Monday, November 27, 2006

"Commercial" Failures

The topic of songs in commercials has been covered before here on “All You Need Is Hops”. I’ve come to terms with this since commercials have really become just another medium to get your music out to the general public. Sometimes they can even be done well. However, lately I feel this trend of selling out has really gotten worse. It’s one thing for Bob Dylan or U2 to appear on an iTunes commercial. I see the cross-over there. It’s a product associated with music and you’re simply appearing with your song playing. Kind of like a brief clip of a music video. But seeing Bob Dylan in an ad for Victoria’s Secret makes you question your sanity. This is a great clip where Bob talks about selling out and then a clip from the video is played:

So maybe it’s always been Bob’s dream to appear in a Victoria’s Secret ad. But what about the other great sellouts that we’ve seen recently? The other day I was watching TV and a Chili’s ad came on. It was a normal Chili’s commercial except when the “I want my Chili’s baby back ribs” song started playing it was different. Instead of the normal version it was a new version recorded by Rhett Miller of The Old 97’s. Having your song appear in a commercial has reached the point of acceptance (thank you Rolling Stones and The Who) but singing a jingle for a commercial, well that’s just not cool in my book. The Old 97’s used to be a great band. While they’ve really fallen off my radar lately and I haven’t enjoyed Rhett Miller’s solo work, I still could respect them. Now the Chili’s commercial makes me ashamed to even listen to an album by them. And it doesn’t even make me want baby back ribs. I hope he got paid really well.

A few weeks ago I saw Jay-Z in a Budweiser commercial. The theme was that Jay-Z, The King, was back. And somehow the King of Beers influenced his decision. This didn’t bother me as much. First of all I thought it was a pretty brilliant piece of marketing. He basically got paid by Budweiser so he could film a commercial telling everyone he’s back. Plus, there is an acceptance in hip-hop culture to make money in this manner. At least his commercial was respectable, it wasn’t like the Black Eyed Peas hyping up Best Buy and somehow designing Hondas.

But no matter how many incidents of selling-out there will be in the future, I think it will be tough to top the WORST sell-out of all-time. I’m talking about Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish) telling us to eat a tender crisp bacon cheddar ranch sandwich from Burger King. It is has all the elements of a huge mistake

1) Artist appearing in the commercial

2) Artist singing a jingle and not his song

3) It’s completely embarrassing, more embarrassing than any high school yearbook photo you could think of

4) It’s sad because you’ve realized how far they’ve fallen.

Maybe he did it just to meet Brooke Burke (on the swing). Maybe he owes money to the mafia. Maybe he’s just a giant tool. I can’t figure it out. Anyway watch the video and let me know if it makes you laugh, cry or vomit:

No comments: