'Hey Soul Sister' in advertising must come to an end: What other songs must be stopped? | EW.com

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'Hey Soul Sister' in advertising must come to an end: What other songs must be stopped?


no-trainWhether you’d like to admit it or not, you have to be familiar with “Hey Soul Sister” by Train (you know, the band that previously brought you another can’t-get-it-out-of-my-head tune “Drops of Jupiter”). This song and the band have been all over radio, TV, baseball stadiums (even dueling fans couldn’t help but put aside their differences and sway to the sounds of a middle-aged crooner during the seventh inning stretch) over the last six months. The song’s lack of real words (“Hey-ey Ey-ey-ey-ey-ey”) allow just about anyone to “sing” along without any real effort or strain on one’s memory, and its laid-back vibe has made it a prime candidate for any advertiser who’s going for “appealing.” So it comes as no surprise that it’s been featured in tons of commercials and television shows recently.

“But Emily, it’s so good!” you tell me. Sure, the song is totally inoffensive, but its ubiquity is still incredibly annoying. Maybe it’s the cheery ukulele à la Jason Mraz that leaves those of us who aren’t living in perpetual summer (or a music video) completely bitter? Or maybe it’s the ambiguous and repetitive chorus? Whatever it is, I’m tired of it. Luckily fellow haters Keith Stoeckeler and Bradley Meyers are way ahead of me with their hilarious Tumblr, Stop Advertising From Pulling A Train.

Keith and Brad are just two guys who “got fed up,” and decided to do a service to their community, by welcoming submissions of all the instances where “Hey Soul Sister” is being used, “so [they] can keep track of everyone who apparently needs some new taste in music.” Genius. Did you hear Train in the background of your favorite show recently? Does the guy in the cubicle next to you still blast it way too loudly from his computer? Let them know. (And make sure to check out Keith and Brad’s great commentary underneath each submission. Some of my favorites: “I bet even Barbara Walters hates Train” and “You know, I always respected the Kidz Bop franchise until now.”)

This can’t be the first time that a song became this ubiquitous in television advertising. The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” (which also appeared in 2009’s (500) Days of Summer) has been used in commercials for Rhapsody and Diet Coke. “Home,” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ was heard in the final moments of Community episode “Debate 109” last fall, before becoming the sound of Palm webOs in the spring, and most recently, NFL.com. These songs haven’t gotten under my skin nearly as much as Train…but there’s still time.

Where have you heard “Hey Soul Sister,” PopWatchers? What other song epidemics must be stopped? [Stereogum]