Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005307, Sat, 8 Jul 2000 17:02:37 -0700

"Lolita" music in weird TV ad? (fwd)
From: Thomas E.Braun <cawriter@usa.net>

Over the years, I have heard music from films used in TV ads countless times.
One that sticks in my mind is music from "West Side Story" that was used in a
1960s TV ad for, of all things, Ban roll-on deodorant. Most likely, there was
nothing too Nabokovian in all of this, since likely not even VN could have
made some connection between a parody of "Romeo and Juliet" and
antiperspirants. You might notice that innumerable TV ads today use 1960s
music: the Beatles, Steppenwolf, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, etc. The people who do
the ads buy up the rights to use the music for this, perhaps for no more
complex reasons than that they like the music, the rights to such music may be
relatively inexpensive, and that nothing but garbage is coming out today in
terms of popular music. Being Nabokov fans, we are all a bit "paranoid" in
the sense of seeing fantastic allusions and complications in the probably
utterly innocuous things that most of today's "artists" do because they would
not understand the complexities of Nabokovian art if it came up and bit them.
I enjoyed the "Lolita" TV ad because it made me smile and gave me a little
gasp of recognition in an otherwise humdrum day -- just the sort of thing that
VN delighted in so much.

Tom Braun
Los Angeles, California

Galya Diment <galya@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> From: Mary Bellino <iambe@javanet.com>
> While I was watching NBC's coverage of Wimbledon this week I saw the
> most bizarre ad: it's for a minivan, I think, and it shows the typical
> vacation car scene with the kids (boy and girl of about 8) fighting in
> the back seat, Mom trying to keep peace, Dad threatening to turn the car
> around etc. What's weird about it is that playing throughout the entire
> ad is the "road theme" from Kubrick's "Lolita" -- that mildly annoying
> la-la-la-la tune that always accompanies a long shot of Humbert's car
> travelling along some road -- with Lolita inside of course. Has anyone
> else seen this ad? Although I'm not much of a movie fan and I haven't
> seen Kubrick's film for many years, I don't think I'm mistaken, but I
> can't imagine what the director was thinking of.
> Mary

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