Monday, April 25, 2005

Stupid Things That Grab My Mind and Won't Let Go

For the past hour or so, my brain has had the following ditty on repeat mode:
I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing... [more]
Yep, that's the song I hear. That insidious soundtrack for Coca Cola just won't leave me alone today. I can't be certain as to how it forced its way into my inner listening booth, but I do have my suspicions (thank you so much, Father Jake). Aside from wafting between endearingly sweet and cloyingly annoying, here are a few things you may not have known about the song (courtesy of SongFacts):
  • This was written for a Coca-Cola commercial to be sung by The New Seekers. Considered one of the most effective ads of all time, it featured a group of children from various countries singing this together on a hilltop.
  • When the commercial became a hit, radio stations got requests for the song, but the only place it could be heard was in the ad. Coke put together a group called The Hillside Singers to record a full version adapted from the commercial. The song had a country sound and hit US #13. Then they had the New Seekers record a version which was also released. Both versions were on the charts at the same time.
  • When this was made into a full length song, the line, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company," was replaced so radio stations would play it.
  • The original title was "True Love And Apple Pie."
  • William Backer worked for Coke's advertising agency. He was putting together radio commercials for The New Seekers to sing and came up with the line "I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company" after seeing travelers at an airport having a good time over a Coke. For the story of how the Coke commercial came together, read Backer's book The Care And Feeding Of Ideas.
  • This was first used as an unsuccessful radio commercial. Backer then convinced Coke to use it in a TV spot.
  • In 1985, Coke brought this back when they introduced a new formula for their soda. "New Coke" was a huge flop, and is considered one of the biggest marketing failures ever.
Well, none of that has helped me to get this song out of my head. But if I've now infected you with it, and your mind is now singing along, then I can be somewhat happy. After all, nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around. So welcome to my personal hell.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't be in a bad mood if you are singing that song. I would think your inner self is telling you to be happy if that is the song it has chosen to sing. Either that or you are just thirsty : )

mira said...

Gaa! It's back in my head now! Nooooooo!