AA You’ve Got A Friend

The AA (Automobile Association) in the United Kingdom is telling the British public that they’ve got a friend in their yellow-jacketed patrolmen. The Carole King song, “You’ve Got A Friend”, is sung by a choir of men on their way to stranded motorists.

AA You've Got A Friend Final Frame in TV Ad


A baby is crying in a white people mover, broken down on a bleak misty day on a remote road. A soloist in yellow AA visibility jacket walks toward the camera along a city street, singing.. “When you’re down and troubled, And you need a helping hand, And nothing…” A van is parked precariously on a busy street corner with a flat tyre. Inside are folk musicians singing, “nothing is going right.” AA patrolmen now join in the chorus… “Close your eyes and think of me, And soon I will be there, To brighten up even your darkest nights.” Now comes the choreography, as patrolmen dance, march and run through the night. “You just call out my name, And you know whereever I am, I’ll come running, oh yeah baby, To see you again.” In a scene almost reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, patrolmen come running over the hill to rescue the stranded motorists in the people mover. A brief shower of snow provides emphasis for the last verse… “Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call, And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve got a friend.” Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

The AA ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ campaign is linked with a website, www.youvegotafriend.com.

Credits

The campaign was developed at creative agency DLKW (Delaney Lund Knox Warren) by creatives Malcolm Green and Gary Betts with producer Susie Innes, working with Kerry Cooper, sales and marketing director at AA.

Media was handled at PHD by planner Paul Hutichison.

The AA You’ve Got A Friend TV Ad was directed by Tony Kaye via Wanted Films with producer Amy Appleton-Smith.

The video was edited by Pete Goddard at Poppy Films. Post production was done at The Mill, London.

Sound was produced at Grand Central. Music was recorded at Abbey Road.

GMB Twist

Protester campaigns on AA job cutsSince the ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ campaign broke, the GMB Union have provided their own twist on the slogan to expose the changes brought about by the new owners of AA UK. Paul Maloney from GMB National Office says that profits have been doubled to £200 million by increasing charges, downgrading services and sacking 3,400 of the 10,000 workers supplying services to motorists. The final straw for the union was when a leak revealed that the new owners planned to borrow £500 million to pay themselves a special dividend. “With friends like these venture capitalits who needs enemies?”.

  • Georgina

    Hi, My nan died on sunday i a very horrible way and the last thing she told our family was she wanted the aa song youve got a friend at her funeral. i Have been searching the web for two days and cannot seem to find it. However today i stumbled across ur site and found the advert. I was wondering if you had the aa vershion of the song so i can burn it to cd to paly at my nans funeral. I am only 15 and this is the last wish of my nans, i would really love to give her the send of she wanted and would be delighted if you could help. Thank you so much for reading my post it is much appreciated. Please could you get back to me as soon as possible.

  • Charlie

    Like the person before my nan died on saturday and her favourite song was the aa advert song you’ve got a friend. I was just wondering if you could send me the aa version song so i could burn it and play it at her funeral. Ive also searched music websites for the song and i couldn’t find it anywhere and saw this website as a last resort. I would be so grateful if you could send the aa version as soon as possible. Thank you

  • That Guy

    Carole King– You’ve Got a Friend

  • Joan

    I was wondering why the song “you’ve got a friend” has not been made into a single, the lead vocalist in the song has a fantantisc voice and looks good. all of my friends have the same opinion so when is it gonna happen i think it would be a top selling single.

  • elizabeth

    was part of the new aa advert you’ve gota friend done at wast water in the lake district if anyone could you e.mail me

  • Steve

    Elizabeth, I wondered it was wast water too, but not managed to find out yet.

  • JENNI

    Can anyone please tell me roughly when was this ad shown on TV? Thanks

  • JENNI

    Hi me again, I meant to say the first time it was shown on TV.

  • http://theinspirationroom.com/daily Duncan

    It was first shown March 2, 2006.

  • JENNI

    Thanks Duncan, that has been a great help to me, as I had just come out of hospital after a kidney transplant, when I first saw it and I love the very end bit. Thanks very much!!

  • loved up female

    can anyone tell me who the lead guy is cuz he has a amazing voice and is reaaly hot…cheers.

  • Matt

    There is certainly a part filmed at wast water. Just saw it on TV and recognised it without a doubt. Just came onto the internet to confirm. I stayed in a camper van just 50 footsteps left of where the shot overlooks the water. Must go back there someday!

  • US Citizen

    Anyone have the song for download? The TV version.

  • Char

    Get the original version by Carole King or James Taylor’s version. The song on the AA advert has been appaulingly editted so that it is completely out of time. I cannot watch it anymore, they have ruined the song due to their total lack of musicality

  • http://theinspirationroom.com/daily Duncan

    Yes it is a pity the editing of the video sacrificed that critical beat. Hopefully the unedited version can be released at some point.

  • Hilary

    I love the aa advert, and I can not hear it being out of tune. The lead singer is real cute with a terrific voice, who is he???. If that was brought out, I would buy it!. Its a great advert. But lead singer…who are you?

  • Aimz

    The AA advert is so cool! i Love the ending bit ‘You’ve got a friend’ the man that sings it sounds well gud!!

  • Chris

    BEST ADVERT EVER CORBETT KID

    TECHNICIAN

  • http://www.mikebusson.com Mike

    As someone who sang on the advert, I couldn’t agree more with what Char said. At the time we were all saying that it sounded terrible but the musical director insisted on the arrangement.

    We only sang the first verse and the chorus so no chance of it being made into a single, I’m afraid.

    Yes, the location is Wast Water. Shot on two of the worst weather days in recent years according to the locals. If you think it looks cold in the advert, believe me – it was much colder!

    The leader singer is a guy called Steve. I can’t remember his last name, to be honest, but if I do happen to bump into him again I’ll let him know that he has a fan club!

  • http://www.caroleking.com Scotty Vee

    Turn on to Carole King if you’ve not already..

    http://www.caroleking.com

  • Kaye

    I watched the advert with Annie the elaphant being filmed with interest in our town Buckingham. It was a long drawn out process which led to a very short clip in the advert itself.

  • elli

    absolutely awful. how could they dream of taking such a fantastic song and ruining it with their awful editing; the time signatures are just so bad that i can’t listen to it anymore. it makes me cringe. i cannot believe that every single person involved in the making of that advert had no sense of rhythm. eeeeeuughh.

  • Nic

    I thought the advert was really good, I was wondering if any one could tell me the name of the lead singer and if he has done any more songs as he has such a good voice.

  • Abbi!!

    Well…. i jus wanan say how much i love dis advery!! it actuli iz 1 phat advert!! lol!
    x x x x x

  • Abbi!!

    Gary!! can ytoo c dis!! how fun!
    IV GOT AA FWEND! only 1 tho :(
    lol!
    x x x x

  • hollie

    i have been searching high and low for the name of the main singer..not for me but for an 80 year old boss ! she loves him so much and all her friends want to start a fan club for him. its great to know his name’s steve…but whats his last name…please help me in the hunt for this georgous creature ! any contact details would be great ! please e-mail me at hozzy_03@yahoo.co.uk

  • http://www.theaa.com Rick

    The Singer’s name is Steve Murray. He was hired through an agency for the Ad. I work for the AA and you wouldn’t believe the number of e-mails we get about this. If you have any questions about the add, try customer.services@theaa.com. We’ll help you out.

  • http://poo hello

    hello i love the song dus any one know how 2 download it into my phone.

  • http://poo hello

    waz up mon

  • Jen

    i want this song on my phone!! anyone know where i can get it?
    xx

  • MJ

    Is this commercial still being shown in the UK on TV?

  • Alex

    I’m a composer for TV and film and know exactly what they’ve done to the song:

    The reason they’ve chopped beats out and put it into continually changing bars of 3/4 and 4/4 is purely for timing reasons.

    An advert in the UK is either 29 seconds with 0.5 seconds of blank either side, or 59 seconds with 0.5 seconds of blank either side.

    In order to fit all of the lyrics into the advert within the timing limit, they had to chop out beats simply to make it shorter.

    Does sound pretty weird, but then loads of other adds do it- Diamond insurance, Muller, and there’s a Hot chocolate one too (can’t remember for what).

    The only other option would be to speed the song up loads, but that would probably sound even worse.

    So there you go!

  • Edna

    Hi! I’m recovering from multiple burns at a hospital in Bristol and my Doctor is refusing to operate on my face until I have my photo taken with that lovely young man from the advert and raise £40 in donations to the hospital.

    Does anybody know where to find him?

  • steve

    pleae can you email me the aa song my address is sstevesmith199@aol.com thank you

  • keely jones

    I really dont understand, does anyone know what the time signature of this is ment to be? It starts off simple time and then goes really funky and different each bar. Is that suposed to happen? Either the composer is very clever or the people that put the advert together is really really dumb. please comment to tell me!!!

  • Edna

    Please, god, help

  • Gavin

    The song gives me the creeps. It is apalling that the producers were apparently so lacking in musical sense, and just as bad that so many viewers share their cloth ears. There are thousands of songs out there, with millions of bars, and there is a good reason why you don’t leave the odd one out. Unless you are Big Bill Broonzy, in which case you add one here and there, but with taste.

  • Edna

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • Michelle

    The lead actor, or at leat the one it ends on, seems very familiar to me. I have a vague recollection of watching the UK version of extreme makeover and there being a guy with a badly cleft palate who underwent the most amazing reconstructive surgery – his ambitions were to sing/act if I remember correctly and I have spent the last few weeks trying to establish if that is him in this AA advert. Anyone else remember the show or know if it is him? Would be so nice to think that he got his wish after the makeover!!

  • http://nah Birdy

    the timing in this ad drives me crazy…for those of you who love the song, please just go on i-tunes and buy the James Taylor version. There is an artist with style and a sense of rhythm.

  • Rich

    Yeah the timing issue bugs me too!!! Never have there been so many 7/4 bars in a pop tune!! All to save on money i know… but disrespectful to the musicians involved in the recording!!!

  • J a s m ii n e

    P L E A S E H E L P ! ! !

    ii Am Doing An Essay Fur Skl On Adverts And ii Choose The AA Advert To Do Bcuz ii Just Love It,
    Altho ii Need Help..It Says ii Have To Speak About The Lighting In My Essay But ii No Nothing! =S
    Plz Can Any1 Help Me??

  • http://theinspirationroom.com/daily Duncan

    Hi Jasmine. What is the question or task you’ve been given?

  • http://www.hotmail.com stuart

    this song is so gangsta!! I like bopping down the street with my boy danny listening to this! I’m an awesome mc and i could sing the song at any funeral you want!

  • Will2049

    Hi this is a really random question but i wonder if anyone can answer me. If you pause the advert with about six seconds remaining there are two men standing in the foreground. one is white and the other is black. i am sure the black man is Hugh Quarshie, an actor who appears in holby city among other things. If anyone can confirm or deny this the i would be very grateful. Many thanks.

  • http://www.johnswife.pizco.com john

    who origanly sang that song ty john xxxxx

  • MJ

    Can someone please tell me if the AA ‘You’ve got a friend’ TV commercial is still being shown in the UK?

  • Jacqui

    Hi

    Steve Murray is the singer – and GOOD NEWS Steve is recording an album and has is also singing a track called “Child of Love” (with the London Gospel Community Choir) which is being released for Children in Need this year. Make sure you buy the song!!! Also -we are trying to get the BBC to take the song as the official song for this year (it’d be better than the Spice Girls!!!!!)

    J

  • http://www.threerooms.com Threerooms

    I love the song and advert. It is memorable, fresh and creative. The AA brand is as strong as ever and projects images of friendship, caring, trust and loyalty. When a brand can communicate these type of messages you know it is a strong brand.

    Well done, you have a friend in me.

    Chris
    http://www.threerooms.com

  • http://www.youtube.com/gressy1955 Jacqui

    Check out Steve Murray singing Child of Love on YouTube. It’s BRILLIANT! Go to http://www.youtube.com/gressy1955