Sunday, July 08, 2007

When Pigs Fly -- New Trojan "Evolve" Commercial (Updated)

This story was posted June 21 when the Times first mentioned it. Thanks to Google searches hardly a day has passed since then when it hasn't been visited by at least five or six readers. I haven't paid it much attention since the comments thread is becoming long on cute and short on content, but this morning something made me perk up.

One of the comments the other day asked about the music. Since then I have also puzzled over it. The tune is catchy and vaguely familiar but I can't quite put my finger on where I might have heard it before. It seems to have a twelve-bar blues form (suitably, I might add, considering the little story being depicted...) and the acoustic guitar gives it just the right touch.

So I did my own search and found that someone else also had the same question. "Yahoo Answers" apparently posted the question ("What is the song on the new trojan commercial where girls are with pigs.? The girls are with pigs in a bar and when a guy goes and buys a condom he transforms into a real man.") but didn't get any reply.

Here is the fun part: I had to find the question by selecting the Google Cache! If you go now to the Yahoo link you discover:

This question has been deleted

Sorry, we had to remove that question.
The question had no answer and expired
The question violated
community guidelines

Excuse me!

The question is in violation of community guidelines?
And what, pray tell, is the guideline that has been violated?
"What is the song?" hardly strikes me as salacious or suggestive. I think the lawyers at Yahoo are running from something else. There is no way to know what the monster in the closet might be, but it sure ain't pigs in the parlor. I think the creative minds that put this commercial together are almost repeating the accidental success of the "New Coke" promotion.

This doesn't look like a first amendment problem to me. It looks more like political correctness running amok .

I report, you decide.


The Fat Lady Sings and the New York Times point to double standards on the part of CBS and Fox, both of which decline to air a new Trojan condoms ad. I don't watch much commercial television so it's of no consequence to me, but I do enjoy watching good commercials.
This one's a doozy.

Here's the link to

And here's the You Tube copy for your viewing entertainment.

Thanks to this link left in a comment we have the story of how the music came about.

Who would have thought that the music we recently wrote and produced for the Kaplan Thaler Group and their client, Trojan Condoms, would be heard in reports featured on The O’Reilly Factor, The Colbert Report and VH1’s Best Week Ever? Or that the spot, featuring pig puppets, would wind up with FOX and CBS refusing to air it?

It all started with a call from Blast Music Management CEO Aaron Jacoves, who brought us the spot to demo. The assignment was right up our alley: produce a great piece of music that worked well with the spot, but didn’t sound like “a commercial.” If anything, it needed to have the feel of an older recording with a healthy dose of personality.

With the agency needing quick turn around on the demo, we pulled an instrumental piece written and recorded a few years ago by Rivers Rutherford, who at the time was a staff writer/producer for iV. Since then, Rivers has amassed a string of #1 hits and was named ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 2006. Steve Keller, iV music group CEO and Creative Director, built on the foundation of the old track, adding a new melody and penning the lyrics. With the clock ticking, Steve jumped in the booth and sang the vocal, never intending for his performance to be anything more than a demo. Daniel Noga finished mixing the spot, adding a little sound design to create the illusion of something old and classic.

The rest is history.

Congratulations, guys. Looks like you scored better than the star of the commercial!


Anonymous said...

I think this commercial is tasteless and offensive to men by using the "all men dirty and are pigs" metaphor . It also insinuates that it is the sole responsibility of the male counterpart to be in charge of sexual protection. For this; I will no longer be a patron of any and all Trojan products.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha..grow up

Anonymous said...

It's a cute commercial! I love it!

Anonymous said...

what song is that?

Anonymous said...

To the number one anonymous- well if the shoe fits.....hehehe. I guess I would rather be offended by a dumb commercial than get gonnasyfaherpalies!!hehehe again to you:)

vietnamcatfish said...

I was deeply affected by this commercial and will no longer use "Trojan" products again, as anonymous has championed. To suggest-via metaphor-that all men are pigs is absurd.
How do we not know a condom is lurking in the belly of me lady's handbag? To underscore a defense for argument two!
I remember daze gone by where condoms were not allowed on the media air waves. Too unsettling for the young and the naive.

Hoots said...

Uh, I'm almost embarrassed to join in one of my own comment threads but I need to add a couple of points.

First, about that odd word above: according to an online urban dictionary it is a conflation of a string of STD's...Ghonorrea, Herpes, Syphillis and Aids. 'Nuff said.

Second, about the music.
The tune seemed vaguely familiar to me as well and the best my memory could recover was echoes of Bugsy Malone. None of these links has the melody, but all capture the spirit of the music...
Bugsy Malone
I'm Feeling Fine (Watch here for a very young Jodie Foster.)
And the final scene from the film.

In any case the music really has a great lift.

Hoots said...

The Bugsy Malone link got lost.
Sorry. Here it is...

Anonymous said...

hey I actually enjoy this commercial. Yes i see how it can be offensive to some guys, but at the same time there are those guys that are there, unprepaired and unpretected. I think that its just trying to get across the point of, Hey dont be like a pig, use a condom everytime, just be smart about it, and people that are offended, I don't think that they are spacificly targeting you.

Anonymous said...

dude,i just want to know the name of the song...

Anonymous said...

I found this info while I was looking for the song:

"The song was written for the commercial by iV music group. Vocals by Steve Keller, iV music group CEO and Creative Director. "

Anonymous said...

its not saying all men are pigs, its saying that men who are trying to have sex with women without protection are...look, you guys are getting too worked up. how do you know she didnt have a condom and said she wouldnt sleep with him unless they had one? you dont exactly know, so why worry....its just a commercial...i mean it bothers me that these days they use sex to sell stuff to guys, but you dont see me not buying products from those companies...

Anonymous said...

wow whoever commented here saying that they're mad with the commercial makes me laugh. As if commercials really influence people that much. You guys should think about more important problems like why you're a dumbass

Anonymous said...

can you imagine it f the roles were reversed and all the women were pigs in this commercial they would have never aired it cause men are strong and we don’t get sensitive about this stuff we will ignore it and move on but if it were women they would be going crazy over it and would say it sets women back blah blah blah

Anonymous said...

oh plzzz...If the roles were reversed it wouldn't change anything, cause the bottom line is that you should use a condom. Duh.... So for all of you freaking and getting all sniffy, get over yourselves ok dud'...
The only reason they probably used the guys and not the girls is because in the way society has made us humans stereotism the men are the more agressive and dominant instigators of sex...they go out of their way to court a girl (even if it's a one nice stand) making it only obvious for them to use guys as the pigs......

And for those of you who really feel offended, well if you feel personally adressed to then should figure by now that the commercial probably was like looking in a mirror....(Swine)

Hahahahhahhah...... LMAO

Hoots said...

I notice as I age a widening gulf between the generations. Comments left here help me stay informed. The previous example has two interesting twists on the mother tongue that strike me as creative, if not poetic:
stereotism (It's not a typo. I did a Google search and came up with a spate of hits, including one that "stereotism is sooo not a word.")
one nice stand (Much more romantic than one nite stand, don't you agree?)

Anonymous said...

my opinion is that the commercial is not stating thatALL men r pigs.
only the ones that dont use condoms and not staying safe during sex.
u guys need 2 get over it.
gahh. =]

klaudia said...

this commercial is awesome =D
especially that song

Kyle Kratky said...

The point of this ad is not to insinuate that all men are pigs. The point is to shine some light on the dark corners of sexual health in the United States.

The metaphor being employed here is a simple one: would you have sex with an animal who has no notion of respect for your body or for its own? (No offense to pigs; they should be the only ones offended here; even still, they do learn to evolve, and that is the point.)

Of course you would not. The USA is not a sexually healthy country, and it is time to set aside "abstinence only" teachings as well as the outdated notion that only sexual deviants carry condoms. They are not encouraging promiscuity. They are trying to improve the quality of sex people are having.

Anonymous said...

I think that the point of offense here for many people is not the 'all men are pigs' idea, but rather the idea that all people in a bar are simply out to get laid. That all men are looking for only one thing - sex, and all women are immediately willing to participate in a one night stand as long as the man has a condom.

What this advertisement says to men is "no matter who you are, if you have a condom, all women in all bars will (and should) want to sleep with you. No relationship, personality, or tact needed. Just purchase a condom and women will flock!"

And to women "All men in bars only want to sleep with you, so, because you are powerless to choose otherwise, at least go with the one who has a condom!"

Incredibly offensive to both genders

Anonymous said...

I think everybody is looking at the commercial all wrong, if anyone should be offended it should be the women. This commercial made women look like sluts, to think that we will sleep with any man just because he is planning to use a condom is crazy. On the funny side of this commercial, they could atleast had made the guy somewhat attractve.

Anonymous said...

uhh.. they did get a somewhat attractive guy. he was hot! almost hot enough to not even need a condom... almost. just kidding...

Anonymous said...

The song is "When Pigs Fly" by Rivers Rutherford.

Anonymous said...

no one is saying a woman usually doesn't have a condom, it's just making a JOKE about how guys are pigs. Alot of times they are, so chill out, its a good song too.

Gabrielle Roberts said...

Thats the man stereotype, it has been for almost ever! i cant tell you how many times ive gone to a club or bar and have been bombarded by men.. its disgusting! I completely agree with the stereotype, even my boyfriend can be a pig, thinking he can grab all over me whenever he wants...especially if he doesn't have a trojan condom ;) I really cant believe people are getting this worked up.

TwystedArchangel said...

on the subject of whom it represents:
it does not express any conclusion towards the idea that all men are so called 'pigs'. it merely alludes to the occurence that all men the audience is given privy to, in that particular bar, are pigs. so at most, under the assumption that we are being shown the majority of the bar's area, we, as the audience can ascertain that they could definitely being conveying the message that 'many' or even 'most' men are pigs. (and there would still be grounds for us to be wrong, but it would be a reasonable assumption) so get the hell over that issue, ya crybabies.

on the subject of choosing men to be represented as pigs:
that is obviously because it already exists as a standing cliche. (someone should 'DUH' somebody here) men are regarded as pigs because of a reputable history as 'filthy', (i.e. NOT congenial, romantic, thoughtful, gracious, and appealing. this is a subjective and descriptive term mind you.) and 'vulgar', 'offensive' beasts. and if a woman was behaving appropriately for the suggestion, the terminology could be used for her too. if the context was compatible with the situation, anyone who witnessed the happening would understand it. but women as a whole just haven't demonstrated enough of said behavior in order to be recognized as such collectively.

on the subject of the advertisements over all offensive potential:
i referred to how it does not state ALL men are pigs, thus negating that as a just reason for being offended at all. thus it's not for that reason. and i justly stated that any 'crybabies' should get over it. hopefully, though, being that there is only one woman who approves of any guy in the bar, "evolved" or otherwise,, it is now even more obvious to all of you that it cannot even be attempting to tell the world that all women are sluts, or all women who find guys that buy condoms are "willing to participate in one night stands" so they have no reason to be offended either. you only get told that one of like... fifteen women at least, will do such. maybe all those chicks left are making fun of her for choosing mr 'evolve into a metrosexual' guy themselves, and think she is a slut too. and at the idea of being offended because the commercial states that all people who go to bars are looking for sex... well i am pretty dang sure you are in a severe minority at stance. because, again, it only represents that particular bar, but also pretty much everyone knows, even people that are not looking for copulation, that MANY people do go to bars for such. that is why people often decide not to go, if they don't have any mutually minded company to go along with them. and really that is not a bad thing anyway, because a large part of the sexually open crowd only look for others interested in such. but there are those few who behave unsavory in some way or another, and their behavior can be offensive, but i obtained no notion that that demographic was represented in this commercial. and not to mention (even though i am) the FACT that in any large popular bar with a diverse crowd on any busy night, you could hang out people watching and have a VERY high chance of witnessing multiple scenes of human interaction falling along the exact same lines. (minus the pig imagery and not factoring in the condom for definite, it could or could not be involved) someone will make advances, someone will respond positively. it just is. i am not doing the calculations, but i would wager you have an almost infinitesimally small chance of NOT saeeing it at least once. you rubes. and one of the silliest comments i have read is that pigs should be offended. i will not even go into that one. quite frankly, i am disappointed none of you could be all riled up about something interesting, like the idea that the metaphor having continued on without the addition of the condom factor, giving that one girl did eventually respond positively to advances made, would have resulted in visual metaphor zoophilia.

on the subject of messages put forth by the commercial:
it is not saying that all men who hit on women without protection are pigs either, we only know those pigs in that bar (who all represent human males we assume) are talking to and looking at women.... we cant hear their conversations, we don't know their intent) and there is no stupid statement about "would you have sex with an animal who has no notion of respect for your body or it's own?" because a man not walking to a vending machine and buying a condom in a bar is NOT a man not respecting his body nor the body of whom he seeks to have relations with.

on the subject of the song:
i love it

on the subject of the cliche of guys being pigs:
i am a guy, and i like that stereotype. yes it honestly does describe (as it is contextually understood) a good deal of my behavior, and even more of my thoughts, but not all. and i do not feel ashamed or unevolved for being sexually aggressive or blatant. i fully believe we, as males, should. that its important, and if we don't we are not balanced. stuff that in your fancy frilly sensitive little pocket and sit on it. i also believe women should be complimented from a degree of objectification, or they're not balanced either.

on the subject of social programming:
i am pissed off that i like the song, because i hate the concept of advertising being able to manipulate our mentalities.

on the subject of people with self esteem problems:
that is all your fault, because you do not choose to overcome them. but do us all a favor and stop catering to your issues, and making opinions based on them. it is really annoying.

on the subject of dogs in sweaters:
"no sir... i don't like it. i dont like it at all. not at all"

on the subject of this post:
its drawn on for a really long time now so i'm stopping. later.