Gangnam “Honda, Honda, Honda” Style?

This may not be K-pop, but it’s J-pop at it’s finest and for 1981 it’s all you needed to sell a product! Fast forward to the 2010’s and were seeing the lose of catchy theme songs associated with products, but instead getting them through social networking and Youtube-ish sites! Behold the latest hit that’s sweeping the nation, “Gangnam Style” from K-pop artist Psy. It’s literally everywhere and you can’t go anywhere with at least hearing something about it.


Now if only auto manufactures could get it right and put the two together. LMFAO and Kia did back in 2010 with “Party Rock Anthem”, why can’t we have more of this? Don’t quote us but we’re just waiting for it be with a South Korean automobile here soon! But shooting back over 30 years, the Honda City was just about to be released and Honda wanted something different, quirky and hip for the youngsters to keep singing. The City was new, exciting and had a Transformer in the trunk…….what more could you ask for? But lackluster sales forecasts and little interest forced Honda to seek out a huge ad campaign and was pitched the idea of having a song to the City! The “Nutty Sound” group called Madness was chosen and they dished out the instant hit “In the City“. The band apparently liked the jingle so much that they expanded it into a three minute song and released it as a b-side (B/W “Cardiac Arrest”) that reached #14 in the UK charts


According to the Honda web site: ‘…the sales promotion staff attempted something completely different. They tried to create original music for young people, paying extra attention to rhythm in order to build a sense of pace and anticipation for the product. To that end, the production staff flew to New York in the hope of gathering musicians to create a City band. It was then that someone passed along the information that there was an English band that played a unique form of ska music, and that their dance style also was quite unique. The band was virtually unknown to Japanese music fans, but the staff decided to employ them anyway, attracted by their oddity and novelty. Upper management, however, simply would not hear of it.’

It truly makes you wonder how society even pans out from this in 30 years but the fact remains that we all love jingles and weird dances alike. Madness isn’t quite PSY, but for the decade, close enough.

The band also released a hit single in 1982 titled “Driving In My Car” which can viewed below as well!


Nate Mitchell

HR Commander n' Chief Collector of 1G Preludes and resource material. Keeping the Roots Alive one car at a time!

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