Do you remember this Diet Coke ad with the great Etta James?

Etta James died today aged 73 but, in her day, she was a great singer, helping to bridge the gap between black singers who sounded white like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and the likes of Diana Ross (yes, really), Kim Weston, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner.

She recorded ‘I just wanna make love to you’ back in 1960 for the Chess label and it turned up in the 1990s in the UK in this ad for Diet Coke.

This was all regarded as very raunchy (which the song was). I doubt that Etta made a cent out of it.

She wasn’t pretty enough to be a crossover star (she was played in a Chess biopic by Beyonce, rather implausibly). Anyway, here she is singing her greatest song.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.