Theme Songs With Built-In Commercials


In my “theme songs that explain the premise” post a few days ago, I forgot to mention that the theme song of The Beverly Hillbillies not only explained the premise (and, as a commenter pointed out, still leaves enough room for a brilliant instrumental by Flatt & Scruggs) but plugged the sponsor’s product too. In the early seasons, the theme song was followed by an additional verse that served as a commercial for the main sponsor of the show, sometimes Kellogg’s cereal and sometimes this:


Now you know what Jed was pointing to at the end of the shorter title sequence.

The original opening of Bewitched also incorporated the sponsor, though without lyrics. When the sponsor logo was cut out in repeats, that meant we no longer got to see Durwood riding on the broom/Chevrolet logo with his wife. Oh, well. Doesn’t look very save anyway.

There’s been talk recently of shows trying to go back to the idea of getting a sponsor to underwrite the show like in the old days. If they do, incorporating the commercial into the theme song would be way better than having the star come out and pretend he uses Acme Acne Cream or whatever the product is.


Theme Songs With Built-In Commercials

  1. I remember an interview back in the day when Cybil Shepard was hyping someone’s hair color and the journalist asked her if she actually used it–she showed them a few locks of hear at the back of her hair where she had applied the hair color . . .

    On basic cable at least, the sponsored show is making a comeback. Several shows on USA are shown with few commericals, all of them for a single product.

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