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Gigantic, gigantic! A big, big -- um, wait a second... (possibly NSFW)
April 26, 2014 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Apple's new iPhone commercial uses that ultra-catchy Pixies classic, "Gigantic". But... Do you think the producers of the commercial knew what the song is about? A calculated gamble that 98% of viewers would not? Clever marketing designed to create a stir? Or just plain cluelessness?
posted by mikeand1 (118 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't know. That's a lot to swallow.
posted by tim_in_oz at 5:29 PM on April 26 [24 favorites]


Sometimes an iPhone is just an iPhone.
posted by bicyclefish at 5:30 PM on April 26 [11 favorites]


Microsoft should counter by making a commercial with "Bone Machine". Google then could use "Vamos".
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:31 PM on April 26 [12 favorites]


Wow the song in the commercial isn't about the thing in the commercial this is some fucked up shit man.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:31 PM on April 26 [62 favorites]


I think it gives a lot of credit to pop music to say it's about anything. The Pixies could say they intended X, Y, or Z, but we know the author is dead.
posted by jpe at 5:39 PM on April 26 [8 favorites]


It's got a killer hook and I can mosh to it. On a scale of 35 to 98, I give it a 7.1.1.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:39 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Really, that video should have Shiny Happy People as the soundtrack and have clothing provided by Benetton.

Yes, I know what the song is really about.
posted by arcticseal at 5:39 PM on April 26


I guess the logical extension of this is maybe the Dandy Warhols in the early 2000s, since a) every early-2000s Dandy Warhols song seemed to be soundtracking an advertisement and b) every Dandy early-2000s Warhols song seemed to be about taking a metric shit-ton of drugs and seeing what happens.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:41 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


Should have waited until the next iPhone with the "big, big" screen is out.
posted by shortfuse at 5:41 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


I always heard the lyrics as Gigantic, a pygmy in love.
posted by furtive at 5:42 PM on April 26 [8 favorites]


Something about that ad had me worried. Now, I know what it was.
posted by vhsiv at 5:43 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it be hilarious if, I don't know- advertising for, let's say, a line of cruise ships used a song by a former junkie describing the surrender of one's body to any known vice or degradation for the purpose of completely abnegating the self in the pursuit of total pleasure?


I mean, that'd be pretty humorous, right?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:43 PM on April 26 [60 favorites]


"Should have waited until the next iPhone with the "big, big" screen is out."

And shipped only in black.
posted by mikeand1 at 5:46 PM on April 26


I think it gives a lot of credit to pop music to say it's about anything. The Pixies could say they intended X, Y, or Z, but we know the author is dead.

Who is dead?
posted by ill3 at 5:47 PM on April 26


Ed.
posted by hypersloth at 5:49 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Zed.
posted by nevercalm at 5:50 PM on April 26 [16 favorites]


Once again, Apple follows Samsung.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:50 PM on April 26


Amazon: Dig for Fire?
posted by shortfuse at 5:52 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


When I saw them play this live a few years back, Kim was grinning the entire time and it was a joy. It still feels to me like the closest thing the Pixies have done to a heartfelt love song. I think it can have a pure meaning and a dirty meaning at the same time. Art is fun like that.
posted by naju at 5:52 PM on April 26 [15 favorites]


But will the new iPhone help me explore my interest in field hockey players?
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 5:54 PM on April 26 [20 favorites]


There were rumors it would.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:55 PM on April 26 [9 favorites]


I'm sure that the new Mr. Peanut ads are intended to remind me of the Tom Cruise "power of the penis" character in Magnolia. So I would say it is a sneaky trend among ad men.
posted by cda at 5:57 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


Here comes your man...in his BRAND NEW 2014 ESCALADE BY CADILLAC!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:01 PM on April 26 [13 favorites]


And if the devil is iOS 6 THEN GOD IS IOS7 THEN GOD IS IOS7 THEN GOD IS IOS7
posted by escabeche at 6:03 PM on April 26 [90 favorites]


Microsoft used Bowie's Heros. Carnival cruises uses lust for life. Companies are using these songs for the hook, no the whole song. Though everyone knows that men who use Apple products have huge dicks. Or maybe it is that they are huge dicks.....
posted by humanfont at 6:05 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


IVO:4AD :: IVE:APPLE
not really
posted by shortfuse at 6:05 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


I feel dumb now. I've been listening to that song for years and never made that connection. We all just want big big love right?
posted by fishmasta at 6:06 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


In my mind, the worst was Carnival Cruise using Lust for Life in a very "Family Friendly" oriented ad series a while back. The dissonance was just .... insane.
posted by strixus at 6:08 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


I feel dumb now. I've been listening to that song for years and never made that connection.

Yeah, me neither. I was just today thinking about how much I liked that song, and how much I liked the Apple spot, too. Now I feel like an idiot.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:08 PM on April 26


Pearl clutching as viral marketing? At this late point in the marketing game, The only songs that would be mildly edgy would be songs explicitly about sex with jesus, advocating abortion rights, pro-Al Quaida, or claiming global warming is real.
posted by benzenedream at 6:10 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


One of the most iconic Volkswagen commercials ever used a song about nuclear war.

Context is *everything*.
posted by eriko at 6:12 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing the ad team considered the product carefully, but their original pitches for "Broken Face" and "Crackity Jones" were rejected, so they said ahh whatever, big dick.
posted by hypersloth at 6:16 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


For me the GM ad using Chumbawamba's "Pass It Along" takes the cake, but partly because of how they spent the money.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:17 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


I'm just glad to see Apple actually advertising the real brilliance of iOS devices, and the reason why I own three iPod Touch dealios—there is just no competition at all if you want to use a handheld device to make music in a serious way. The Android folks shrugged off the audio latency problem and decided that they had enough of a market (thank you, beancounters), while Apple took creative folks seriously and gave developers a usable platform, which developers picked up and used to make amazing, unparalleled stuff.

I'd not have picked this song, myself, but the ad's not entirely bad. Sometimes it's not what the song's really about, but what people think it's about, and advertising is a shallow pool.
posted by sonascope at 6:19 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Also, weren't the entire eighties about Reagan and the overplayed "Born In The USA," which wasn't remotely about what the Rah-Rah-Reaganoids thought it was about?
posted by sonascope at 6:26 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


Hey, does anyone know what the app at about 5 seconds in is? It shows up again at around 19 seconds. It's not listed on the spot's page, but it looks SUPER cool.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:27 PM on April 26


Hey, does anyone know what the app at about 5 seconds in is?

It looks like it could be a controller patch in TouchOSC, playing an external instrument, or possible Lemur.
posted by sonascope at 6:33 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


It still feels to me like the closest thing the Pixies have done to a heartfelt love song.

You've never heard "Velouria", then?
posted by mykescipark at 6:33 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Got a tattooed tit, say "Designed by Apple in California".
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:33 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


Appears to be the AUUG Motion Synth. So cool!
posted by naju at 6:33 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


Appears to be the AUUG Motion Synth yt . So cool!

Yep, that appears to be it. Hmm, now I need to look into something new.
posted by sonascope at 6:36 PM on April 26


You've never heard "Velouria", then?

You don't want to know what depraved stuff that song's actually about, trust me.
posted by naju at 6:36 PM on April 26


GIGANTIC IS DONGS
ITS MADE OUT OF DONGS
posted by nathancaswell at 6:37 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


My impression was that these days ads are "opt-in" — if you don't actually want to hear/watch them there are a hundred ways to avoid them. Heck, I've still got a cathode-ray tube in my TV and watch over-the-air, not cable, but I've always got the mute button in my hand when I watch. It's like the only way for an ad to reach people is to get them to pass it around to each other.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:40 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Somewhere, an ad exec tries desperately to make a breakfast cereal ad campaign around Soundgarden's "Spoonman"
posted by hellojed at 6:42 PM on April 26 [29 favorites]


I have to say that this does indeed disgust me. I mean c'mon, Pixies? Surely they could have found a better band that did a song about big black cock.
posted by happyroach at 6:44 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


> Hey, does anyone know what the app at about 5 seconds in is?

Apple actually features those apps on the 'powerful' page, talk about tying their ecosystems together.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:44 PM on April 26


Somewhere, an ad exec tries desperately to make a breakfast cereal ad campaign around Soundgarden's "Spoonman" posted by hellojed at 9:42 PM on April 26

Feel the rhythm in your braaaan!
posted by NikitaNikita at 6:45 PM on April 26 [27 favorites]


Apple actually features those apps on the 'powerful' page, talk about tying their ecosystems together.

They don't seem to feature the theremin app, which was by far the most interesting one.
posted by kafziel at 6:51 PM on April 26


> Do you think the producers of the commercial knew what the song is about?

Yes.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:53 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I'm old and even though I've read relatively convincing arguments over the decades in favor of the licensing of rock and also roll music for television advertising, I remain nauseated by it. And by advertising in general, but that's an attitude that is so far out of the mainstream now that it almost seems faintly ridiculous to most, I know.

Still, I'd be completely in favor of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck" being used in a boner-pill ad, say, because that would make me laugh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 PM on April 26 [38 favorites]


But will the new iPhone help me explore my interest in field hockey players?
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 8:54 PM on April 26


It was like so hush hush, and then the next thing you know
posted by four panels at 7:13 PM on April 26 [9 favorites]


I understand new Clorox 2 (TM) Laundry Booster and Stain Remover is planning on using Minor Threat's "Guilty of Being White" in their upcoming ads.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:13 PM on April 26 [18 favorites]


I'm old and even though I've read relatively convincing arguments over the decades in favor of the licensing of rock and also roll music for television advertising, I remain nauseated by it.

me, too.

There's a pile of things these younger generations have gotten far more right than mine, but the more or less complete buy-in to the shameless pimping of great music ain't one of them.

You got it wrong, kids. John Densmore knows what time it is.
posted by philip-random at 7:20 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I have to say that this does indeed disgust me. I mean c'mon, Pixies? Surely they could have found a better band that did a song about big black cock.
posted by happyroach at 6:44 PM on April 26 [+] [!]


Sorry what
posted by Sebmojo at 7:26 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Still, I'd be completely in favor of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck" being used in a boner-pill ad, say, because that would make me laugh.

My favorite version of that song is the Nouvelle Vague cover, which features a breathy-voiced woman sing/hiccuping through the lyrics.
posted by winna at 7:32 PM on April 26 [18 favorites]


I'm just impressed that Microsoft hasn't yet succumbed to the temptation to use T.V. Eye in support of Kinect.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:40 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


This could explain the people who hold their phones like a slice of pizza they are about to eat though.
posted by srboisvert at 7:40 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


I think you mean, "what inspired the author to write the song" or "how the song is often interpreted" because as we all hopefully know by now, the work of art is "about" nothing but what the person experiencing it wants it to be about.

If Apple wants it to be about selling iPads and most of the people hearing it want it to be about "iPads are super-cool" then, guess what? That's what it's about in this context.

If original authorial intent doesn't prevent Middle America dancing their hearts out to "YMCA" it sure isn't going to matter here. And anyway I feel like an ad agency guy who gets hired for an Apple campaign is at precisely the correct ley line intersection of hip and unhip to know *exactly* what inspired the Pixies to write various songs.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:48 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


I aint no goddamned son of a bitch.

Summarized.

(surprised the hell out of me when I caught this on late night tv a couple of years ago)
posted by eyeballkid at 7:52 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


RATM, "Down Rodeo", Wrangler Jeans
Tool, "Sober", O'Doul's
Lou Reed, "Walk On The Wild Side", Honda Scooters

oh wait that last one really happened
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:03 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Back a couple of decades ago, I remember an ad industry person being interviewed on TV, who said that James Brown's "I Feel Good" would be a super-valuable property that would probably never be available for advertising.

Just a couple of years later, we got this.
posted by gimonca at 8:45 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


I think the context for that interview was Nike using "Revolution" by the Beatles in an ad, in fact.
posted by gimonca at 8:48 PM on April 26


hey guys this dude i know goes by the name mr brown has a theory about like a virgin it will blow your fuckin mind
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:48 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


What an awful commercial. I mean, so many of these lifestyle happy ads are awful so I can't really expect anything else but they've butchered the song (though again that's what ads do).
posted by juiceCake at 8:54 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


winna: Still, I'd be completely in favor of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck" being used in a boner-pill ad, say, because that would make me laugh.

But you know instead of Dead Kennedys, you'd get Nouvelle Vague, because it would fit the swanky swinger party vibe they're going for in the ad.

Madison Ave., call me. I'm full of great ideas.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 PM on April 26


Looking back, I'm very surprised Jerry Brown's campaign commercials didn't use Dead Kennedy's "California Uber Alles"
posted by hellojed at 9:17 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


‘It’s a virus’: Tom Waits on musicians allowing their work to be featured in commercials
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


alack, filthy light thief, those words were not my own, but mr thewonderchicken's. I prefer the Nouvelle Vague version because it underlines how menacing the song is!

But it does have a swankier vibe than Mr Biafra's rendition, it's true.
posted by winna at 9:21 PM on April 26


One might even say it's a virus ... from outer space.
posted by Lorin at 9:33 PM on April 26


To me, the worst commercial/song lyric mix is still that beer ad where people are drinking and a cheery voice bellows, "My body tells me no/But I won't quit/'Cause I want more." If your body is telling you no, perhaps you should, in fact, stop drinking.
posted by ilana at 9:37 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


This ad's use of "Where Is My Mind" is strange, to say the least.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:44 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


iPhone: The Right Tool for the Jobs.
posted by markkraft at 9:48 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I generally agree that songs I like being used in commercials is awful, but every once in a while it turns out OK.
posted by bongo_x at 9:50 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Does it make phone calls? I can't fucking tell.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:56 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


The Pixies could say they intended X, Y, or Z, but we know the author is dead.

That's a claim about the interpretation of texts. The words on the page can indeed be twisted quite far once they are down in black and white. However, if the words are sufficiently unambiguous...

Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And a flesh machine
He's gonna do another strip tease


...there is no plausible family-friendly interpretation to be had.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:09 PM on April 26


Whatever the producers' intent, it has 76 people (now 77) talking about their stupid ad, so I guess they earned their paychecks this week.

hurr hurr, they used a song about a peanus
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:14 PM on April 26


That's a claim about the interpretation of texts. The words on the page can indeed be twisted quite far once they are down in black and white. However, if the words are sufficiently unambiguous...

Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And a flesh machine
He's gonna do another strip tease

...there is no plausible family-friendly interpretation to be had.


The whole point of the "death of the author" bullshit is that nothing means anything and there's no such thing as an invalid interpretation, because if that's how you interpret it then by definition that's valid to you, and if it's valid to anyone then it's valid period. It's a garbage concept.
posted by kafziel at 10:16 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


It was like so hush hush, and then the next thing you know

YOU FUCKING DIE!!!!!
posted by LionIndex at 10:35 PM on April 26 [8 favorites]


Well, I think in this case "the author is dead" works because whatever beautiful, kind, fierce light burned in whatever heart was at the center of whatever the Pixies were doing is dead, dead, dead, long-lamented but clearly dead, and there's nobody around who's really qualified to talk about it because the people standing over its corpse clearly don't know what was going on, and the one person who was sane enough to want no part of the corpse-defiling really doesn't want to get into it and has her own thing going now.
posted by koeselitz at 10:40 PM on April 26 [8 favorites]


The whole point of the "death of the author" bullshit is that nothing means anything and there's no such thing as an invalid interpretation, because if that's how you interpret it then by definition that's valid to you, and if it's valid to anyone then it's valid period. It's a garbage concept.

I’ve never heard of this "death of the author", but you’re describing an idea I’ve pretty much come to on my own, or close anyway.
posted by bongo_x at 10:40 PM on April 26


Whatever the producers' intent, it has 76 people (now 77) talking about their stupid ad, so I guess they earned their paychecks this week.

Pretty smart for a stupid ad, showing a diverse set of creative and fun people using creative and fun technology to do creative and fun things that improve the human condition in ways large and small. Pretty intelligent ad and pretty intelligent of the ad makers to put it all together, really.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:42 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Remember when Target used Devo's "It's a Beautiful World" in a commercial, maybe 10~15 years ago?

If you're not familiar with it, the first 90% of the song is a bunch of cloying imagery of a perfect world. The last 10% of the song delivers the twist, it's not for the narrator, but for you. Obviously not a message a lowest common denominator corporation would present; the add dropped the twist.

I can't divine the deeper motive behind the choice.
posted by peter.j.torelli at 10:43 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if you think more about it, it's a pretty canny move on the part of whoever owns the rights to the Pixies catalog to associate themselves with the iPhone. I wonder how much they had to pay Apple to get them to use their music in the ad?

/hamburger hamburger hamburger hamburger hamburger hamburger
posted by benito.strauss at 11:16 PM on April 26


Every so often, Mercedes-Benz trots out Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" in order to sell Mercedes-Benzes.

There is no art that marketing will not commercialize. No beauty too sacred. No culture above co-option and no activism beyond assimilation.
posted by Skwirl at 11:51 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


The whole point of the "death of the author" bullshit is that nothing means anything and there's no such thing as an invalid interpretation, because if that's how you interpret it then by definition that's valid to you, and if it's valid to anyone then it's valid period. It's a garbage concept.

Indeed it is. It's completely ridiculous...

...but it makes it a whole lot easier for people in English departments to publish papers.

And when truth clashes with tenure...well...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 12:20 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Huh, I have to admit that I didn't realize that that line was from a Pixies song. Storm Large borrowed and modified that chorus for the end of "8 Miles Wide" (NSFW lyrics, SFW images), and that's the only place I'd heard it. That would also be an interesting choice of song to use in your ad campaign.
posted by JiBB at 12:35 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


I like their new one. Not as good as Come On Pilgrim or Surfer Rosa, but what is?
posted by Sebmojo at 1:11 AM on April 27


I'd have to say that, yeah, Apple knew what the song was about. They're simply too good at their marketing to not know.

Compare, for instance, with Microsoft's somewhat ham-handed choices for theme music in commercials. They used Alex Clare's Too Close (a breakup song) when they introduced IE9. I suspect the song was chosen because it was current (at the time) and sounded really dynamic and tech-y, but no one actually read the lyrics.

Currently, they're currently using Sara Bareilles Brave for their Windows 8 The New Windows commercials. Brave is certainly an upbeat, positive anthem, but they emphasize the "I wanna see you be brave" refrain, which seems to send an odd message...You have to be brave to use Windows?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:39 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Microsoft's had some pretty questionable choices for ages now. Their Windows 95 rollout ads featured the Rolling Stones's "Start Me Up."

Then again, that OS probably did make grown men cry.
I have no data for its effect on the libido of the dead, though.
posted by anthom at 5:57 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Like when Best Buy used the hook from The Cars' song Just What I Needed...I mean yeah "I guess you're just what I needed (just what I needed)" seems like a good way to promote the idea that Best Buy has, uhhh, just what you need

Curious though that they didn't include the subsequent line "I needed someone to bleed"

I wonder why not. Too on the nose, maybe?
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:40 AM on April 27


I used to sing Gigantic, a big big dog to my dog, rather inaccurately.
posted by moonmilk at 7:41 AM on April 27 [8 favorites]


Sebmojo... and this one. Which gets the old blood up.
posted by Decani at 7:47 AM on April 27


This is secretly satisfying to me as a Pixies fan who thought Frank should've let Kim sing more.
posted by jonp72 at 8:58 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


♬But you knifed me in my dirty filthy basement
With that jaded, faded, junky nurse♪
woo woo Amstel Light!
posted by morganw at 9:05 AM on April 27


I didn't realize that a Pixies song could ever be overplayed or give me a massive headache, but this Apple ad has proven me wrong once again. Just another sign of my creeping senescence.
posted by blucevalo at 9:18 AM on April 27


Still, I'd be completely in favor of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck" being used in a boner-pill ad, say, because that would make me laugh.

Stav, I have had this exact same thought.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:35 AM on April 27


Do you think the producers knew ...

You're kidding right? Entendre in commercials goes *way* back. Ever see the one with the guy sitting on the side of the bed saying "I can't believe I ate the whole thing"?? Back farther still, the song for Bit-O-Honey candy.

There were a couple of books about the art of "subliminal seduction" decades ago. For better or worse, they don't need to be so subliminal any more.
posted by Twang at 10:20 AM on April 27


kafziel: "The whole point of the 'death of the author' bullshit is that nothing means anything and there's no such thing as an invalid interpretation, because if that's how you interpret it then by definition that's valid to you, and if it's valid to anyone then it's valid period. It's a garbage concept."

bongo_x: "I’ve never heard of this 'death of the author', but you’re describing an idea I’ve pretty much come to on my own, or close anyway."

You must know that isn't true, right? Nobody can describe ideas that are similar to your ideas. If they do, they're wrong. Everyone has their own perspective, and there is no communication between human souls. You can't even talk about your own ideas, because the author of them is dead.

- and that is why "the author is dead" is an evil conception of art. The point of art is the sacred spark of human recognition - that miraculous moment when you see yourself in something someone else did or said or made - "ah, I get it! Yes!" Even those who think they're defending diversity or openness by denying shared meaning want that spark, thrive on it, like every human does. "The author is dead" denies that human connection is possible, lights another cheap cigarette, says "eh, art is whatever you want it to be," and slouches off to try to seduce another undergraduate.

Accepting that it's possible to be wrong about what another person is a little scary, because nobody wants to be wrong. But the alternative is never really believing it's possible to meaningfully communicate anything to another human being ever again. And that's not just scary - it amounts to nihilism and isolation from humanity.
posted by koeselitz at 10:45 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Well hey, Apple had to do something to counter Brin calling smartphones "emasculating," now didn't they?

And lest anyone think there's anything the slightest bit unintentional going on here, just cast your mind back to the Vista commercial Bill Gates did with Jerry Seinfeld, where Seinfeld is in a shoe store with Gates helping fit Gates with a shoe called "the Conquistador", which turns out, as we hear as Jerry is stroking Bill's foot through the soft leather, to be a pretty tight fit for Big Bill--a point which is rammed home when Bill has to adjust himself with some difficulty as they walk away (the adjustment is one of several things which has been edited out of the video I linked).
posted by jamjam at 10:59 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Clever marketing designed to create a stir. Worked? I dunno. Here's the first I've heard of it.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:06 AM on April 27


"The author is dead" denies that human connection is possible

I don't use the phrase "the author is dead," but authorial intent is mostly meaningless to me (for fiction/poetry/etc. i.e. not facts). It's not a rejection of human connection; it's an elimination of distractions to focus on the work. I think of it like clearing the mind.

Nobody can describe ideas that are similar to your ideas.

Exactly.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:11 AM on April 27


I feel dumb now. I've been listening to that song for years and never made that connection.

I'd have to say that, yeah, Apple knew what the song was about. They're simply too good at their marketing to not know.


I feel like I was a super dirty minded teenager because I'm not sure it had really occurred to me it could be about anything but ...being gigantic. Or I guess I was just a very concrete thinker.
posted by mdn at 11:42 AM on April 27


Has any song been used in more commercials than "Lust for Life"? The lyrics are bowdlerized every time, too.
posted by CCBC at 1:17 PM on April 27


mrgrimm: “I don't use the phrase 'the author is dead,' but authorial intent is mostly meaningless to me (for fiction/poetry/etc. i.e. not facts).”

How does anyone make a distinction between fiction and poetry and "facts"? I honestly can't tell. What about a poetic recounting of facts? Is a news story essentially inscrutable because the journalist is a good writer? I don't make a distinction between a comment on an internet forum and a painting in a gallery, insofar as both are just products of a human mind trying to communicate something to another human mind. And, since I believe conversation is possible, I believe that the human connection we call "determining authorial intent" is possible, even if it is very difficult. Because without it, we are fundamentally and thoroughly alone.
posted by koeselitz at 1:39 PM on April 27


poetry has random
line breaks
posted by thelonius at 2:04 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I like their new one. Not as good as Come On Pilgrim or Surfer Rosa, but what is?

Shibboleth, off of the latest Steve Malkmus and the Jicks album is a great Pixies song.
posted by juiceCake at 2:19 PM on April 27


eriko: "One of the most iconic Volkswagen commercials ever used a song about nuclear war."

Well, that's certainly an interpretation I've never seen before. Personally, I doubt Nick Drake was alluding to nuclear war, although it's not entirely clear what he's referring to. Based on his writing style, I'd suggest it's an allegory: a pink moon is when a bright white piece of the night sky, one that we can set our watches to, briefly becomes eclipsed and starts to pale and disappear into the background.
posted by spiderskull at 3:05 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Good ad. Very appropriate song.
posted by signal at 6:54 PM on April 27


> I feel dumb now. I've been listening to that song for years and never made that connection. We all just want big big love right?

Haven't made the connection yet. Still think it's about great big hugs. Or maybe cake.
posted by jfuller at 7:05 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


RE: the author is dead:
"The Room" was not intended by its author to be funny, but are we willing to say it's not a funny movie? The author's intent matters but so does the audience's interpretation.

RE: "Gigantic":
Hard to say that anyone who listened to the lyrics could have a different interpretation of them than the author intended.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:12 PM on April 27


"The Room" was not intended by its author to be funny, but are we willing to say it's not a funny movie? The author's intent matters but so does the audience's interpretation.

Well, no, that's a gibberish question. Authorial intent extends to meaning, not to emotional response. I find The Room to be very funny. But no matter the reaction, it is not a comedy. It is a drama that is hilarious in its ineptitude.
posted by kafziel at 10:28 PM on April 27


It is not a pop song, but this is my favorite commercial/theme mismatch.
posted by oflinkey at 7:30 AM on April 28


Because you associate it with the movie "Brazil"? Or is there something I'm missing?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:09 PM on April 28


Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Aquarela do Brasil is actually from 1939.
posted by signal at 2:21 PM on April 28


One of the most iconic Volkswagen commercials ever used a song about nuclear war.

What about the iconic VW campaign using that Psychic TV track about Sharon Tate being murdered?

Sharon walks alone as your wife
Sharon gives her life for a knife
Sharon floating high up above
Sighing, crying, dying below

Are you free, are you really free?
Are you really, really, really, really, really free?
Is it you or is it me?
Or is it simply history?
posted by FatherDagon at 6:23 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


I don't love you, you don't love me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:13 AM on April 30


Apple Helps Cops Hide Police Brutality
posted by jeffburdges at 4:20 PM on May 13


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