Sunday, March 22, 2015

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "99 Red Balloons" by Nena, an odd choice for a Coke commercial

In 1983, the German band Nena released a hit single called 99 Luftballons.  It was an anti-war protest song about children's balloons thought to be UFOs and shot down by pilots, which eventually leads to the start of a war.

An English version titled 99 Red Balloons came out shortly thereafter, with slightly different lyrics.  In this story a bunch of red ballons are mistaken for missiles by an early warning defense system, causing a nuclear war to break out.  Check out the song's Wikipedia page for a more in-depth explanation of each plot line.

Regardless, it's kind of a strange choice for this Coca-Cola commercial:

The song starts out nice and happy sounding, luckily for Coke they stopped it before getting to lyrics like (click here to see all of them):
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
Funny how the ad says "Contains memories."  Hey, remember that time we destroyed the world for no reason?  Yeah, that was awesome...

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