Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lame Ass Ad Execs.

I'm getting sick of commercials. Especially when they rehash good music from 20, 30, 40, and, yes, 50 years ago. Famous songs are being used, or I should say, misused, oh heck, abused, as soundtracks for TV ads and there is something inherently wrong with that. Some time ago I posted about my disgust at ad execs for taking MY Todd Rundgren's "Hello, It's Me," and using it for a Tum's commercial. It came very close to blasphemy. I was hoping that was the end, but NOOOOO. It was just the beginning. Here's "Don't You Want Me Baby," by the British Group Human League from 1981. Only in this case the song is being sung by a mop. And they're selling Swiffer Wet Jets. Why lookee here: That annoying commercial just came on. Oh Donna? Of My Tasty Treasures? Somehow, I think of you when I see this ad. I believe you will appreciate this: Here's "Stand Tall Don't You Fall. " For Ore Ida fries. The fries that Stand and Deliver. I couldn't even find this on YouTube, so I don't know who sang it, but luckily for all of us, it's on TV a hundred times a day. Here's Michael Jackson (before the weird) and the Jackson Five singing "I'll Be There." From 1972. I was watching this commercial and I had no idea what they were selling. Finally, at the end, it was State Farm Insurance. I had to add this in just for the talent, just for the sheer brilliance and power and art and showmanship: I'll Be There Acapella. Please watch it all the way through. The ending is powerful. Now if you want to sell computers, what's the first song that comes to mind? If you guessed the Chordettes' "Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolli Lolli Lollipop" you'd be correct. Dell is using this song since they're offering computers in different colors. And lollipops come in different colors. So it makes perfect sense. Oh my goodness. The Chordettes sang Mr. Sandman. Now I really really like " Hot Fun In The Summertime" by Sly and the Family Stone. It accompanies a vacation ad for Maine. Whenever I hear it, I just want to take a trip to Maine, don't you? Summertime screams Maine to me. One of my all time favorites, Moody Blues, from 1970, "Tuesday Afternoon." They're advertising an aquarium. Every time I hear that I just want to run down to my local akworium. (Starts at 2:08 into the video. But Semi Homemade is always a hoot, so just enjoy the whole video.) And Richard Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries" is the lofty background music for ... IHop. Don't you like that video? Do you actually know what a Valkyrie is? From Norse mythology, a Valkyrie is one of the handmaidens of Odin who chooses who gets to be slain in battle and escorts them to Valhalla, the hall in which the souls of heroes slain in battle were received by Odin. Odin is the ruler of the Aesir, the principle group of gods in the pantheon of Norse paganism, and the supreme god of war, poetry, knowledge, and wisdom (for which he gave an eye). Richard Wagner wrote Der Ring des Nibelungen, a cycle of 4 operas based on Norse mythology, of which Die Valkyrie was the second in the series. Wagner wrote this over the course of 26 years, from 1848 to 1874, and I'm sure he'd be proud to know he's shilling for IHop now. One of my favorite current artists is KT Tunstall. Her "Suddenly I See" is now fodder for Chase. And another one from the 60's, Bachman Turner Overdrive's "BBBBaby, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet." For Scotch Brite Cleaners, no less.
Dang. Where's a Barry Manilow when you need one? "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there ..." "I am stuck on band aid, cause band aid's stuck on me ..." "You deserve a break today - at McDonalds ..." And some lesser known jingles Barry wrote: "Join the Pepsi people ..." "It's the most original soft drink ever in the whole wide world ..." For Dr. Pepper. "I've got the bathroom bowl blues ..." For Bowlene toilet bowl cleaner. "Give your face something to smile about ..." For Stridex. Please check out Barry's Very Strange Medley. (His words. Not mine.) Is this current crop of ad people so lazy that they can't even come up with a jingle on their own - something that would actually say something about the product they're advertising, instead of relying upon their no doubt misspent youth, drenched in a haze of drugs and alcohol, for inspiration? I can understand nostalgia for the past but taking these songs and tacking them onto products is just plain ... tacky. There's no imagination. There's no inspiration. No talent. It's laziness. And it's wrong. And the most egregious example of all, is the rape of Etta James' classic soul tune, "At Last" for Hoover Vacuum cleaners. Now that truly sucks.


Hairball T. Hairball said...

*cheers loudly*

Can I be in your "Save the Music" road show?

Ardy said...

Foul ball on the BTO song. It's from 1973.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks Bob in Jersey.
The 60's and 70's were kind of a blur to me.