Judas Priest are no stranger to television commercials. “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” was used in a Burger King commercial around 2001, they appeared performing “Rock Hard Ride Free” in a Sparkomatic car stereo spot back in 1984 (linked below) and singer Rob Halford recently made a cameo as a priest in a new Virgin Mobile spot. This latest bit of licensing is rather interesting: The opening instrumental track from their 1982 smash hit album Screaming For Vengeance, “The Hellion,” is being used, along with a flashy light and fire extravaganza, to lure someone in to a Honda Odyssey mini-van. It’s a dramatic, tongue-in-cheek clip that’s immediately striking and memorable.
While it’s becoming increasingly surreal to see classic metal artists used to sell products like cars — I have mixed feelings on the concept, even though it’s cool to finally have my music accepted by the mainstream, unlike back in the day — at least Honda is smart enough to know that many metalheads stay with their music for life, regardless of whether they cut their hair, take a corporate gig and/or settle down to raise a family. Some of them probably still have their leather jackets, studded bracelets and riding crops in the closet. Now I wonder which company could use that for an ad concept?