When an Earworm is More than an Earworm

We’ve all been there. You hear or read a line of a song you know or a new song and then there it stays, rolling round your subconscious for hours, days, weeks. It’s a nuisance so legendary the likes of NPR have tackled the topic.

But what if marketers are starting to tap into this realm? What if they can create a tune for a commercial that is so jazzy it catches everyone’s attention and causes a mass search for this song you’ve just heard and suddenly can’t imagine driving another mile down the street without it pumping through your speaker system? Could they? Would they?

They have, apparently.

And such is the story of my evening.


While shamelessly watching Austin Powers in Goldmember (the greatest of all Austin Powers movies) a commercial for the Mini Convertible came on:

A quick Google search for “song on mini commercial” showed me a list of links on the topic. I chose the first one from tvadsongs.uk. There it was confirmed with a video of the commercial I’d just seen on tv. Great. What’s the song? And given the number of articles I’d seen on the topic, I wasn’t the only one searching.

It’s called ‘Cat Laundry – Awake’ by the Berlin-based musicians Fritz Rating and Niels Zuiderhoek, aka You Guys.

But what was that next paragraph saying? TO MY HORROR it read:

“In what many viewers will consider a bit of a tease, this track has been recorded exclusively for MINI’s ad campaign and isn’t due to be officially released for download.”

That can’t be right. As someone who works in the social media industry I NEVER believe everything I read on the internet. So I Shazammed it. The first try there was nothing. The second try resulted in the song “Dreaming” by Vic and the Crux. Not the song, Shazam.

I searched Spotify for their names, their band’s name, the song name…nothing.

I searched iTunes…….same.

I even toyed with the idea of memo recording it on my phone to play later. Not a proud moment for me.

A bit of a tease. A bit of a tease? A tease is when your boyfriend asks if you want some ice cream and then says he was joking. A tease is when you were promised a promotion but it never pans out. This? This goes beyond a tease. This is both clever and cruel. The marketer in me has the biggest crush on the people who devised and executed this sly plan. But the music lover in me….is sitting here listening to the “fuller” version of the song via their YouTube channel. The same minute and a half loop on repeat….manually (the song starts at 7:50):

Upon watching the entire thing I see there’s a tie in with the music industry so it totally makes sense to have a song created just for something like this….

But it’s just like the time I loved the song on the SNL Wes Anderson spoof “The midnight Coterie of sinister intruders.”

Btw, the song at the end of that one – the one I liked so much – is a stock song.
Songs like this are my jam. They hit all the right notes and are songs I like to hear over and over.

So I guess the big question: This commercial caught my attention and pulled me into their brand a little. I searched for the song…but did it make me want to learn more about or buy a Mini Convertible? No. No, it did not. But then again, maybe that wasn’t their goal. But also then again, upon watching this clip for the last hour, that is a pretty slick looking whip.

“Oh dear, if I could only close my eyes,”

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