Tag Archives: advertising

No Comedians. No Coffee. But Cars. And Sting.

Even if you have absolutely no interest in the auto industry, lately you’ve probably heard something about the potential tie-up and subsequent unraveling and just-maybe tying the knot between FCA and Groupe Renault. You can’t buy a new Renault (or Dacia or Alpine) in the U.S. market. But you can buy FCA products to your heart’s content: Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Alfa Romeo. . .and Fiat (the “F” in FCA, with the “C” standing for Chrysler).

Fiat is the brand that has on offer the Fiat 500, the diminutive two-door with the arc-like profile. When it was brought to the U.S. market, the woman who was heading the brand in the U.S. then, Laura Soave, said, “Like the original Cinquecento a half-century ago, the new Fiat 500 changes the rules of personal transportation and delivers a new sense of individual expression and opportunity. At a time when America is getting back to basics with a fresh awareness of the environment around, the new Fiat 500 identifies with today’s minimalistic attitude and delivers with state-of-the-art eco-friendly technology wrapped in world-class quality, craftsmanship and style.”

Unfortunately, the 500 in the U.S. market proved to be pretty much not more than a novelty act, one of those things that you see once and never really need to again, but in this case it was a matter of people initially glomming onto it and then showing nothing but disinterest. That is, for all of 2018 FCA sold 5,370 Fiat 500s in the U.S. If you add in the derivatives, the 500L at 1,413 and the 500X at 5,223, the total in terms of vehicle sales is rather abysmal. Arguably, in this age where the Green New Deal is something garnering attention, there is no less “awareness of the environment around,” but the 500 is no longer part of that “back to basics” approach.

Yet the 500 motors on, especially in Europe, where the company turns out model after model with new takes, with two of the most recent being named—and this is real—the “Star” and the “Rockstar.”
Those who buy either of those models will find that there is a BeatsAudio sound system. And for what I imagine is a limited time, those buying a Star or Rockstar will get six months of Apple Music free.

To launch the models, the Leo Burnett Creative Agency developed an ad that was shot in Barcelona and uses, as its soundtrack, “Just One Lifetime” by Shaggy and Sting.

Several years ago, Sting was in a commercial for Jaguar. His physical presence has a cameo now in an ad for Fiat.

Jaguar. Fiat.

Of course, Sting was once in a band named The Police.

The question in the Jaguar ad was “What does a rock star dream of?”

Probably not the Fiat 500 Rockstar.

Continue reading No Comedians. No Coffee. But Cars. And Sting.

Imported from. . .Canada

Motown MuseumWhen Chrysler busted out with the 2011 Super Bowl ad with Eminem, which gave rise to the whole “Imported from Detroit” theme, a theme that was green-lighted by Olivier Francois, a Parisian-born executive of Fiat, an Italian company (that owns Chrysler), people in Detroit at large got a good feeling. Yes, the people are tough and gritty, smooth and stylish. The car in question in the spot (a Chrysler 200) isn’t exactly the a car likely to make any publication’s Ten Best List, but as it is the only car that Chrysler produced in the Detroit Metro at the time (it put the Dodge Viper back into production in the city earlier this month, and it actually has built the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the D for the past several years), they had to go with what they had.

Why not the Chrysler 300, the sedan that was immediately popular with golfers and gangstas alike when it appeared as a model year 2005 vehicle?

Because that car is built in Canada.

Chrysler is now beating Detroit like Meg White the drums.  Unless it is an ad for Jeep, chances are there is something airing from the company that goes directly back to that “Born of Fire” Super Bowl ad.

It has just launched the 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition.

The commercial for the car shows Motown founder and Detroit native Berry Gordy sitting in the backseat of the car. . .in front of the Motown Museum on West Grand Boulevard. If you’ve ever been to the Motown Museum or on West Grand Boulevard, you know that the word “grand” isn’t used in a particularly descriptive way.

And while Gordy established Motown in Detroit in 1960, he moved it to Los Angeles in 1972.

Thanks, Berry.

And while the 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition moves Gordy through the streets of Detroit, it deposits him in New York City, in front of the Lunt Fontanne Theatre, where “Motown: The Musical” will be opening in March.

He may have forgotten that there is the Fisher Theater literally down the street from the Motown Museum. They stage Broadway shows there, too. It’s not Broadway. But it is Detroit.

The car is all chromed up. Perhaps the best part of it is that the limited-edition sedan’s audio system comes with 100 Motown tracks, but then those are accessible without having to put out an MSRP of $32,995.

“We are Motown and this is what we do,” Gordy says at the end of the spot for the car.

What? Move out of the D?

2013 Chrysler 300C | Who We Are | Motown: The Musical

New Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Super Bowl Ad: Black Betty

Video: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Black Betty” (VW ad)

Volkswagen Beetle 2011 Super Bowl XLV television commercial

It all comes back to the intersection of art and commerce… Or rather: cars and rock and roll. Over the past ten years we’ve spent a lot of time discussing what it means when a band puts its music in a commercial. From the Clash to Sting, Nick Drake to the Mooney Suzuki, Iggy Pop to Of Montreal, Led Zeppelin to Wilco. As Mac said so eloquently in 2005, we’re all Sometimes Reluctant Hookers.

Ten years on, the concept of “selling out” doesn’t even exist anymore. Which is probably fine, since neither does the concept of “buying music.”

So congratulations to Jon Spencer for getting his band on a Volkswagen ad. A Super Bowl ad, no less! Soon to be iconic, I’m sure.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, eMusic, MOG, wiki

Continue reading New Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Super Bowl Ad: Black Betty

David Byrne Explains Why He’s Suing Crist

Republican Governor Charlie Crist is using a Talking Heads song in an ad for his Senate campaign without permission. So David Byrne is suing his ass. Here’s why:

The general public might also think I simply license the use of my songs to anyone who will pay the going rate, but that’s not true either, as I have never licensed a song for use in an ad. I do license songs to commercial films and TV shows (if they pay the going rate), and to dance companies and student filmmakers mostly for free. But not to ads.

I’m a bit of a throwback that way, as I still believe songs occasionally mean something to people — they obviously mean something personal to the writer, and often to the listener as well. A personal and social meaning is diluted when that same song is used to sell a product (or a politician).

As anachronistic as these ideas seem nowadays, I’m happy there are still some artists who refuse to allow their songs—especially older, established songs—to be used in ads. I know, I know. I’ve heard it all. Ad nauseum. But still. Kudos to the artists who can afford to say no.

Talking Heads: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Continue reading David Byrne Explains Why He’s Suing Crist

This Is $uccess?

Like MobyHere’s what passes for—what? credibility, authenticity, talent, ability—nowadays, it seems. Here’s what we’ve come to as regards musicians that we are supposed to add to our list of those who deserve our time and attention—to say nothing of our cash. It comes from a press release for Salme Dahlstrom, who, I must confess, I lack familiarity with, and, having watched/listened to her “Superstar Car Crash,” I can confidently say I will continue to lack deliberate familiarity with because, well, here’s the piece from the press release:

“Like Moby did with his hugely popular album Play, Dahlstrom has managed to license every track from The Acid Cowgirl Audio Trade including syncs with companies such as Suave, Vodafone, Nike, MTV, Chips Ahoy, Miller Lite, Subaru, Quiznos, Ford Models, Bank of America and television programs and films such as One Tree Hill, Veronica Mars, Laguna Beach, The Real Orange County, The Hills, and Ice Age 3.

Continue reading This Is $uccess?

Iggy Pop Peddles Insurance

The BBC News Magazine examines the “science” of selling out concerning recent British spots featuring punk pioneers Iggy Pop and John Lydon.

Ad: Iggy Pop’s insurance commercial

Ad: John Lydon’s butter commercial

Gee, I wonder why they don’t show these ads in the States?

John Lennon in New Ad

Remember a number of years ago when a clip of Fred Astaire dancing was manipulated to show him cavorting with a vacuum cleaner? It was weird and sparked a debate as to the appropriate use of dead celebrity’s images in advertising.

Well, Yoko Ono has put her stamp of approval on the use of John Lennon‘s image and “voice” in a new ad promoting the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, a project from MIT. The legitimacy of the organization’s mission to provide solar powered machines to the world’s poorest children aside, this is plain creepy. John Lennon has been dead for nearly 30 years and the voice-over sounds like a cartoon version of his voice.

Video: A Message from John Lennon (OLPC)

How far can we go with this? What are some dead celebrity endorsements you’d like to see?

Via the NME.

Saul Williams vs. Nike

GLONO alumnus Tom Mantzouranis dissects the new Nike ad for AOL Sports Blog, FanHouse. Why Did Nike Use Saul Williams’ “List of Demands” in Their New Campaign?

Nike is an edgy company, and their marketing campaigns have been anything but safe lately, but it strikes me as odd that they allowed a song with violent overtones on a controversial subject to represent their company. Williams sings “call the police, I’m strapped to the teeth,” “protect your neck, ’cause I’m breaking out of my noose,” and “I ball my first and you’re gonna know where I stand,” among other lyrics.

You can download the song (MP3: Saul Williams – “List of Demands”), and if you really like it, buy the album: Saul Williams. Williams’ latest album, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust, was produced by Trent Reznor and released for free on the internet.

Watch the spot after the jump…

Continue reading Saul Williams vs. Nike

Selling Out is Easy

According to Adage, In Today’s World, ‘Selling Out’ Is the Only Way to Cash In:

According to an executive familiar with music-licensing deals, for U.S. rights, marketers typically pay $150,000 for the master recording of a song and another $150,000 for synchronization — the right to put the composition in a TV ad. However, because Apple has such leverage in breaking artists, the company paid a total of $80,000 for master and sync rights for Feist’s “1234” and another $80,000 for Ms. Naim’s song. And those fees are for global rights.

Still, $80,000 is not a bad little paycheck… Would you turn it down?

of Montreal Sells Out Again

of Montreal is being featured in another commercial, and this time frontman Kevin Barnes is getting all defensive in advance of the inevitable backlash.

The term “sellout” only exists in the lexicon of the over-privileged. Almost every non-homeless person in America is over-privileged, at least in a global sense.

Obviously, I’ve struggled with the concept. I’ve struggled because of the backlash following my songs placement in TV commercials. That is, until I realized that the negative energy that was being directed towards me really began to inspire my creativity. It has given me a sense of, “well, I’ll show them who is a sellout, I’m going to make the freakiest, most interesting, record ever!!!” … “I’m going to prove to them that my shit is wild and unpolluted by the reach of some absurd connection to mainstream corporate America.”

I realized then that, for me, selling out is not possible. Selling out, in an artistic sense, is to change one’s creative output to fit in with the commercial world. To create phony and insincere art in the hopes of becoming commercially successful. I’ve never done this and I can’t imagine I ever will.

These are all good points and he makes a few more, so read the whole essay entitled “Selling Out Isn’t Possible” by Kevin Barnes. Percolator has the spot (YouTube).

Barnes also spoke recently to the Fork about exorcising demons, songwriting, and whatnot.

MP3: of Montreal – “Disconnect the Dots” from Satanic Panic in the Attic (review)

Previously: The Glorious Noise Interview with Kevin Barnes (2004).

Continue reading of Montreal Sells Out Again