Dante’s Inferno “Hell Awaits” Super Bowl Commercial — What’s the Song?

By Jocelyn Voo
AOL Radio Blog

This year, Electronic Arts (commonly known as EA Games) joins the big dogs of the auto and alcoholic beverage industries by making its Super Bowl ad debut, showcasing its new HD action-adventure video game ‘Dante’s Inferno.’ The placement seems like a natural fit — what better venue than the Super Bowl to reach the 18 to 34-year-old male demographic, and just two days before the game hits shelves? But it wasn’t the easiest deal to broker.

The game, inspired by the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem ‘The Divine Comedy,’ is full of demons and violence, and the commercial was first rejected by CBS. Originally, the last few seconds of the ad would flash the words “Go to Hell,” but were changed to the slightly milder “Hell Awaits” tagline. Similarly, the soundtrack for the spot — Bill Withers‘ smooth R&B hit ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ — acts in stark contrast to the CGI monsters spewing flames and the hero swinging a scythe through an army of attackers.

‘Sunshine,’ off the 1971 album ‘Just As I Am,’ won Withers a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972, and ‘Rolling Stone’ ranked it No. 280 in its 2004 list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Other artists flocked to the song, too; it was covered by dozens of prominent musicians, including Michael Jackson, The Police, Marvin Gaye and John Mayer. The hit was also included in soundtracks for movies like ‘Notting Hill,’ ‘Old School‘ and ‘Munich.’

Some bloggers have noted that the music doesn’t quite match with the game’s grisly premise. But if the aim of the song choice was (just as it was for the altered tagline) to placate the potentially riled up religious masses, this wasn’t a Hail Mary pass from EA — it was a touchdown.


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