Television plays a major part in the American lifestyle, and before the era of TiVo, audiences had to sit through countless commercials. Now, many of those commercials are posted on YouTube for people to watch voluntarily! We were curious to find out how many of those commercials feature the clarinet. After an exhaustive search, we compiled a list of commercials--some of which you may remember seeing. Ranging from large corporation productions to local advertisements, our list includes new and out-dated commercials, with some that are sure to make you laugh. Our top four favorites begin with a Doritos commercial, mis-appropriately titled “Clarinet Virtuoso.” I guess that goes with the saying that eating and playing don’t mix.
Next on the list is one of the most recognizable videos produced by MasterCard. Their catchy slogan of comparing the costs of objects to what is priceless could not be better portrayed than with a beginner’s first attempt at the clarinet. MasterCard suggests that parents could avoid headaches caused by the inevitable honks and squeaks by purchasing their child a tambourine instead!
A video featuring a local advertisement by Ray’s Midbell Music is funny not only because of the actors (they must have been store employees), but also because of the rap song they sing to encourage kids to play in the band.
Last but not least, Benny Goodman is featured in a Geico commercial. This vintage footage shows the legendary Goodman endorsing the insurance company with clarinet in hand.
Check out our YouTube Clarinet Commercials playlist for more. The remaining commercials were chosen for their accompanying clarinet music, and the products advertised make us wonder about the associations the general public has with the clarinet. The videos include promotion of cat litter and anti-depressant drugs--as most of us clarinetists know, playing makes us happy and has natural mood-lifting abilities. One related commercial has nothing to do with the clarinet, but fits in the woodwind category. A Super Bowl commercial featuring NFL player Chester Pitts shows that one doesn’t always have to choose between music and athletics. This large linebacker also plays the oboe off the field--even in the locker room.