Question: I've read some columns where you helped people find out what songs are from TV commercials and I have two requests for you. The first one: On the Lee Dungarees commercial, is that Johnny Cash singing the song? I know the question sounds sort of stupid, but it's been bugging me for weeks. The second one is, what band sings the song for that Mercedes C coupe commercial? The only lyrics I know are about a guy singing about driving in his car and I really like the song. Thanks! Salom
Televisionary: I exist to serve, Salom. Now, to answer your second question first because I'm a contrary kind of guy, the Mercedes song you seek is Geggy Tah's "Whoever You Are" and it's from their 1996 album Sacred Cow. (Before you ask, the name comes from how founding members' Greg Kurstin and Tommy Jordan's little sisters mispronounced their respective names.)As far as the Lee Dungarees ads go, that's The Dave Matthews Band's Junior Brown singing a tune produced by the famed T-Bone Burnett. (I can certainly understand the confusion, though, since the ditty bears a strong resemblance to Cash's "I Walk the Line.")
There's a bit of history to the Buddy Lee campaign a series of commercials, which, again, are funnier and more original than most of the so-called comedies kicking around the networks these days. (I know, I know I'm like a broken record with that ads-vs.-shows thing of mine.)
When Lee, a brand that research indicated was worn mainly by women over 30, decided to launch a new line aimed at a younger market, the marketing folks looked back at their old ads for inspiration. They not only rediscovered the inspiration for their Dungarees line, they found little Buddy, a wee plastic guy originally created for in-store displays in the early 1920s. (Buddy was initially made of easy-to-break composite plastic but was molded from tougher stuff beginning in 1949, when the "Can't Bust 'Em" slogan was born.) The company reintroduced Buddy to the public in 1998 and, as we old guys say, the kids loved him.
And me? Heck, I'll admit it: I want to be like him, too. Then again, as the song says, it might hurt to be like Buddy Lee.