New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
BMG recording and publishing artist Rick Astley
has reprised his beloved music video for the 1987 chart-topping hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up', a video that has provided fodder for over a decade's worth of memes, as part of a new advertising campaign for insurance provider American Automobile Association (AAA) and affiliate California State
Automobile Association (CSAA).
Astley appeared in a new 35th anniversary version of the 'Never Gonna Give You Up' video featuring back-up dancers clad in AAA uniforms and backdrops branded with the roadside insurer's logo. In a play on the famous bait-and-switch internet prank based around the song known as 'Rickrolling', the ad campaign spread the video through 'Rickified' QR codes and shortened links scattered across AAA and CSAA billboards, outdoor digital displays, TV commercials and even in skywriting - which ultimately led the curious to the campaign's music video, unleashing a familiar Rick Astley
"Paying homage to my video for the AAA Insurance commercial — from the set to the wardrobe — has been an amazing trip down memory lane," said Astley. "The song has been so good to me, and I'm thrilled to be working with another iconic brand that has certainly stood the test of time."
Dan Rosenbaum, Vice President, Synch Licensing, said, "In the world of commercials, when you have a spot that appeals to multiple demographics, you've hit a home run. It's something CSAA Insurance very consciously sought by choosing a legendary song and performer - 'Never Gonna Give You Up' by Rick Astley
- in a spot that featured Rick doing an homage to his iconic video, which in turn has spawned the social media meme sensation 'RickRoll', that drives users to the video. It was a bit of an unusual commercial deal for BMG as we were able to license the music video rights as well as the recording, and we anticipate additional user-generated activity from the 'RickRoll' connection."
Astley, who is signed to BMG for publishing and recordings, released 'Never Gonna Give You Up' as the lead single from his landmark debut full-length, Whenever You Need Somebody. The single would quickly become a worldwide hit, charting at Number One in 25 countries, including the US. It topped the Official UK Singles Chart for five weeks and was the highest-selling single of 1987.
One of the most recognizable singles of all time, 'Never Gonna Give You Up' recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of its original release on July 27, and has also been certified 5x Platinum in the US.