THe Door To Yesterday vol. 4, No. 12. Alan Warner. 2019.




Brading with the Stars. The Door To Yesterday. alan Warner. Celebrity Endorsements and Commericals.

 The concept of hiring images of famous people 

to help promote commercial products has been 

in existence for decades. 

During the golden age of Hollywood, 

countless movie stars appeared in print ads 

to extoll the virtues  of an endless supply of products.  




Monroe Garland and Waune. The Door to Yesterday. alan  warner. 2019



Lucille Ball &Desi Arnaz from “I Love Lucy” and Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko from “The Phil Silvers Show”

Lucy Desi and Phil. the Door To Yesterday. 2019. Alan Warner




 When TV came into its own, 

stars of the small screen similarly became product sponsors…

These days we are used to seeing a wide range of celebrities in TV ads

 such as Marie Osmondrecommending the Nutrisystem diet plan, Selena Gomez as a spokesperson 

for UNICEF and Taylor Swift in her treadmill ad for Apple Music but of course this practice is nothing new. 

There’s even an ad currently running in the UK featuring Mariah Careypitching 

Walkers potato crisps and using her hit song ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU


Looking back at television advertising in the past, catchy jingles were frequently 

created using animated characters 


and also SNAP, CRACKLE, POP 

for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies

Another longtime favorite was the I’M A PEPPER commercial 

for the soft drink Dr. Pepper which featured actor/singer David Naughton 

 who himself enjoyed a major hit in ’79 with the song MAKIN’ IT

 from the movie ‘Meatballs’.

I’M A PEPPER was composed by Jake Holmes, one of a number of songwriters including Barry Manilow and Randy Newmanwho also had success writing jingles and were needless to say performing artists in their own right. 

Very often, songs were written specifically for commercials as with the famous ad SEE THE USA IN YOUR CHEVROLET 

which singer Dinah Shore sang in the 50’s on her TV series which Chevrolet sponsored. In other cases, existing songs were adapted

 for TV spots; a memorable example was when Frank Loesser’s STANDING ON THE CORNER (Watching All The Girls Go By)

from the 1956 Broadway show “The Most Happy Fella” was reworded for the Ford Motor company as 

STANDING ON THE CORNER Watching All The Fords Go By. 

Vintage songs can take on a whole new life when featured in small screen ads as has happened in the past few years with 

Jackie DeShannon’s 1969 hit ballad PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART which she co-wrote with her brother Randy Myers 

and R&B singer Jimmy Holiday. It’s been effectively used in various commercials, most recently by Subaru

 for their 2016 Share The Love campaign:

From time to time, tunes composed for TV commercials turned into hit records. 

For instance, in Britain in 1959 there was a very popular ad for Strand cigarettes of which the tagline was

 ‘You’re Never Alone With A Strand’.

The haunting melody by Howard Barnes & Cliff Adams was spelled out by a harmonica 

and it became a 1960 UK hit for CliffAdams & His Orchestra under the title THE LONELY MAN THEME

A major hit here in early ’66 was NO MATTER WHAT SHAPE (Your Stomach’s In) by The T-Bones. 

Written by Sascha Burland, it was the melody from a TV commercial for Alka-Seltzer pain reliever.

A few months later, The Bob Crewe Generation charted with MUSIC TO WATCH GIRLS GO BY

a tune written by composer Sid Ramin for a Diet Pepsi commercial.

Talking of soft drinks, The Coca-Cola company has enjoyed a long and successful history of musical commercials 

on radio & TV.  In the 1960’s, variations on their slogan ‘Things Go Better With Coke’ were developed into 

a remarkable series of radio commercials specifically recorded by a staggering list of pop and rock stars including 

Roy Orbison, Tom Jones, The Everly Brothers, Otis Redding, Neil Diamond, The Who, The Moody Blues, 

Jerry Lee Lewis, Petula Clark and The Four Seasons

Here are YouTube audio links to six other Coke commercials in that series… 

Jan & Dean

The Supremes

Gladys Knight & The Pips

Ray Charles & Aretha Franklin

Marvin Gaye

And finally the partnership of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell:

Then in 1971, Coca-Cola launched a worldwide campaign and video with the song 

I’D LIKE TO BUY THE WORLD A COKE sung by a group of young people standing on a hillside. 

Here’s the actual spot:  

Credited to writers Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway, Bill Backer & Roquel Billy Davis

the song was adapted into I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING (In Perfect Harmony). 

Recorded by The New Seekers with David Mackay producing,

 it became a major international hit.


Rock on.

Alan Warner

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As in all my postings, the advertisements and recordings listed above are personal choices 

and are in no way intended as a definitive collection of the genre.

© Alan Warner, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission 

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