Opera in advertising

Thought opera wasn’t for the masses? Think again! Opera has been used in advertising for years. The use of music in advertising helps marketers connect with their customers on an emotional level, so it’s no surprise that an art form which dramatically and perfectly conveys emotion, is used so frequently in order to make some sales!

Thanks to these TV ads (and many others that we haven’t included) you probably know famous opera songs without even realising it. Take a look at some of the most famous…

'Just one Cornetto' - Cornetto

This Cornetto ad first ran in the 1980s and 90s, and was voted ‘catchiest jingle of all time’, some 20 years later.

The jingle is based on Eduardo di Capua and Alfredo Mazzucchi’s ‘O Sole Mio’, written in 1898!

'Blown away man' - Maxell

In the 1980s, Japanese electronics company Maxell, became a pop culture icon with their ad, known popularly as ‘blown away man’. The guy in the ad is effortlessly trying to cling on to his chair as Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ blasts through the speakers. The piece of music is from Die Walküre which is part of the composer’s famous Ring Cycle.

This ad has been parodied time and time again; Diddy uses it as inspiration for the opening sequence of his song ‘Tell me’, the crew of Jackass attempted the stunt, this time with a jet engine, and even Family Guy have based a scene on it.

Amazon Fire Stick - Amazon

The use of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik in this ad conveys wealth and luxury, which perfectly tie into the origins of opera. Not surprisingly, this instantly recognisable piece of classical music is used regularly in commercials, TV, and film.

If from nowhere else, you’ll know the composition from Alien, Batman Begins, There’s Something About Mary, or Daddy Day Care (to name just a few).

Risorante Pizza - Dr. Oetker

It’s no coincidence that arguably the most recognisable aria of all time is used over and over in the world of advertising.

You may not have known that ‘Women Abandon Us’ (‘La Donna e Mobile’), is from Verdi’s Rigoletto, but you will have heard it.

If your dog can dream it - Purina

Figaro’s fast-paced aria from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville animates this Purina Pro Plan ad.

The light hearted, ‘comic’ feel of the music from the opera is also perfectly parodied in Bugs Bunny’s ‘The Rabbit of Seville’, this time using the Overture.

Hip Hopera - Pepsi

Changing the opening lines ‘Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame’ to the slightly less poetic, ‘It’s a tale of a guy named Zeke, who has come here from Battle Creek’, Beyonce embodies Carmen in this Pepsi ad.

This parody of the most recognisable aria from Bizet’s Carmen ‘Habanera’ (or ‘L’amour est un oiseau rebelle’), is sung by Carmen in the first act.