Target Commercial – Color Changes Everything

Song In Target Commercial - By Delta Rhythm BoysArtist: The Delta Rhythm Boys
Song: Allouette

Allouette - Vintage Vocal Jazz / Swing No. 124 - EP: Allouette

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More About Artist & Song

The song from this Target commercial is called: Alouette. This song is an old children’s song that originated in France. This song became more widely known in America after World War I, when american soldier learned the song while serving in France. Many brought it home with them and sang it to their children. The first known publishing of the song was in 1879 in a book called “Pocket Song Book for the Use Of Students & Graduates.” Such a catchy title! What is an Aloutette? An Alouette is actually a bird, a lark to be specific. It’s about plucking feathers of a lark. The song actually informs the lark that you are going to pluck it’s head, nose, eyes, wings, and tail. And it’s customary to point to the part of the body you are singing about.

I do not know the singer of this particular version of the song. If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments. I’ve heard some people suggest that the singer is a band called “Children”, but I can’t find any evidence of that other than their suggestion. Of course, if you just like the song, there are tons of versions of this song by other people online. Rdio appears to have 444 songs called “Alouette” that members can listen to. Update: Thanks to the commenters for letting me know that the song is by the Langston, Oklahoma based vocal quartet: Delta Rhythm Boys.

Target Commercial Description

2012 Target commercial for their colorful spring line of clothing. The ad starts out with a red hot air balloon flying through the city. French song, “The Red Balloon” get it? Eh? If you’ve never watched that movie, you should. It’s beautiful, prepare to cry. The red balloon lands, and loads of people dressed like colorful acrobats jump out of the basket and run through the streets. A man in an orange suit jumps up a balcony and climbs into someones house and runs through, jumping on the couch as he goes. And a woman in yellow comes down the chimney of this place, she makes some cool lamps appear on end tables by the couch.

Next we see these people, (I’ll call them an invading army of colorfully dressed French people, WHO MUST BE STOPPED) jumping into someones backyard, and jumping into the pool. Picking up a leaf blower, turning it on and blowing peoples clothes off, to reveal spring and summer clothes. Next, this invading army of colorfully dressed psychopaths run into a woman’s house as she is applying makeup, they spin her mirror around and we see her dressed more colorfully now, with colorful makeup. Next the invading army of colorful acrobats run through the streets, creating color wherever they can. Finally they jump back into their hot air balloon. The view from above the balloon shows that the top of it is the Target Symbol.

Text on Screen

Color Changes Everything
Expect More Pay Less

Song Lyrics in Commercial

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la tête
Et la tête, et la tête
Alouette, Alouette

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35 Responses to “Target Commercial – Color Changes Everything”

  1. Matthew
    February 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    delta rhythm boys is the artist

    • Dave Walmsley
      March 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      I don’t think this is the original version. I’ve listened to both and this is in a different key and the music is not exactly the same.

  2. David
    February 14, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    Woo, what an incredible ad! The artist is, like Matthew says, The Delta Rythm Boys!
    I’ve been looking in iTunes, and you can find it in this album; Vintage Vocal Jazz / Swing No. 124 – EP: Allouette by The Delta Rythm Boys!
    Alouette, gentille Alouette!!

  3. Marc
    February 14, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Recordando la infamcia

  4. February 14, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    Allouette by The Delta Rythm Boys!

    • findthat
      February 14, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      You’re right, thanks! I’ll update the post.

  5. Hinchess
    February 14, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    It’s a catchy ad, visually, and the song gives a lot of energy. But I do not see what the song has to do with color. I am not quite sure why Target chose that particular song. Love The Delta Rhythm Boys!

    • Amelie
      February 15, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Hinchess, I think it’s a different take on the verb plumer. Plume means feather and in the original alouette, plumer means to pluck, but in this version could mean to feather as in to decorate with beautiful colors like bird feathers. We also have the english expression to feather one’s nest which goes nice with a Target Ad.

      • Amy
        March 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

        Very well said Amelie 🙂 You obviously know what you are talking about.
        (My French teacher called me Amelie all 4 years of highschool ~~hehe)

      • Dani
        March 28, 2012 at 1:25 am #

        Oh, boy. I think that’s a big stretch. I think we are over thinking reasons now.

      • Jeannine
        June 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

        It really says: little lark I am going to pluck your feathers!! we have come a long way from that state of mind – I think it has now been replaced by a simple song. we don’t pluck feathers in france

  6. Kvan
    February 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Not to mention, it’s a clever riff on the Targét French affectation 🙂

  7. married to a french candian
    March 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Doesn’t anybody care that this song is about killing a bird? it talks about plucking feather,eyes etc. It even talks about breaking the birds neck not cool.

    • Hemingway
      March 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      Married to a french Candian? you mean Canadian? LMAO. Doesn’t affect me in the slightest, in fact I love it more because I am a longtime bird hunter. (Dove, Duck, Quail, Pheasant, etc) Now I know of the perfect song to sing as I’m going bird hunting. 🙂 LMAO! Sorry you are married to a french candian.

  8. Jeanine
    March 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Stupid song- has nothing to do with the ad.

    • Amy
      March 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Jeanine, look at Amelie’s Reply… I think she got it just right.
      Amelie~ I vote your Reply #1 🙂

  9. CeeCee
    March 11, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    ….A gang of androgenous rainbow clad Pee-Wee Herman followers suddenly drop out of the sky and invade home, workplace, & city. All while a song about plucking defenseless birds ’til bald plays in the background. I’m not sure, but I think I should feel afraid.

    • findthat
      March 11, 2012 at 12:26 am #

      I’m with you! 🙂

  10. JazzGirl
    March 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Just thought I’d mention that you misspelled the group’s name here…. it’s Rhythm
    (you have: Artist: The Delta Rythm Boys)

    Just sayin’ ….

    • findthat
      March 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Doh! 😀

  11. Amy
    March 15, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    When I first saw this commercial i laughed hysterically!!!!!!!!! yes yes the colors and the hot air balloon- cool, the dancing around- engaging. But my classmates and I Iearned and laughed at our childhood song while in high school french, when we learned what the words meant !!! LOLOLOL
    ” Lark, nice lark, Lark, I shall pluck you, I shall pluck your head, (I shall pluck your head), And your head, (And your head), Lark, O-o-o-oh …… ” and subsequent verses go on to the poor birds beak and neck and back and wings and feet and tail !!!!!!!!!
    Very Visually Compelling commercial and ad theme re color……. BUT POOR BIRD!!!!!!!!!! (LOLOLOLOL)
    I still smile and hum along whenever the commercial comes on!! 🙂
    AND, Amelie, I agree with you as well~~very well said.

  12. Dave Walmsley
    March 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    The Delta Rythm Boys did the original song. This version is in a different key and the music is different from the original as well. Any way to find out who did this version?

  13. MJ
    March 19, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    We used to sing this with our music teacher in grade school (1940’s) So good to hear it again.

  14. Mel
    March 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    The words to the song are about plucking the feathers off a lark. So what does this have to do with the song? Yes it is a catchy tune but has no meaning or reference to the song

  15. cj
    March 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Has any else noticed that the logo colors on the balloon are reversed? The bullseye is white instead of red, and there is an extra outer ring. Because of this, it took me a while to figure out that it was a Target ad. Could it be that part of the message of the ad is that the logo colors are changing?

  16. Hydra
    March 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    Little skylark, lovely little skylark
    Little lark, I’ll pluck your feathers off
    I’ll pluck the feathers off your head
    I’ll pluck the feathers off your head
    Off your head – off your head
    Little lark, little lark

    And adding:

    Off your beak
    Off your neck
    Off your back
    Off your wings
    Off your feet
    Off your tail

    English translation. really disgusting. Horrible ad. terrible clothes. Does not make me want to shop there. At All!

  17. william
    March 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks for posting the lyrics

  18. binkysimone
    March 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Why does the voice remind me of nina simone?

  19. binkysimone
    April 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Does anyone have anything to say about nina simone …. singing a “classic” french chrildrens song that is so far in the past animal rights activists have no effect

  20. Cathy Hughes
    April 9, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Agree with married-to-french-canadian — why this song? It’s sung in French so there wouldn’t be a hue and cry about the real lyrics. There are plenty of songs out there which speak about color (“Color My World”). Plucking about body parts of little birds is not cute.

  21. Cheryl B
    April 9, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I’m so glad I found this info, lyrics and translation. My 12 month old daughter LOVES this song, she loses all composure when the commercial comes on. Its the cutest/funniest thing ever. Now I know what we’re singing about. I’m totally gonna download this song for her. Simple things like this are what great memories are made of.

  22. Amanda
    April 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    My grandmother used to sing this song. It brought back good memories!

  23. Sharon
    April 20, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Since Target is French owned….perhaps this choice of lyrics means the French owned Targets are plucking money from Americans who buy at their stores!!!!

  24. Jim
    July 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Target, French owned? Uh, no they’re not. Where’d you get that? They’re based in Minnesota. I think if we listened closely to half of the words to songs we sang as kids, even the English ones, we’d be disgusted. It’s a cute, catchy ad.

    • July 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      It’s interesting to me that the whole “French owned” thing is so widely believed. You’re right though, they’re an American company. Here is an article from about many of the misconceptions about Target. It’s pretty interesting.

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