David Bowie ‘Changes’ features in new RAV4 advert

The latest advert for the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid debuts on UK TV screens today, and features a cover of the classic David Bowie track Changes.

Watch the advert below.

Given David Bowie’s death in January, we thought we’d explain how the advert and music came together.

The advert was created in December 2015 and started airing on 10 January 2016 in France. Coincidentally, and sadly, the passing of David Bowie was announced on Monday morning, 11 January 2016.

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) released a statement about the advert, which reads:

“We are very sad to hear about David Bowie’s passing. He was a great artist, a creative genius who was able to anticipate musical trends and reinvent himself constantly. The use of a cover of one of his many famous songs, Changes, in a TV advert for one of our vehicles is entirely coincidental to the timing of his passing.

“We have decided to continue running the ad unchanged, because the reason why we chose this song is the same now than it was when we produced the ad one month ago and when David Bowie’s record label approved it. We found it inspirational.”

TME added: “The ad’s story line is centred on the fact that life is constantly changing and that labels and conventions are being constantly redefined – so there was no better song than Changes to express that message.”

 

Comments (32)

  1. Pains me to hear the song in the advert. Miss Bowie so much. Was and am still devastated by this death.

    As to who is singing this….perhaps it’s the singer who has asked their name to be released

  2. Found this thread after hearing the ad. Thought that the cover was good and at the end of the day if it means others will search the song and listen to the great David Bowie then great. Would like to know who covered it as I like the voice but cannot understand the anger on some posts on here. If David Bowies management approved before his so sad passing then only fitting to continue using it. Totally understand ad concept and will possibly consider viewing the Rav.
    Steve Lucas

    1. Hi Steve,
      Thank you for your post. We are very glad you enjoy the cover of ‘Changes’ and the RAV4. Unfortunately we do not have permission to reveal who the singer is. Thank you very much for your interest and if you have any more questions please let us know.

  3. I think it should be David Bowie singing. The advert is fine but irritating to hear someone trying to copy David Bowie. Thankyou for the advert. It was one of my favourite songs from a very turbulent time of my life. I thinks you should change it to the original track as soon as possible. Real David Bowie fans would feel as I do – just pleased to hear it!cyber

    1. Hi Gary,
      Thank you for your post. The beach where the new RAV4 advert was filmed is in Cape Town and is called the Macassar Beach. Hope this helps, many thanks.

  4. I’m a huge Bowie fan, and I can’t see this as anything but a tribute. David would have had no problem with it, particularly as it’s fairly true to the original. Can only put all this hostility down to grief.

  5. Truly find the excuses by large cooperates irritating, this music cover should have been pulled. Or very easily changed. I’m offended by it along with many fans. It really is a horrible version and attaching it to a car commercial completely crude. David Bowie was a man of integrity, i feel that he would abhor the idea that his song is being used in this way. I suggest your marketing department should possibly have researched further than the end of their office.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for your post and feedback. The advert was created in December 2015 and started airing on 10 January 2016 in France. Coincidentally, and sadly, the passing of David Bowie was announced on Monday morning, 11 January 2016. Many thanks.

  6. Hi Charlotte, I for one would like to say thanks for reminding me how much I love the song and see it as a compliment to a great artist and song to have wanted to be covered. David would be pleased. He will be missed and people writing some of the rubbish on here and not reading your replies properly need to give their heads a shake. Keep up the good work of helping keep his.memory alive. Rip Mr Jones x

    1. Hi Harry,
      Thank you for your post. This is a cover version of ‘Changes’ agreed with David Bowie’s record label for the advertisement. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thank you for your post. This is a cover version of ‘Changes’ agreed with David Bowie’s record label for the advertisement. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Andy,
      Thank you for your post and feedback. The advert was created in December 2015 and started airing on 10 January 2016 in France. Coincidentally, and sadly, the passing of David Bowie was announced on Monday morning, 11 January 2016. Many thanks.

  7. The bowie ad should be stopped it feels like profiting from someone’s demise, start showing after 6 months when initial grieving is over

    1. Hi Anthony,
      Thank you for your post. The advert was created in December 2015 and started airing on 10 January 2016 in France. Coincidentally, and sadly, the passing of David Bowie was announced on Monday morning, 11 January 2016. He was a great artist, a creative genius who was able to anticipate musical trends and reinvent himself constantly. The use of a cover of one of his many famous songs, Changes, in a TV advert for one of our vehicles is entirely coincidental to the timing of his passing. We have decided to continue running the ad unchanged, because the reason why we chose this song is the same now than it was when we produced the ad one month ago and when David Bowie’s record label approved it. We found it inspirational.

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