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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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The Maroon 5 ad is ruining the World Cup, please make it stop

WHO ASKED FOR THIS?

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 4.00.39 PM Source: YouTube

IF YOU HAVE even so much as been in the same room while a World Cup tie was broadcast, then you are familiar with The Ad™.

The Ad™ begins benignly enough. A car drives through a sports stadium car park. Two children, a boy and a girl, are messing around in the backseat. Their mother looks around from the front seat and beams at her two wholesome angels.

The car stops and the little girls rips off her seatbelt. She attempts to open the passenger door when, out of nowhere, a giant shuttle bus comes racing through the car park. What exactly is a bus doing driving at what appears to be a relatively high speed through a car park? Who knows! It’s not important.

What is important is whether or not the little girl will be killed for lacking the foresight to check for any oncoming shuttle buses. Time slows to a crawl as exactly one passerby notices the bus speeding hurtling its way through the car park. Right before we find out whether or not the girl will open the door and be met with certain death, we see a pair of drumsticks.

One, two.

And then it starts.

Don’t worry about a thing.

Source: HyundaiWorldwide/YouTube

I am, of course, talking about Maroon 5’s cover of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. The song is featured in Hyundai’s World Cup ad campaign and I reckon I have subjected to it approximately eight hundred times since the World Cup started. I am not being hyperbolic when I say it is a blight on the television landscape and presently my greatest source of torment.

In the ad, Maroon 5 are seen jamming in a car park. Lead singer Adam Levine is wearing a questionable red pant only a middle-aged ad executive could think was cool and a pair of Roy Orbison-esque dark glasses lest we look too deep into his eyes. It’s a look that screams, ‘Give me the money and get me the hell out of here.’

What ensues is a painfully tepid and half-hearted rendition of Three Little Birds. It is to the original what dishwater is to actual drinking water. That is to say it is a poor imitation and not even remotely fit for human consumption.

The purpose of the ad – which was directed by influential music video director Joseph Kahn – is to highlight Hyundai’s smart technology, including Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Safe Exist Assist. According to the brand’s website, “Through the song, Hyundai will communicate that its smart technology means consumers can forget their worries and enjoy a positive driving experience both in and out of the car.”

That’s a funny rationale because Adam Levine’s nasal assurances that every little thing is going to be alright do nothing to assuage my concerns. Instead of granting me peace of mind, they make my skin itch.

In fact, the only message the ad manages to successfully communicate is that Three Little Birds is a supremely grating song when you hear it in thirty-second snatches multiple times per day.

Which begs the question: who thought this was a good idea?

Three Little Birds is a truly iconic song with a global reach, sure. But has a single person ever listened to it and thought, ‘I love this song, but what I would really love to hear is a jaded wedding band’s take on it’?

The fact that this ad appears to be universally loathed would suggest not.

Tweet by @Dhorat the Explorer Source: Dhorat the Explorer/Twitter

At the end of the ad, we see Hyundai’s passenger safety features click into gear, ensuring that the little girl survives her near brush with death. Her parents breathe a sight of relief that mirrors exactly how I feel when I grab the remote in time to either mute this musical abomination or switch channels.

All so I can avoid hearing the milky, “This is my message to you-hoo-hoo…” refrain.

The good news is that we are now midway through this nightmare. All going well, our suffering will end in just over two weeks when the World Cup champions are crowned. A television viewing experience free of this musical atrocity. I’m giddy just thinking about it.

In the meantime, look after yourselves and pray a neighbour chooses to cut the grass each and every time the ad comes on to drown out the noise. (Or just use the mute button. Whatever’s easiest.)

Godspeed, my friends.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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