The column "Q. and A. with Stuart Elliott" in the New York Times this week featured a question from a reader who wondered what the theme music from Magnum, P.I. was doing in a make-up commercial--specifically, a spot for Maybelline's oddly named Falsies mascara.
Elliott quotes a spokeswoman for Maybelline's ad agency saying that the spot features three "women on a mission" a la Charlie's Angels, but the theme from that show didn't "feel right with the flow of the spot," so they went with the Magnum, P.I. theme instead. (The column is online here.)
No doubt advertising has changed a great deal these past 20-odd years (we were shocked back then when a rival agency put together a spot for a local video-store chain titled--on screen, no less!--"Video Junkies," since any reference to addiction in such contexts was considered taboo; now it's commonplace, to the point where the local cable company built a whole campaign around urging people to "Get Hooked"), but I can hardly believe that its central objective is no longer to sell product.