercial.

  6. Anonymous

    The most annoying thing about the Toyota ad is that it makes my memory skip the other 3 minutes 25 seconds in that song and keeps ripping the needle back to that one maddeningly meaningless part. GIVE ME BACK THE CONTROLS TO MY BRAINS!!!

    I MUCH prefer ads that use original music. The Emipre jingle is actually one of my favorites. Listen to those well arranged stacked vocal harmonies! Wet Pets gets an F for rhyming ‘dogs’ with ‘scorpions’.

  7. Jerkwheat

    Eastern Motors would like to have a word with you

  8. Audif Jackson Winters III

    This country it belongs/
    to folks like me and you/
    so let the voice of freedom/
    sing out through this land/
    This. Is. Our Country.

  9. Chris Molanphy

    “Saved by zero!” You’re pissed off already, aren’t you? … Oh, and the lyric doesn’t mean anything.

    Well, as they say, One Thing Leads to Another.

  10. El Zilcho!

    I have never seen such a wacky commercial for lawyers.

  11. dyfl

    Oh my God, that Wet Pets ad might be the catchiest thing I’ve EVER heard. Plus he rhymed “dogs” and “scorpions.” I’m in awe.

  12. Mike Barthel

    @Chris Molanphy: I guess it does mean more in the ad than it does in the original song.

  13. The Van Buren Boys

    @Jerkwheat: When I first moved to the DC area, I mentioned that jingle to friend of mine from the area and his face lit up. They’ve been using that song for a long time now and it’s more popular than I could ever imagine. Of course, since I’ve now been here for a few years I’m starting to get attached to it.

  14. MayhemintheHood

    Hey, not every ad can be a FreeCreditReport.com ad…we all know those are the best commercial songs ever. The band in those ads should put out a cd.

    F R E E that spells free, credit report dot com baby.

  15. How do I say this ... THROWDINI!

    @The Van Buren Boys: I haven’t lived in DC is some time, but in the late 90s, the jingle we were obsessed with was for Shoe City. It featured a Boyz II Men-type group singing

    T-Shirts/
    Sweatshirts/
    Footwear and boots/
    T-Shirts/
    Sweatshirts/
    Footwear and boots/
    No one does the city like Shoe Ciitaaaaayyy

  16. bcapirigi

    Apparently Youtube is devoid of commercials for the Block Island Ferry, which has had the same reggae-inspired jingle since my childhood. It also invites listeners to “take a trip back to carefree times,” as though Block Island were, somehow, the past.

    That said, I always want to sample it in something.

  17. Al Shipley

    @How do I say this … THROWDINI!: My favorite Shoe City jingle is the one that ends “your city/ is my city/ and my city/ is Shoe City.”

  18. unperson

    This is the one that makes me and my wife want to go on a killing spree:

  19. cookiedough

    i dont know why you hate on of montreal so much.

    and i dont think jingles work at all. more ads should be like this.

  20. Anonymous

    All of these are better than that No Handlebars song. Especially Wet Pets.

  21. mike a

    Let’s not forget the Vern Fonk empire, which I discovered while living in Seattle:

  22. Bob Loblaw

    Is it just me, or is the Toyota version sung by the guy from Toad the Wet Sprocket?

  23. stottle

    So glad they did not use the Power Station song, I’m sure the great Nile Rodgers would not allow it.

  24. katie_a_princess

    8 7 7 3 9 3 4 4 4 8

  25. Anonymous

    Jim Guthrie has produced a number of jingles that are becoming quite recognizable for those of us who watch television in Canada. His most well-known is the Capital One Canada anthem (otherwise known as “Hands In My Pocket”), but he has also done a number of great instrumental tracks for companies like Ikea. Evidence can be found here (navigate to ‘Reels’ and then ‘Jim Guthrie’).

  26. Thierry

    @dulledsenses: Thanks for that link – there have been plenty of times when I’ve heard a jingle and thought “sounds like Jim Guthrie again”, and this has just confirmed most of my suspicions…

    Also, “Hands in my Pocket” is one of the worst earworms I know – Canada’s answer to “Our Country”.

    As far as bad jingles go, if you miss Scatman John, here the Cashman – he’ll give you money for your gold![fr]

  27. wakeupbomb

    If you can find it, the National American University jingle is awful and awesome at the same time.

  28. Adairdevil

    @MayhemintheHood: Could not disagree more strongly. I want that band’s heads on pikes.

  29. Anonymous

    @Thierry: That’s another good one! My girlfriend and I regularly break into that song, and change the word “gold” to some other item.

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