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for May 9, 2002

Low Overhead Or Just Brainless?
by Rich Robinson

Anyone besides me getting ticked off by the use of some music in recent tv commercials? I'm not pissed at musicians making money off their music. What's killing me is hearing the wrong music in commercials.
For example, I like the Who. Everybody likes the Who. Hell, the Clash were the Who (sort of) but what does the Overture from "Tommy" have to do with allergies? "Tommy can you hear me, Tommy do you need a tissue?"... I don't remember Daltry singing those lines.
Worse yet, does anyone equate rock 'n' roll with Cadillacs? Does anyone under the age of 70 drive a Caddy? (Not counting those bitchin convertibles from the early 60's - the Cadillacs that got 5 gallons to the mile.) What genius in Detroit thought that Led Zep's classic 'air-drum / air-guitar' FM staple, "Rock 'n' Roll", was the perfect audio track for their new campaign for an incredibly ugly car? Now if they had used that song to hype the Audi TT, or maybe Harley bikes, I might not have written this column. The opening line states: "Its been a long time since I rock and rolled". Face it - Caddy drivers haven't rock and rolled since before Buddy Holly kissed a corn field at 300 MPH.
The one commercial that absolutely fries me is the new one for Kia, where the two women meet at their 10 yr. high school reunion. First problem is that both women look like they graduated in 82, not 92. Secondly, the brunette is an incredible bitch, like Darla, only not funny. But the most annoying aspect of this commercial is the scene with the fat guy wearing the mullet, dancing in front of the Gremlin, to the music of A Flock of Seagulls. Lets pull this all together: he's got a car from the early 70's, a hairstyle from the late 70's, dancing to music from the early 80's, and he's supposed to have graduated in 92. Am I the only one who's just not getting it?
Really, I don't dislike the music they're choosing for these commercials. My complaint is that someone, sitting in their corner office on the 80th floor, is making a 6 figure income putting the wrong songs into commercials. I could do that job with my ears closed, and I could do it for a lot less. I'm pretty sure I'd at least be smart enough not to put a song called "20th Century Boy" in a commercial selling a 21st century SUV, but maybe that's just me.

©2002 Rich Robinson

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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