Quick: What comes to mind when you think of Jennifer Lopez?
No, not that. But what do you think of her as regards her profession?
As in: singer, actress, TV reality show judge.
But that’s only scratching the surface because according to Chrysler Group, which is featuring Ms. Lo in a series of commercials for the Fiat 500, she is an “actress, entertainer, philanthropist and entrepreneur.”
Guess they forgot poet, particle physicist, and shrewd judge of character.
Some even argue that when Celine Dion was emoting in a Chrysler Pacifica (no, we don’t blame you if you don’t remember the car and if you’re trying not to remember the Titanic theme song) there was a better fit.
According to Olivier Francois, head of Fiat and chief marketing officer and brand marketing communications for Chrysler, and an otherwise smart guy whom I’ve had the opportunity to talk with, “The primary objective of ‘My World’ [the name of the commercial] was to explore the story of Jennifer Lopez, who is a cultural icon. [Drat! Left it off the list.] We watch as she leaves Manhattan and makes her way back to the Bronx, where she grew up and continues to be inspired by.”
What this has to do with a diminutive Italian car that’s built in Mexico for sale in places including the Bronx—scratch that, there is a Fiat dealership in Brooklyn, but not the Bronx—is quite puzzling. Is one to aspire to the car or to Ms. Lo’s lifestyle?
Video: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Black Betty” (VW ad)
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
Video: 1971 Woolworth TV commercial for LPs
This awesome ad showcases just how terrible mainstream music has always been, even back in the groovy early seventies, just two years after Woodstock. Baby Boomers all like to pretend everybody was separating their weed on copies of Rolling Stone and listening to “real music” like Led Zeppelin and the Stones, but that’s far from reality. What were people actually listening to? Herb Alpert, Petula Clark, and the Association. At least they only had to pay $1.57. Nice to know that almost 40 years later you can still pick up near-mint copies of any of those records for the exact same price at your local Goodwill store.
Via Boing Boing.
FTC Disclosure: Glorious Noise didn’t receive a damn thing from any artist, label, or publicist for writing this.
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
So I saw the ad a couple of times last night as I watched the death throes of my beloved Pistons. I thought it was just another clever car commercial that used an outtake from a new album, but apparently it’s much more: VW and Wilco create music and advertising first:
In a new form of music/promotion/communications, the band Wilco’s recently released album Sky Blue Sky is the soundtrack to Volkswagen’s latest TV campaign. This new form of marketing collaboration has the creative forces of Wilco and VW combining to launch both an album and a VW campaign in the same week. The partnership spans multiple commercials and multiple songs, with the first song being “The Thanks I Get.” […] It’s also the first-ever licensing deal for Wilco.
Inevitably, the fans lose their minds arguing about whether or not this constitutes a sellout.
Continue reading VW and Wilco: Jeff Tweedy, Nazi
This is perhaps the most succinct snapshot of mainstream American culture in 2007. The Top 12 finalists from American Idol, dressed as hippies and breakdancers, sing a snappy little version of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” in a commercial for—who else?—Ford Motor Co.
Absolutely perfect. This spot has it all. In just 44 seconds, they manage to co-opt and emasculate (at least) three generations of anti-Establishment counterculture: hippies, hip-hop, and indie rock. Welcome to the future! And you thought postmodernism was played out…
From the fine folks of Bedazzled: two Kool-Aid Commercials (1, 2) featuring the Monkees and Bugs Bunny.
Paul Revere and the Raiders’ TV ad for the GTO Judge. Official Judge T-shirt, too!