French adverts with English lyrics

It’s been a while since I wrote about the absurdity of the Kinder Bueno advert, which stars tennis champion Jo Wilfried Tsonga. French television advertisements are the usual mix of brilliant, funny, cheesy and terrible that are seen throughout the world, and Kinder seem to be the experts at terrible.

It’s not the acting this time, nor the ridiculous situation. Can you guess what’s wrong with the advertisement below?

It’s the lyrics to the song. Here’s a little boy accepting chocolate from a grown lady, with the lyrics: “If we sleep together would it make it any better?”

Okay, France is not an English-speaking country, and that’s clear whenever I hear the F word on the radio or see French kids singing along to Lilly Allen’s song “F**k you very much” in the supermarket, but it’s not as if no French person understands the meaning of these lyrics — reading through the French comments for this clip on YouTube makes that clear (although one person is adamant that it’s all about innocently sleeping beside someone). Did nobody involved in launching this ad consider looking up the lyrics just to check that they would be appropriate? Or am I looking at this the wrong way? Is this actually an extra dimension of humour added for the adult viewers who can chuckle along while their kids sing words they don’t understand? Or is it really just a dumb mistake? What do you think?

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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6 comments on “French adverts with English lyrics
  1. Ron Rundle says:

    Bizarre. Perhaps most French wouldn’t listen or conprehend the lyrics. I want to know how she pushed through the crowd to get a seat on the train! Is that a pre-booked TGV seat? Even so, I’ve had the odd (almost) punch-on with a pre-booked seat. Ah ha! One must, obviously, carry a Kinda Anything with them at all times. Brilliant!

  2. Ron Rundle says:

    *Comprehend*

  3. Everso says:

    Reminiscent of

  4. Wendy says:

    Haha, Everso – that’s brilliant! There are so many moments like that here. Nivrana’s Rape Me being played in the waiting room of the doctor’s surgery was an odd one.
    Ron, you bring up some very valid points there and I’m amazed I’d never thought about how easily she gets a seat. Kinder is clearly the fix-all to every situation.

  5. I have a suspicion that if it’s in English, they don’t think the words have the same effect. Certainly when they teach English in France, it’s not based on reality. My daughter who’s in communications has to work with publicity agents and she’s always amazed at what they come up with. A lot of people just don’t understand the words of course when they’re in a song. You’d think someone would have realised how inappropriate they are though …

  6. Wendy says:

    I think your suspicion is right (sadly). Your daughter must have some fantastic stories, doing that job in this country.

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