Monday, August 10, 2009

Advertising in Music, or "It's Been A Hard Day's Night, I Need a Pepsi"

So, if you haven't already seen it, there's this video circulating the internet of a couple who, for their entrance on their wedding day, choreographed an elaborate dance, involving all the bride's mates and groomsmen, and set to Chris Brown's "Forever." You can watch it here if you're interested, it's pretty cute.

While watching this video, I was struck by one of the lines in the song, "Because we've only got one night, double your pleasure, double your fun." Where have I heard that before...oh yeah...



It's a Wrigley's slogan. Chris Brown put a Wrigley's slogan in the middle of his song's chorus, as if it was just any old lyric. But of course, it's not. It's advertising. And what really bugs me, is that I like this song. It's catchy, it's upbeat, it's got some good, spacey, techno noises in there (that's pretty much my criteria) but I can't really enjoy the song, because when it gets to that line, I just feel dirty for listening to it. I think it's because when I listen to music, I want to hear music. I don't want to be told to buy something. Now, Chris Brown also did an ad for Wrigley's, based on this song (he was recently dropped as a spokesperson after he got into legal trouble for taking it upon himself to beat the tar out of his girlfriend. Nice.) seen below.



This ad doesn't bother me. It doesn't. It's unapologetically a commercial, I know when I watch it that I'm being sold something. And art and commerce have met before, and they certainly will again, but what really gets my goat about this one instance is that it goes beyond product placement. It's taking a pop song, and advertising within it. Pop stars do ads. I get that. But putting it in your actual product? Are you that low? Do you care that little about your own music, that you will literally sell space mid-song? Oh, and check out 0:11 in this video...

That signature foil wrapping...the shot of him putting the gum in his mouth...gross.

Pop music has been a cash cow for some time now. That's old news. But I still say it's a sad day for popular music when a song, which is supposed to be artwork and creative expression, is written and distributed for the entire purpose of selling chewing gum. Chris Brown, you were already a giant douche. But you've now graduated to "colossal douche who reigns as king of all douches in Douchania, the country populated only by douches."

10 comments:

Jason Heat said...

One really has to wonder about the omen of any couple walking down the aisle to a Chris Brown song.

Daniel said...

well put.

Max Nova said...

@ Jason. Someone has already done the parody divorce video.

@ Daniel. The thing is though that it wasn't hidden. The company had other well paid popular music performers (I will not call them musicians) do Juicy Fruit and Big Red (I think it was Big Red). Plus I'm pretty certain there is a line of Rhianna umbrellas, which came after the song but still - points of capitalism.

If you perform music for a major label, I expect it to end up in a commercial. To name a few bands who have sold out who I like off the top of my head - The Doors, Stereolab, Blur (many many times), MIA, Postal Service, and Massive Attack.

And there's the W.i.l.l.i.a.m shitstorm with Dylan (I've hated the former for years, but you get the idea). Basically I mute the commercials these days, especially during football season because I am so fucking tired of John Melloncamp.

Daniel said...

oh yeah, i know it wasn't hidden, i'd seen the ad before i even heard the song. what gets me is that it wasn't enough to do a tie in commercial with the song, they had to include the advertising in the actual song! that's what drives me nuts, that the ad based on the song wasn't enough, they had to advertise in the actual song itself. that's gross.

Ozkirbas said...

A. Who's the Duke of Douchania?

B. Would you view a song entirely composed of excerpts from old advertisement jingles more disgusting or less disgusting?

chibent said...

Oh, Advertisers, how insidiously clever you can be! This is the commercial that plays in my head every - and I do mean EVERY - time I hear Fur Elise:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2yklZeEbFE

Curse you, McDonalds!

Damo said...

@Chibent, classical composers have been selling out for decades! George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is my favorite example. It's a beautiful piece of music that always makes me think of booking a flight overseas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFXbCSDq6Cg

Ozkirbas said...

Just going to throw this out there:

Nobody knocks on John Williams. Nobody.

Max Nova said...

@Oz - I'm so tired of john Williams music. I guess there's something to be said for his trite shit subsidizing orchrestras playing music by real composers.

Ozkirbas said...

@Max Nova - the moment I said that, I knew it'd be you. I knew it.