Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Sep 28th 2007 12:00PM by Gaylord Fields
This automobile ad, which features a Honda Accord motoring past projected nostalgic scenes that could be emanating from a dusty, oft-played family video, is appropriately set to the Electric Light Orchestra's 1981 hit single. As a car whizzes by typical Americana such as a Little League game and a school band marching down Main Street, the song's chorus implores you to "hold on tight to your dreams," marrying the wistfulness of the words with the requisite life-is-a-highway visual metaphor.
The bouncy, chugging rocker was the last major hit by the Birmingham, England, exponents of Beatles-leaning '70s orchestral rock, reaching the Top 10 in '81. It was produced by ELO singer-songwriter-guitarist Jeff Lynne, who is also famous for his stint in the late-'80s/early-'90s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys as well as his production work for fellow Wilburys George Harrison and Tom Petty. 'Hold On Tight,' which appears on ELO's futuristic concept album 'Time,' actually deals with the theme of nostalgia in a more extreme fashion: the record's lead character has been abducted from 1981 into the late 21st century and longs for the life and the woman he was taken away from.
This is by no means the first time 'Hold On Tight' has been appropriated by commercial concerns. In fact, one of the earlier examples of rock music recontextualized for an ad is the song's use in the celebrity-studded 1980's-era "Coffee Achievers" campaign for the National Coffee Association. In the series of spots, stars along the lines of David Bowie, Cicely Tyson, Kurt Vonnegut and Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson implore us to join them in the glamorous pursuit of guzzling cups of hot java. The song was also featured in a 2005 advertisement for mortgage brokers Ameriquest as well as the first-season finale of the NBC sitcom 'My Name Is Earl.'
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