6.13.2009

Looking forward to forgetting

A few nights ago I was watching The Daily Show and during a commercial break I caught a very familiar piano melody -- the one that opens Matt & Kim's "Daylight."* Bacardi is using the track in their recent ad campaign which (as far as I can tell from cursory searching) began airing sometime early last month:



Oh, and just so we're clear up front about this: I have no intention of tossing around any accusations of "selling out" (ah, that old and overused idiotic term) or other similarly adolescent nonsense. No one likes the guy in the room who says things like "Oh, I used to like that band, but now they're a bunch of sellouts."

That said, I'm still fairly amused by the late comedian Bill Hicks' take on the subject**:
If you do a commercial, you're off the artistic roll-call forever... There's a price on your head. Every word you say is suspect... And that goes for everybody, except Willie Nelson... I just try to avert my eyes whenever he's singing about tacos.
Thanks to YouTube, said commercial -- which, years ago, Willie Nelson did to help pay off his gigantic IRS debt -- is preserved for all to see:



In a strange way, it's better (from my perspective as listener and fan) if an artist performs some new jingle for a commercial, thus at least preventing their catalog of songs I actively listen to from conjuring up the brand in question. It does bum me out a little bit that when I hear Matt & Kim's "Daylight", my brain will continue to bring up the association with Bacardi. Which, of course, is certainly among the goals for the advertising campaign, and why Bacardi is willing to pay to use the song. If you know anything about just how little musicians tend to get paid, it's also easy to understand why artists say yes.

The nice thing is that, in time, Bacardi will move onto the next ad campaign, and perhaps I'll eventually forget all about it. That's my hope, at any rate. We shall see. It doesn't work all the time. I certainly haven't forgotten about Of Montreal allowing their song "Wraith Pined to the Mist" to have the lyrics completely repurposed to suit the needs of Outback Steakhouse:



While searching for that commercial, I also discovered that Of Montreal also did a commercial for T-Mobile, in which they also star:



I was also surprised recently when one of the most recognizable songs in The Sea And Cake catalog, "Jacking The Ball", recently found its way into a CitiBank commercial:



It's of no use to complain about it, in part because I'd likely have a difficult time turning down cash for music I'd written were someone to offer, unless it were for something absurdly (or unrealistically) horrible -- as in, "No, sir, you may not use that song in your new advertisement for cholera." Also, complaining would be pretty darn futile.

I do, though, look forward to the point in the future when I've put these ads -- and the numerous others featuring music I care about -- out of mind.

_________
* It's a damn catchy song. On a recent trip to Chicago, there were multiple occasions when, while walking down the street, I would spontaneously begin humming the piano line out loud. Tangentially, I refused to pick up the LP while I was there, because I've always had a hard time accepting that I liked Matt & Kim, in part (as I explained to my friend Jon, in the record store where he had pointed out that the album, Grand, was in stock) because Matt & Kim were sort of similar to Mates Of State, and I had spent nearly 10 years hating Mates Of State, and it felt like enjoying Matt & Kim was to admit that I had been wrong all these years about Mates Of State. I have since both bought Grand and relistened to some of the Mates Of State catalog -- I remain unconvinced overall, but will admit now that they have their moments.
** The bit is, primarily, a brutal skewing of Jay Leno, in no small part because of Leno hocking Doritos. In case you've never heard it, the version from
Rant In E-Minor appears below:

2 comments:

Dallas said...

The sad thing thing is, when I hear that Of Montreal song, I sometimes accidentally sing the Outback version. Then I have to pretend it was a joke and that I meant it, ha ha ha, no, Outback hasn't penetrated my subconscious, what do you mean?

And now I want steak. Thanks, Ben. This is obviously your fault. I came expecting a blog about Metric and left wanting grilled meat (that sentence is inadvertently loaded with innuendo. I don't mean it. Goodnight.)

j. amadeus markley said...

the moment i heard of montreal playing in the missoula best buy was the exact second that i gave into the fact that indie pop is the mainstream and that i am now the target demographic for ads selling everything from cell phones to steak. i don't have a choice in that.

but as long as they don't put ornette coleman in ads directed at me, i'll manage to get through life.....