There was a poll taken at Slate about "favorite examples of incongruous advertising soundtracks. (This was in response to GE's use of the mining folk song 'Sixteen Tons'—in an ad that touts the wonders of coal.)" Here are some of the favorites (Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' use of "Lust for Life" was the most popular):
"Kahlua and Pepsi both used the Rolling Stones' 'Brown Sugar' for an ad. They had to clip out pretty much the whole song—except for the words 'brown sugar'—because the song is about crazy-wild interracial sex with slaves. The song isn't borderline offensive, it's actually offensive (which isn't to say I don't love it), which is why the Stones' best business strategy is that people can't really understand Mick Jagger."
"I have to nominate Applebees' 'Take this steak and top it' ads. Since the source of the jingle is 'Take This Job and Shove It'—and the 'shove it' is short for 'shove it up your ass'—it's a horrible choice. Applebees wants to shove a steak up my ass?"
"The most egregious pairing would seem to be the use of 'Look What They Done to My Song, Ma' to sell Oatmeal Raisin Crisp. They changed the words to: 'Look what they done to my oatmeal.' I noticed this irony even as a child when I first heard it. (Eons ago—the '70s?)"
"My favorite: The NFL's use of Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' in a Super Bowl ad for itself. The ad: A montage of home movies and official films shows fans enjoying the thrills of the sport with Reed's song about heroin and suicide playing in the background."
"Using the Beatles' 'Taxman' for H&R Block seems a bit strange. The song vilifies the taxman, but the commercial identifies the taxman as ... an H&R Block accountant near you! Maybe not what George Harrison had in mind?"
"When Nissan redesigned the Maxima in 2000 or so, the commercials consisted of the car tearing across a desert (or salt flat, something that flies up in an impressive whirlwind behind the tires) to the sound of Pete Townshend's power chords from the Who's 'Won't Get Fooled Again.' So a redesign of your typical reliable Japanese midsize sedan with nothing overly exciting about it gets introduced by 'Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.' Yeah, that gets me excited about the new car. The irony: About a year later I bought a 2001 Maxima. What can I say? It's reliable and drives really nice."
That's good stuff.