Brady Bunch – Wal-Mart commercial song. Wal-Mart’s got a new TV ad series that features a cover of the hit 70s “Time to Change” song by the Brady Brunch. If you’ve long forgotten the song that launched the Brady Six to stardom, here’s a refresher from the chorus:

When it’s time to change (when it’s time to change),
Don’t fight the tide, go along for the ride,
Don’t ya see.
When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange,
Who you are and what you’re gonna be.
Sha na na na na na na na na
Sha na na na na.
Sha na na na na na na na na na
Sha na na na na

You can listen to a sample here. Inspired by the success of the Partridge Family and other real family supergroups, the Brady Brunch’s producers hatched a plan to launch “Greg” as a teen idol backed by the Brady Six. I vaguely recall Greg was known as Johnny Bravo, but I’m reaching waaaay back here.

So what’s the deal with Wal-Mart? Why the Brady song? Well, the song dates back to the early 1970s and the Brady Brunch is a Generation X favourite. If you were six in 1972, then you’re about the right age to have a six-year-old of your own. If you’re a little younger than that, you may have fond memories of re-runs. If you’re a little older than that, you were a teen during the Brady Bunch’s heyday and you probably have a teen. So you may associate the song with memories of your own childhood. If your child is the same age as you were back then, it’s easier to associate them with the song…and find yourself shopping at Wal-Mart. The song brings the “Every boy’s a man inside, / A girl a woman too” lines to life, since those young Brady Bunch watchers grew up.

But the ad should resonate with younger viewers, too. If you’re an American kid, you probably watch re-runs of the Brady Bunch on Nick at Night, so you might be more willing to put up with your mom’s “sha na na na na na”. You might have seen one of the Brady Bunch movies on TV, underscoring the “Time to Change” episode where Peter’s voice broke during the recording. So now you can bond with your parents over a cheesy jingle.

But will it work? Well, I don’t live near a Wal-Mart. But I do seem to have great recall of the ad and all its implications. I imagine it’s creating some goodwill for the brand. And Wal-Mart’s going organic, so the fresh-faced 70s retro image works.

(c) 2006 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.