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A Look at Danny Elfman's work for the
Glorious World of Advertising

K.R.O.Q (radio jingle) (1978)
Budweiser: "This Bud's For You" (song) (1984)
Nike "Barkley Superhero" (1992)
Nissan "Enjoy the ride" (1996/97)
Ford/Lincoln/Mercury (1998/99) (orch, Bartek)
Chanel no.5 "Share the fantasy (Little Red Riding Hood)" (2001)
Honda (2002)
[NEW] Mazda (date unverified)
Nike can be found on this album.

If film composers and their critics see television scores as a bit less impressive than your average blockbuster basher, imagine what they might think about the music for adverts and jingles. Well, Danny Elfman presumably thought enough of his music for a Nike commercial that he included it on his 'Music for a Darkened People Vol.2' money-maker, and, despite being at the top of his career tree for a number of years now, he still contributes to this diminutive but lucrative canon. [N.B. All text by Bluntinstrument unless otherwise credited.]

Nike "Barkley Superhero"- (1992)

A fast-paced percussive number that doesn't sound very Elfmanish but is entertaining nonetheless.
—by Groovy Yak

Honda - (2002)

Hear the theme in MP3 (514Kb)
The actual commercial may still be available in Quicktime format here.
The type of commercial for which Danny Elfman's Pee-wee phase of wacky tunes and lurid orchestration was made. A parade of weird and wonderful vehicles parade through a rocky desert, bedecked in the most child-friendly primary colours, all in full IMAX format. The icing on the cake is the hugely extravagent music Elfman contributes that could so easily have been commissioned from an inferior imitator. Honda obviously believe you get what you pay for, and what better advertising than for Danny to have proved them right.

Nissan "Enjoy the Ride" (1996-97)

An oddity, this, with a slightly Williamseque opening, gradually opening out into a succession of pigeon-holeable Elfman styles that one might have thought he was employing unused scraps from previous film scores. Everything is there, from The Frighteners to Flubber, with Edward Scissorhands magical chorus giving all they're worth in a very characteristic second half. The effect is certainly reminiscent of timeless cinema magic (no doubt the makers' object, since this was a television campaigne), but is a little too unfocussed for such a short playing time, trying perhaps a little too hard to play to every slight action on screen. N.B. Steve Bartek has been credited for orchestration and conducting.

Chanel no.5 "Share the Fantasy (Little Red Riding Hood)" (1998)

Ah-ha! If you have arrived here having seen Luc Besson's so-kitch-it's-kool advert you will no doubt be wondering, as I did, whether this is an Elfman advert or a galling swipe of his score from Edward Scissorhands. Well, the jury is out on the technicalities of this one. It is definitely music legally taken from the film score—indeed, if you wanted to hear the best bits in a half minute digest, this is the place to go—but rumour abounds that the actual performance is from a re-recording made by Nic Raine with the City of Prague Philharonic Orchestra, available on the disc 'Cinema Choral Classics II'; and the adept pruning ("arranged") is credited (according to his official website) by Elfman's orchestrator Steve Bartek. Whatever the specifics, this proves a very fitting choice for Besson's foxy French fairytale, and is the exception that proves the rule when it comes to noticing when Elfman's music has been ripped off.

[NEW] Mazda (date unverified)

I'm afraid I am going to have to disappoint you: this is definitely an unashamed lift from Edward Scissorhands. Two sections in fact (one with a minor edit midway), stitched very badly together, and all available on the soundtrack, leaving nothing remotely original or of added value from what should be in any self-respecting Elfmanite's collection. Zoom-zoom indeed. [Thanks to Clement Shimizu for the link]
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