By on December 17, 2009

The first time we posted the video for They Might Be Giants’ song “Electric Car,” TTAC commentator rollosrevenge noted:

I love EVs and am pretty fond of They Might be Giants, but that was the one of the most annoying songs accompanied by the one of the stupidest music videos ever. It belongs as the theme song/video for the Volt.

And guess what? If Bob “Chrome” Lutz had his way, it could have been.

Greencarreports.com explains

former marketing chief Bob Lutz  wanted to license the song “Electric Car,” by whimsical rock group They Might Be Giants.

Lutz passed the song along to Chevrolet Marketing, the folks who are now responsible for promoting the 2011 Volt to target buyers and the public at large. What happened?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

He wasn’t overruled; we heard he was simply ignored. Chevrolet Marketing seemingly felt it could do better. Just like at the old GM, the one that went bankrupt, where everything generated inside the company was by definition better than anything from outside.

Like “Electric Car,” which is is off of TMBG’s third educational album “Here Comes Science,” the Volt song and accompanying dance number that GM commissioned to promote the Volt was aimed at children. Still, rhyming “adventure” with “pressure” and “it’s so simple like a dimple, plug it in and see” is insulting to the intelligence of children of any age. Besides, telling kids the Volt “could make a cleaner world, the greener car that powers itself” and “charge the car right in your home, it costs next to nothing, it’s cheaper than your phone” isn’t educational, it’s just irresponsible. In contrast “Electric Car” captures the ambivalence towards alternative-energy powertrains perfectly with the line “electric car, so good so far.” Lutz was right about this one.

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14 Comments on “Even Bob Lutz Hates “The Volt Song”...”


  • avatar
    Daanii2

    This Electric Car song is much, much  better than the Volt song. I don’t like the video, and the lyrics are nothing to get excited about, but the song is professional and well done.

    Pained as I am to admit it, Bob Lutz had this one right.

  • avatar
    davejay

    The TMBG song is a classic earworm, and they were fools for passing on it. I won’t be surprised if it ends up used for the Nissan Leaf.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    They should have used the TMBG song and video, right at the end of the first chorus, work in the Volt…it’s as good as the Prius commercial with all the multicolored people dressed as plants, etc., and the Insight commercial with the people at the Insight gathering place.
    The TMBG song/video even gives a bit of half-coolness aimed at the target market that the “regular” GM folks will NEVER hit.  I say NEVER!  Just look at the Chevy commercials.  What crap.  The marketing folks should be fired.
    Lutz knew what he was doing with this one.

  • avatar

    Gag me with a spoon. Who needs the norovirus when you have this thing to listen to? (I do actually like the details of the video–a bit Sendakian, nice octopus, etc., but I wouldn’t be surprised if Charles Schultz’ estate sues over the snoopy look-alike, except they turned a nice comic strip dog into something as sappy as the lyrics.) Oy vey. GM can ruin ANYTHING!!!
     

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    Earworm is right.  I can’t get it out of my head, and I’ve watched the video twice.
    Sheesh.  If it doesn’t stop soon, you’re going to see me on the news.

    • 0 avatar
      Ernie

      I was surprised there’s no Ozzy on my iPhone  . . . usually is a simple fix to anything insidious.
       
      badger badger badger dot com would probably get rid of the song, but it’s just a replacement :o
       

  • avatar
    turbobeetle

    I cannot get this song out of my head now and I’ve felt compelled to watch the dam video 3 time now… Thanks
     
     

  • avatar
    Jeffer

    I’m used to watching children’s programming with my Grandkids. The 3 y.o. boy would love the car, the youngest girl would love the cute animals, and her 5 y.o. sister would want to sing along. The Volt song and dance?…not!

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    Anyone not driven crazy by this song yet may want to see the video about making the video. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxAbM-THJd8

  • avatar
    Steven02

    That Volt song and dance was terrible.  It was probably never meant for a commercial on TV, so you can’t compare it to anything like that, it is auto show material.  I do think the TMBG song is much much better.

  • avatar
    mhadi

    Nice. I like it. And the video too.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    TMBG. even with their (annoying to me) politics, have long had very inventive lyrics and videos. 

    And my kids love ‘em. Why would anyone let their kids listen to Barney or The Wiggles when TMBG are available?


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