Bob Dylan sings for...Victoria's Secret? America's greatest songwriter hawking women's underwear? Madison Avenue may have finally gone too far

By Tom Sinclair
Updated March 28, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Bob Dylan: Diena/Brengola/

Bob Dylan sings for…Victoria’s Secret?

I thought I was beyond being shocked by hearing my favorite rock songs being used in TV commercials. After all, the music of Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix has been used to sell everything from cars to computers for some time now. Sure, it freaked me out a little to hear Iggy Pop’s bloodcurdling scream from ”T.V. Eye” in that Nissan commercial, but I soon got over it. Hey, I figure Iggy needs the bread.

But I was recently brought up short when I heard Bob Dylan’s ”Lovesick” being used in a Victoria’s Secret ad. Sheesh, is nothing sacred? Here was a beautiful, heart-rending song about the loss of romantic illusion being used to sell women’s underwear. I couldn’t figure out what was more surreal: Dylan licensing the song in the first place, or the Victoria’s Secret folks having the stones to use it in a spot that felt like soft-core porn.

It got me thinking: Since ridiculousness seems to be the new criteria for ad campaigns, yours truly could offer the big guns on Madison Avenue a list of suggestions for future oldies campaigns that are REALLY absurd. Here ’tis, gratis:

Bob Dylan’s ”A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” for London Fog Rainwear You may not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but this coat will protect you no matter what nature throws your way.

Iggy and the Stooges’ ”Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell” for the Plastic Surgery Association of America Cuts like a knife!

The Ramones’ ”Commando” for the U.S. Army ”They do their best/They do what they can/To get them ready for ol’ Saddam.”

The Dead Boys’ ”Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth” for Oscar Mayer Chow down!

Blue Öyster Cult’s ”Don’t Fear the Reaper” for the Funeral Directors of America Because death’s not as bad as everyone says.

The Buzzcocks’ ”Orgasm Addict” for Viagra It’s a habit that sticks!

Led Zeppelin’s ”Whole Lotta Love” for Ooh La Lay Escorts They’ll take every inch of your love!

Bob Dylan’s ”Highway 61” for Greyhound God said to Abraham, ”The fare to Tucson is one-seventy-one”/Abe said, ”Man, you must be puttin’ me on.”

Well, folks, you get the idea. Can you top these?