If you were watching late-night television in July 1998 you may have seen the half-hour informercial parody that the Beastie Boys produced to promote their upcoming album, Hello Nasty. The ad features Mike D, MCA , and Ad-Rock taking on roles to shill everything from the services of phone psychics to get-rich-quick scams to a food processor that plays songs from the upcoming LP. (Warning: video auto-loads.) [more inside]
How memes are orchestrated by companies for profit (Harlem Shake made it to mefi on Feb 7, eight days after its origin. Another related post.)
TVAdSongs.com houses a library of 1,515 songs from TV and Radio ads, and that’s how my jingle earworm attached. Pretty soon I’d discovered that Barry Manilow used to include a bit he called "Our VSM" (short for our "Very Strange Medley" of songs he’s composed for commercials) in each of his concerts. (Weezer’s a big fan - previously). That’s where it struck me personally how insidously omnipresent these songs were (and are). Pretty soon, the earworm took over. So, I figure, what better way to get rid of a tune stuck in your head than to share it with the rest of the world? So, here goes — I am prepared for your curses. | "A" is for Apple, "J" is for Jacks • And They Call It... Charlie! • Break Me Off a Piece of that Kit Kat Bar ... [more inside]
Ultra Swank - Retro Living and Design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
(American Big Box Retailer) Target's recent holiday TV spots feature original music from several indie music acts, including Guster, Bishop Allen, and Blackalicious. They've collected the songs from the ads, plus several more, into a free-to-download album. [Direct Download if you're squicky about visting Target's site] [more inside]
"(Sigur Ros) have never allowed their music to be used to sell anything. And they get asked a lot. Sometimes they get asked, say 'no' and then a few months later an ad will suddenly appear that sounds strangely familiar."
You might dismiss Little Honda by the Hondells as an infectious by-product of Grey Advertising's legendary 1962 "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" ad campaign. It's actually a Brian Wilson original, later recorded by The Beach Boys, and shares an eerie connection with the Jan & Dean classic Dead Man's Curve. Perhaps its the essence of youth and innocence captured by this corny little composition that inspires Yo La Tengo's contemporary covers.
The Web Is Not A TV Channel is the latest in a series of admonitions for musical and marketing industry types from music blogger, record company founder and bass player Dave Allen. [more inside]
Battle for Milkquarious - The greatest Rock Opera ever made. About milk. [Flash, dairy advertising] [more inside]
Juan Cabral, the commercial maker behind the Sony Bravia bouncing ball ad has completed a new piece: this time, he and collaborators, including Múm, Richard Fearless (of Death In Vegas) and the people behind Sigur Rós' live concerts, transformed the Icelandic town of Sey∂isfjör∂ur into an ambient sound installation, placing speakers throughout the town, playing music (from folk to electronica to ambient orchestral) and filming the reactions of the locals as they went about their lives. [more inside]
13,500 people singing Hey Jude in London's Trafalgar Square. Thanks T-Mobile! (previously)
David Goo and the Variety Band have been gigging in London for a few years, but a recent appearance as a soundtrack to an advert could be what propels them to the big time. Merging ska, punk, indie and klezmer influences, read an interview with them here as they speculate on the concept of 'selling out'
The Moby Quotient [I]n the late 1990s, the techno artist Moby, as hip as they come, openly boasted of having sold every track of his breakthrough album "Play" to an advertiser, or to a film or TV soundtrack. The album should perhaps have been called "Pay." In homage Bill Wyman of Hitsville has dubbed his formula for determining the offensiveness of a rock-based advertisement. (accompanying article)
From the Golden Age of TV commercial jingles, variations on a lyric theme: Wonderbra ads from 1968 (#1), 1968 (#2), 1969, 1974, 1975, and 1979, all served up in the groovy pop aesthetic of those fabulous decades! It's a wonderful thing. [lyrics inside]
Blixa Bargeld reads the Hornbach Catalog. In a series of ads, finalists in 2004 for an EPICA award, the poet and musician Blixa Bargeld, known primarily as a leader of the industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, read aloud descriptions of home improvement products. With hilarious results.
" Jim's ghost was in my ear, and I felt terrible". Like all top classic-rock franchises, The Doors can exploit a lucrative afterlife in television commercials. Offers keep coming in, such as the $15 million dangled by Cadillac last year to lease the song "Break On Through (to the Other Side)" to hawk its luxury SUVs. To the surprise of the corporation and the chagrin of his former bandmates, drummer John Densmore vetoed the idea. He said he did the same when Apple Computer called with a $4-million offer, and every time "some deodorant company wants to use 'Light My Fire.' "
Takes the phrase "Get a Life" to a new level. Those masterminds of marketing, those night rocking, day partying satanic minions, KISS, have achieved the ultimate score in product merchandising. That's right, it's your very own KISS coffin, and while you might think "What's the point?", keep in mind that before you shuffle off this mortal coil, it doubles as a beer cooler.
CDNow cedes operations to Amazon.com. While looking up some 'non-traditional' Christmas music, I noticed this site's layout looked oddly familiar. Is there reason for concern about the fact that Amazon is taking over shop for it's rival or is this an example of using what's the 'best' in a competitive market?
Mars Austrailia creates fake band and single to advertise Starbursts. It is the latest marketing idea: create a fictitious group named after your brand and release a cheesy song that gets radio airplay and is sold as a music single to teenagers. The song is Get Your Juices Going, by fictional pop group Starburst. It has secured high-rotation airplay on radio station Nova 96.9 and has had its promotional video featured on Video Hits. The song's lyrics were written by copywriters and the video, in which the group's identity is hidden, was created by television commercial producers. Not once, however, is the pop group linked to Mars.
Luxury carmaker achieves relevance with "the kids" by use of Led Zep in ad. Although the article touches on Chevy's decade-long affiliation with Bob Seger, it curiously neglects to mention that Chevy ad with the Mary Chain song, or even the Volkswagen soundtrack album. Did you ever hear a favorite song in an ad or as the theme to a TV show and think "how'd THAT happen?"
Start Me Up Or Shut Me Down: Is Music Compromised And Cheapened By Its Use In Commercials? The Doors' John Densmore, writing in The Nation about why he refuses to accept Apple's and other companies' generous offers to use his band's songs, certainly thinks so. Is this an admirable example of integrity; precious vanity or just downright jejune?[More inside]
Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Gap.... If ever there was a candidate for being sued this site would be it... with a three-minute music video setting logos, brand names and glossy corporate imagery against adbusting in-jokes and shots of police brutality. Anti-capitalist anthem or the ultimate in product placement? And how long until the site's namesakes get it pulled off the Web?
Has It Come To This? There's a certain symmetry in the commercialization of the commercialization of music and yet I can't quite get over this.
"After the J. C. Penney ad ran, they got a letter from a fan wondering how they could be that desperate; did they need the money for an operation or something?" Tomorrow's New York Times Magazine covers the Apples in Stereo and other bands that are jeopardizing their realness by selling songs to advertisers.
Check out the Milko Music Machine. It was chosen as the Macromedia Site of the Day and is hysterical! You can select video clips, vocals and music for a bovine music video. Moo, moo, moo.
Barenaked Ladies use ingenuity instead of lawyers to outfox Napster users. Singer Steven Page can be heard in one download telling users: "Although you thought you were downloading our new single, what you actually were downloading is an advertisement for our new album." In retrospect, it's so clever, it's obvious. We're all smacking our heads thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?" Appropriating the Napster system to recoup valuable advertising targeted to those who actually like the band is so elegant in its simplicity, and everyone but the would-be copier is satisfied. (Until they BUY the album)