Love them or hate them, advertising jingles are arguably one of the most effective ways to sell a product, experience, or service. In fact, for as long as they’ve existed, they’ve been composed with the intent of being short, sharp, catchy, and above all, memorable enough for you to link whatever is being sold with the earworm-like melody; exercising its influence on you long after you first heard it.
It’s a universal experience that varies from country to country. Why, while Australians might associate a cold beer with the classic “A Hard Earned Thirst” campaign from Victoria Bitter, Americans might start recalling Budweiser’s “When You Say Bud” jingle at the though of a brew.
Of course, while numerous artists out there have gone the commercial route and designed their own songs for campaigns (including Jack White, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, to name a few), very rarely does it go the other way. All told, it’s quite uncommon for these acts to cover a commercial jingle for their own songs. After all, Nirvana seemed to have provided enough advertisement for Teen Spirit deodorant without singing their praises mid-set.
However, one of the most notable examples of this practice came by way of the great Faith No More and their apparent devotion to Nestlé’s Alpine White chocolate bar.
First launched back in 1986, the confection in question was a mixture of white chocolate and almonds, and was apparently so ethereal and groundbreaking that an accompanying television advertisement was made, taking inspiration from Maxfield Parrish drawings and ’80s synth music.
The accompanying Lloyd Landesman-composed jingle (complete with the memorable lyrics “Sweet dreams you can’t resist, N-E-S-T-L-E-S/A dream as sweet as this, N-E-S-T-L-E-S“) was undoubtedly a catchy one, with its repetitive nature enough to get it stuck in the heads of not just potential customers, but musicians as well.
Though the exact origins of its onstage debut is unknown, it was around late 1987 that US rock outfit Faith No More began to incorporate the song into their live sets. According to Setlist.fm, the group’s first recorded performance of the track took place in October of that year, just one year before vocalist Chuck Moseley was replaced by Mr. Bungle frontman Mike Patton.
Strangely, the presence of such a song in their sets appears to foreshadow the sort of eclectic taste that Patton would later begin to work into his career, though its debut prior to his arrival seems to indicate that his eclecticism may have resulted from his time within the band itself.
Over the next six years though, the track would go on to become a staple of the band’s live sets, with the 30-second track being doubled in length as keyboardist Roddy Bottum offers up a lonesome introduction to the performance, before Patton and the rest of the band join for its intriguing, yet satisfying, conclusion.
Though the availability of Nestlé’s Alpine White on a global scale is unknown, it just makes the presence of the song in the standard Faith No More setlist appear to be even more interesting. After all, while it’s logical to assume most of their American fans may have known the track quite well at the time, performances in Europe, the UK, South America, Australia, and New Zealand may have been met with either confused stares, or devout appreciation of what was ostensibly just another deep cut from the group.
Sadly, Setlist.fm notes that the track’s last recorded appearance in a setlist took place in May of 1993 in Christchuch, New Zealand. Since then, their renditions of tracks by the Bee Gees, Black Sabbath, and of course, The Commodores have overtaken the jingle as their most-performed cover versions, and it appears there’s no immediate plans to bring it back to any potential future live sets.
Though Faith No More recently announced the cancellation of their previously-rescheduled Australian tour, it seemed as though the chances of local fans hearing this long-forgotten advertising jingle were slim anyway, though you have to admit it would be one hell of a blast from the past.