Notoriously Stingy Pink Floyd Allowed Its Music to Be Used in a Bizarre 1973 Commerical for Bananas

The band Pink Floyd was created more than five decades ago, and they’re known the world over for their music. Naturally, that kind of recognition is like gold to advertisers, and many of them have asked to use their songs in their ad campaigns. But the band is well known for having high standards when it comes to commercial use of their music. Recently, they’ve even refused one of the most successful businesses in social media.

Pink Floyd in a black and white photo from 1965
(L-R) Pink Floyd Members Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Richard Wright | Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Getty Images

Yet somehow, in the early ’70s, Pink Floyd’s music provided the soundtrack to a very unusual commercial for bananas.

Pink Floyd’s enduring popularity

Considering how popular the band has been for so long, it’s not surprising that so much of their music is well known. According to ScreenRant, they’ve sold more than 250 million records around the globe. They’ve also been inducted into both the UK Music Hall of Fame and the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Given this long history, it’s natural that their music seems to have permeated the culture. For example, their songs have been featured in many famous movies

You can hear “Wish You Were Here” in the Todd Phillips movie War Dogs. The same song is played in Richard Linklater’s remarkable film Boyhood. Part of “Interstellar Overdrive” is featured in Doctor Strange, although there wasn’t enough time to include all 10 minutes of it. And of course, there’s the movie adaptation of their famous album The Wall. 

But even though Pink Floyd songs can be heard in a number of movies, the band has been very cautious about who they allow to use them in advertisements. 

Only for a good cause — like sexy bananas?

According to Far Out Magazine, the members of Pink Floyd wouldn’t allow their songs to be used in advertising unless it was for a good cause. For example, they once let a French soft drink company use their music. The proceeds helped them lower ticket prices, so more of their fans could afford to attend their concerts. 

In 1973, they also allowed Dole Bananas to advertise their fruit using the song “Great Gig in the Sky.” The motivation behind this choice isn’t clear, but not all the members thought it was a good idea. The banana commercial is both sexy and very, very strange. 

Because of their careful stance on commercials, their music has only been featured in ads four times. Recently, a big name in business thought they could convince the band to let them join that small group. They were wrong. 

They turned down a ‘huge, huge amount of money’

If you need proof that the band continues to be popular, a social media giant recently attempted to get them to allow a commercial using their music. According to Business insider, Instagram approached the band’s founding member Roger Waters with an offer that would let them use their iconic song “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.”

“It arrived this morning, with an offer for a huge, huge amount of money,” Waters said. “And the answer is: ‘F— you. No f—ing way.’ I only mention that because this is an insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything. I will not be a party to this bulls—, Zuckerberg.”

Apparently, the offer didn’t come from Zuckerberg himself, but from Instagram’s marketing team. Regardless of who came up with the idea, Waters made it clear that it wasn’t going to happen. Pink Floyd may have been willing to help promote sexy bananas, but they won’t sell Instagram. 

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