Leave it to the advertising machine to unearth another one.
At the risk of making some readers of this blog (and for that matter some authors of this blog) feel old, "Just a Friend" is now twenty years old. Granted, it was a #1 hit, but is one completely out of context line from the end of the song really a sufficient building block for a commercial in 2009?
RadioShack Ad Exec: Okay, we need a popular song for our ad, but we don't want to pay that much. Someone name some one-hit wonders from 15 or 20 years ago.
Underling 1: Deep Blue Something!
Underling 2: Deee-Lite!
Underling 3: Bobby McFerrin!
Underling 4: You're all idiots. The right answer is Biz Markie.
Underlings 1, 2, and 3: Ohhh, of course, you're right, etc.
Exec: Do I know the song you're talking about?
Underling 1: You know, the one that goes "You, you got what I need..."
Exec: Oh, right. So we could use that, and be like, "The Shack has got what you need this Christmas."
Underling 4: No way. We should use the "Oh, snap, guess what I saw" line. It sells cameras without even changing the words!
Exec: There's a line that goes like that?
Underling 4: Uh, yeah. It's only the best line in the song. Why, I heard a group of teenagers quoting it to each other on the street just the other day.
Exec: I guess I'll take your word for it. Run with it, people!
Underling 2: Did you really hear a group of teenagers quoting the "Oh, snap" line to each other?
Underling 4: Of course not. But that's my dad's favorite line in the song. Every time he hears it he gives me a piece of candy. So when this thing runs, cha-ching!
Underling 2: Aren't you too old to be doing things based on the fact that you would get candy?
Underling 4: Hey, there's Kit Kats in this vending machine today!
Note that the things Biz sees in the ad are breakdancing penguins (breakdancing, also extremely timely!) and a rabbit acting as a DJ, because I guess if you use a rap song in your commercial then everything related to it also has to be "urban."
The most unfortunate fact about the Radio Shack ad, albeit something which they probably could not have known about when they decided to run it, is that there's currently another ad using the exact same song, and in much better fashion:
What the Heineken ad lacks in Biz Markie's actual presence it more than makes up for by playing the part of the song that everyone actually knows, rather than some random part that happens to sound a little bit like he's using a camera. Sure, it's at least as much a 30-second ad for the song as it is an ad for anything else - and frankly I could stand Heineken being a little clearer on the fact that this is an ad promoting not driving after drinking - but it's significantly more fun than the stupid Radio Shack ad and well-intentioned to boot.