Marching Marketing Memories

Advertisers have used marching groups in commercials many times over the years. With the advent of online video, many are preserved online for your viewing pleasure.

1975 – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Marching Band had its first national commercial appearance for Coke’s “Look Up America” ad.

1981 – “Now your thirst is as grand as your big marching band—Coke is it!” according to the catchy jingle in a lively commercial starring the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band.

1982-1984 – McDonald’s featured its own All-American High School Band.

1999 – An NFL Blitz commercial showing quarterback Kordell Stewart forcefully knocking down band members with footballs drew the ire of music educators.

2004 – The University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band is on fire (literally) in an ESPN College GameDay commercial.

2004 – The Ramona High School Dynasty Band from Riverside, Calif., is shown repeatedly stalking a Hyundai Sonata owner.

2009 – Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa enlisted the help of a marching band to celebrate TD Bank’s name change. The group included members of the Colonia (N.J.) High School Marching Patriots.

2010 – Wyclef Jean livened up a block party with the Ritz Marching Band, complete with cracker-shaped cymbals.

Wyclef Jean stars in new Ritz spot by multivu

2011 – The University of California, Los Angeles, Bruin Marching Band left the field to grab some Chicken McNuggets in a McDonald’s spot that aired frequently during that year’s college football bowl game season.

2011 – Transformers’ Bumblebee terrorized the Cajon High School Marching Band from San Bernardino, Calif., in a CGI-heavy Chevrolet ad that aired during the Super Bowl.

2012 – The West Vancouver (Canada) Youth Band opens a Campbell’s Healthy Request commercial, entitled “The Rhythm of Life,” still currently airing.

2013 – A “Dare to Fly” commercial for Nike’s Air Jordan XX8 features men in marching band uniforms dancing around basketball players.

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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