Oh ... my ... God ... Becky. Guess what Target's new theme song is?
"I like backpacks and I cannot lie..."
(You and other pre-schoolers can't deny?)
The commercial features young kids dancing around in their backpacks to the carefully rewritten 1992 frat hit. Chances are the target audience won't get the reference, but their parents may be humming, "My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns, hon."
It's ironic that a song that was once banished by MTV into the late evening because of fly girls shaking their rotund rumps now has a place on a commercial aimed at kids. It's either deliciously offensive, or, as some experts say, brilliant marketing.
"You have a hip client, making a hip inside joke, intentionally shifting from 'Baby Got Back' to '... Backpack,'" says Mark DiMassimo, creative director of the New York-based DiMassimo advertising agency.
"There isn't anything particularly offensive about changing the meaning of the song from 'backside' to 'backpack' -- it's a short trip. No one is particularly offended along the way, maybe someone's mom won't like it, but offending mom has been a good way to sell the kids for a long time."
Target did not return phone calls for comment on the spot. But just as "red beans and rice didn't miss her," so the bright, red-and-white spot should get viewers jumping, says Eric Webber, VP and marketing director at Austin's GSD&M -- the firm behind the Chili's baby-back ribs jingle.
"Target has a history of using cheeky humor in their ads, so it's consistent with what they've done and their audience isn't going to be surprised by that," he says.
Ultimately, says Webber, "a lot of people don't pay all that much attention to the lyrics, as long as it's a catchy and engaging song."
Such would be the explanation for other famously inappropriate musical pairings.
Take Iggy Pop's heroin happy "Lust for Life," which was used to sell Royal Caribbean cruises, or the Smiths' loner single "How Soon Is Now," used to illustrate how great the Nissan Maxima is.
"There has to be some relevance between the product and the song," Webber says.
"There can't be such a total disconnect that it blows the whole purpose. If you're using music that doesn't fit, what you've done is cause somebody to entirely miss what you're trying to sell them -- they're not thinking 'maybe I should consider a cruise,' they're saying 'wow, that was way off base.'"
Some commercial song choices that didn't quite make sense include:
Artist: Iggy Pop
Title: "Lust for Life"
Pitching: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
It's really about: Shooting up heroin
Sample lyric: "Here comes Johnny Yen again/With the liquor and drugs/And the flesh machine/He's gonna do another strip tease."
Title: "Strict Machine"
Pitching: Nintendo Game Boy Advance
It's really about: A sex toy
Sample lyric: "I get high on a buzz/then a rush when I'm plugged in you/When you send me a pulse/Feel a wave of new love/Through me."
Artist: Sixpence None the Richer
Title: "There She Goes"
Pitching: Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (birth control pills)
It's really about: Heroin
Sample lyric: "There she goes/there she goes again/she calls my name/pulls my train/no one else could heal my pain/and I just can't contain this feeling that remains."
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title: "Fortunate Son"
Pitching: Wrangler jeans
It's really about: Being anti-war, anti-government and anti-rich
Sample lyric: "Some folks are born made to wave the flag/Ooh, they're red, white and blue/And when the band plays 'Hail to the Chief,'/Oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord."
Artist: Janis Joplin
It's really about: Poor people succumbing to capitalism and materialism via the ultimate upper class status symbol.
Sample lyric: "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?/My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends."