Michael Bolton Belts Out ‘Said I Read You … But I Lied’ in Ad for Audiobooks

1993 classic is reworked for Amazon's Audible

There’s just no stopping the self-referential Michael Bolton, who has made a second career out of poking fun at himself everywhere from commercials (Pizza Hut, Starburst, Honda) to SNL skits (with The Lonely Island) to Netflix one-offs (Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special).

Next up: a goofy new ad for Amazon’s Audible, with Bolton starring in a music video for the brand that parodies his 1993 hit “Said I Loved You … But I Lied.”

Gathering a bunch of romantic power-ballad tropes, like horses galloping in the surf and eagles soaring overhead, the digital ad, running in Australia, centers on the pop superstar’s commitment (to books) and fib to his gal pal. Hence, the name of the satire: “Said I Read You … But I Lied.”

As much as he’d like to, he can’t find the time to read, Bolton says in his tweaked lyrics. Wearing silk robes and walking on an elliptical (with strategically placed fans around him) can certainly fill a day, the video shows.

Because it’s Bolton, a famously good sport who’s always wiling to wring out a few laughs at his own expense, the audiobook marketer gets to push into ridiculous territory. There’s Bolton picnicking with his pet lizard (!) and cleaning his pool, using the skimmer as a microphone. His Secret Service-like security detail plays a mean air drummer/backup singer, and his house is decorated with at least one portrait of him in full mullet.

“No one can deny the power of the spoken word, whether it’s a ’90s classic or your favorite audiobook,” Bolton said in a statement. “I loved the idea of re-recording one of my hits with the aim of helping Audible.com.au inspire people to listen to more audiobooks—while having a huge amount of fun in the process.”

Bolton, a multiple Grammy winner with upwards of 65 million records and singles sold, obviously doesn’t need the work. But he’s said he enjoys playing himself in over-the-top ads, bringing him full circle, in a sense, to his lean early days writing and singing product jingles.

In doing research for the campaign, Audible found one-third of Aussies lie about having read a particular book, while they’re increasingly listening to audiobooks in the same way they listen to music.

So putting Bolton in front of sweeping Sydney Harbor views, tossing him in a pool with his clothes on and revisiting his wispy signature hairstyle prove to be solid hooks. The music’s catchy, too, in his patented, gloriously overwrought way.

The crooner has shared his top audiobook picks as part of the ad campaign, and he’s performing at an invite-only Audible event this week ahead of an Australian tour that kicks off in June.

CREDITS
Client:
Audible.com.au
Marketing Director – Sarah McConkey
Brand Manager – Melissa Gompes

Agency:
Emotive Creative, production and event management
CEO – Simon Joyce
Business Director – Marshall Campbell
Music Partnerships Director – Aimee Stewart
Creative Director – Andrew Cameron
Director – Zane Pearson
Senior Producers – Tracey-Lee Permall & Cara Logue
Copywriters – Andrew Cameron, Nathan Burley & Henry Stafford
DOP – Andrew Howden
Editor – Uthayan Selvaraj
Composer – Eden Martin
Audio Engineer – Jorge Vivo
Sound Design – Rumble Studios

I Said I Read You… But I Lied lyrics:

Open the cover, I scan the page
The words they call me, it’s al-ways the same
There’s love for reading in this heart of mine
But I can’t find time…
Download for free with a 30-day trial
My journey’s just begun
Out of my dreams, and into my life
You are the one, you are the one
Said I read you but I lied
‘Cause this is Audible on my device
Said I read you but it’s wrong
‘Cause now I hear my books like favourite songs
Said I read you… but I lied
To turn those pages, I tried in vain
All of those stories… the loss, the shame
The sound of heaven, so convenient too
I found in you
So many stories told in so many ways
My library’s always on
Use you wherever, all I do is press play
You are the one, you are the one
Said I read you but I lied
‘Cause this is Audible I hear inside
Said i read you but I was wrong
Now I fin-ish twice the books in half as long
Said I read you… but I lied
So many stories told in so many ways
My library’s just begun
Use you wherever, all I do is press play
You are the one, you are the one
Said I read you but I lied
‘Cause this is Audible on my device
Said I read you but it’s wrong
‘Cause books should never ever take so long
Said I read you
But this is Audible I hear inside
Said I read you…but I lied