BMW ‘Changes’ Commercial – What’s the Song?
Yes, that is indeed the familiar piano chords and slithery horns of David Bowie's 1971 classic 'Changes' that open the recent pollution-fighting commercial for "The Ultimate Driving Machine."
The first few scenes of the advertisement play out as a manifesto on the wrath diesel fuel has imparted on Mother Earth over the last few decades: a vintage station wagon spews toxic fumes, an 18-wheeler coughs billowy exhaust, a passing bus assaults pedestrians with a deathly cloud.
But just as Bowie kicks into the "Ch-ch-changes" chorus, out of all that smog drives a brand new, shiny-blue BMW, accelerating past the visions of trauma. With the sort of confidence only driving a BMW could impart, the voice over says: "Clean. Quiet. Power. BMW Advanced Diesel." Apparently, the fine mechanics at the German luxury automobile maker have concocted a new way to process diesel fuel that won't result in the sort of apocalyptic global warming normally associated with diesel products.
Which is good news, obviously -- although the bystanders pictured in the opening scenes of this ad (and this is pure conjecture here) probably couldn't afford to drive a BMW. Do most people who ride the bus do so because they are mass-transit conscious, or because they can't afford a car? Regardless, these days Bowie certainly could buy any car he wants, and we're guessing Bowie falls squarely within the demographic targeted by the advertisers with this ad -- even before he pockets the large royalties he will accrue for letting BMW license one of his best-known songs.
Saving the world, one Bowie classic at a time.