How Ozempic turned a 1974 hit into a must-have jingle

How Ozempic turned a 1974 hit into a must-have jingle

Licensing a song for an advertisement may be seen by some as antithetical to the countercultural spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. “There have always been protectors of the flame who, when certain songs are used at certain times, aggressively clutch their pearls,” Werde said. “But there is very little evidence that it has ever harmed any artist.” He pointed to The Beatles licensing their utopian “All You Need Is Love” to Luvs diapers in 2007 as perhaps the most egregious example of an advertiser co-opting the original meaning of a song. “But no one really cared. It was Ob-la-di. Life goes on.”

Simon Allaway, 52, an Ozempic user and Chicago-based computer programmer and musician, loves the “Magic” spot. “I can’t stop singing,” he said. “It fits the product perfectly. Another user wrote in a forum post that every time she injects, her father sings “Oh, oh, oh, Ozempic.”

“Magic” has been praised many times before, for a Coca-Cola commercial – “I actually sang ‘Coke, Coke, Coke, it’s Magic’ in the ’70s,” Paton recalls – for the film Disney’s 2005 “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and as the musical bed for Flo Rida’s 2009 single, also called “Magic,” just to name a few. “People always want to use the song in some way,” Paton said.

Asked if he was bothered by the association of his song with what turned out to be a lightning rod product, he smiled and shook his head. “I was thrilled! I’m a songwriter. I want to sell my music. A lot of people don’t know the name Pilot, but they know the Ozempic song.

For musicians, the success of the Ozempic ad could be a harbinger of big checks to come. Pharmaceutical companies have seemingly unlimited budgets to promote their products: according to media analytics firm Guideline, the pharmaceutical industry overtook technology and automobiles in 2023 to become the second-largest industry in terms of ad spending, behind consumer packaged goods.

Already, Lady Gaga is a spokesperson for Pfizer’s migraine drug, Nurtec ODT; Cyndi Lauper lends his distinct Brooklyn accent to an ad for Cosentyx, which treats plaque psoriasis; John Legend and Charlie Puth present Pfizer’s Covid vaccine and boosters. The Jackson 5’s “ABC” propels commercials for Trelegy (used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), while commercials for the heart drug Entresto are accompanied by Sonny & Cher’s “The Beat Goes On.”

But those spots didn’t cement themselves in pop culture the way “Oh, Oh, Oh, Ozempic” did.

“In contemporary advertising, campaigns tend to have a fairly short shelf life,” said CultHealth’s Rothstein. “Two, three years, maximum. Yet, “Oh, oh, oh, Ozempic” continues to endure. You can do all the market research in the world and never end up with something like this.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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