Choosing the right song for a TV Show, movie or ad campaign is an art form. You have to convey the right message and the right mood all while rocking your audience's face off.
However, getting it horribly wrong and picking the worst possible song is a much funnier art form. We're gonna focus on that second one.
9GE Sings About Buying Your Soul
"Sixteen Tons" by Merle Travis
Commercial for GE clean coal.
Why they thought it would be appropriate:
The ad was part of a campaign to make coal sexy again (remember when coal used to be sexy?) and involved underwear models dressed up as coal miners. So we guess they figured using a coal mining song with a slower tempo would give the ad a bit of dignity and distract people from the fact that their commercial is just the coal mining scene from Zoolander played straight.
Why it wasn't:
Take a closer look at the lyrics of the chorus:
You haul Sixteen Tons, whadaya get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't call cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store
This is a classic example of someone breaking the Golden Rule of advertising: never imply that your product or service prevents people from getting into heaven.
Doomed to Hell.
Obviously on a rational level, we know that General Electric doesn't make coal miners sign over their souls, but they don't seem overly eager to distance themselves from the practice either. Probably just leaving their options open. Y'know, in case the unions start acting up again.