13 May 2004

More fun with advertising

I've had a full day.  I was up early and played 18 holes of golf.  It was warm and we walked, so by the time I got home I was fried and my body ached.  I need to sleep.  So of course, as soon as I decide to go to bed, I become wide awake.  When I was younger I never understood why my father sometimes napped in the evening, mostly while sitting in a chair, but I do now.  You have to take sleep when you can get it.  Why fight it?  I should have zonked out for a bit around seven tonight.

Anyway, I have had the television on now for the last ninety minutes or so.  My attention span is next to nothing.  The Cubs lost 4-0 to LA in one of the more boring games of the year, and the NBA playoffs just don't do it for me.  I can't stand Leno and have to be in the right mood for Letterman.  Help me Rhonda.

When I get like this I tend to ignore the programming and just pay attention to the commercials.  I've ranted in the past about the use of older, classic songs in commercials, so I'll skip the opinions (again), but I saw two ads back-to-back tonight that intrigued me and, admittedly, spiked my interest.

The first was for Jaguar and used Queen's "I'm In Love With My Car" from 'A Night at the Opera' (oh irony, sweet irony...), which may be the most obscure song that this band ever did.  I have never heard it on the radio, and indeed forgot it existed until I heard it tonight.  I suppose if you are going to advertise $50,000 cars (I completely pulled that number out of my backside-I have no idea how much a Jag really costs) it makes sense to have someone screaming "I'm in love with my car" over and over.  That's the only lyric used, which is a shame, because the last line of the song is "String back gloves in my auto-mo-love."

I guess I can live with and understand the use there.  However, I am still unsure just what the heck was going on in the next ad, which was for a certain type of birth control pill (I am not being discreet, I just can't remember the name).  It was a flowery-life-is-sunny-and-beautiful-because-you're-going-to-be-able-to-enjoy-adult-pleasures-but-not-get-pregnant commercial with the song "There She Goes" playing behind the voice over.  And this song conveys effective yet convenient birth control how exactly?

Hearing this song again got me thinking of how it has been butchered over it's ten years or so life.  It was originally recorded by a band called The La's (maybe not originally theirs, but they are the first people I heard do it) in a slow, guitar riffed manner, and I really liked it.  Then for some reason, they re-recorded it as a faster up tune, and it was this version that was played during the opening of "So I Married an Axe Murderer."  Not cool.  Then it was redone by some annoying pop band and used in some movie and played incessantly on top 40 radio and satellite music services broadcast into various retail locations that I happened to be employed in.

OK, wait, I have to know who the band is and what the movie was.  Here we go (O SWEET GOOGLE!): Sixpence None the Richer was the band-what kind of name is that?  Who chooses a band name like that-Robin Hood?-and "She's All That" was the movie.

I digress.  It's stupid to have this song in the commercial, makes no sense.  But what really makes no sense is that the band who sings the song version used in the ad probably doesn't see a dime of the money paid to use it, because it's not their original work.  So they get exploited (and shamed, in the words of this very blog!  Fear me, those who create lyrics solely for advertising revenue...) and cannot lean back and remark that at least they are getting paid.  Or, to sell out, you actually have to be able to sell something.

Why would I want to sleep through something like that?

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