Who Sang That Song?

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Who Sang That Song?

Postby bigbry » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:32 pm

Today Ad Agencies are being as creative as a motel chain naming themselves after a number. If you listen to TV ad’s today it’s like hearing that liner, usually done in that big voice, on the radio, “It’s the Hits of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and Today”. Agencies are using hit songs from the past, in the commercials of today. Is this coming from the client who is spending a zillion dollars telling the spineless agency that I want to use a Pink Floyd song in the background? Or is it the Agency talking the gullible client into using a hit song? Yes we’ve all heard The Ronettes singing “Be My Baby” for Cialis or Led Zeppelin crankin’ out “Rock and Roll” for Cadillac. The list of commercial background music suppliers is amazing, The Stones, Beatles, Kinks, The Band, Yardbirds and I’m sure you can add few.

Having a broadcasting and background, we were always told “Never, Never use a hit song with in a commercial!” and “Never talk over the vocal” One reason for this was people would hear the song and miss the message of the commercial. I guess the same goes when you use a celebrity to voice a commercial. More people are sitting there trying to guess who the voice is and again, miss the message.

Chatting with Tommy James of Shondells fame about this, he said that Sony reps him for licensing in movies, TV and commercials. Mr. James went on to say, “Samsung Smart Phones have just used one of my songs from years and years ago, “I’m Alive”. You would think that musicians who have poured blood, sweat and talent to come up with a piece of work to represent, love, heartbreak or whatever, would be ticked off that, their work was going to sell smart phones, cookies or anything else for that matter. Tommy said, “it’s an honour to have someone think enough of a song to keep it going on the radio and have it engrained into our culture and then keep using it, plus it can also be very lucrative.” He continued, “none of my music has been used for stuff that’s offended me, no toilet bowl cleaner or toilet paper yet.”

From the Ad Agency stand point, they want your attention and what better way to grab it, than use a hit song from your youth. When life was carefree. It’s a lot easier and cheaper for them to use an existing song, than spend billable hours standing around in the studio trying to get an original song done for the client. Either way it comes down to huge bucks for the client.

Some creative suggestions for big Ad Agencies, based on title alone;
Sealy—Lay Down Sally by Eric Clapton
Greek Tourism—Money, Money, Money by ABBA
NFL Players Assoc.—Chain Gang by Sam Cook
Any Bank Theme Song—Jive Talkin by the Bee Gees
Donald Trump’s Campaign— American Idiot by Green Day

So now that you’re old enough to be able to afford a Cadillac and might be lucky enough to end up in the backseat for a little “Rockin’ and Rollin’”, you realize that you never knew the Ronettes sang that song, but now you know they’re selling something that could really help at this minute. That’s how advertising has used the music of our lives. Please try something original but until then, “get off my lawn.”
BRYAN COX
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Re: Who Sang That Song?

Postby jon » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:28 pm

In one way, things have improved from where this all began: Ad Agencies used to get a cover version of a big hit especially made for their ad.

Even earlier, in the Sixties, the Ad Agencies actually had it right, by getting top musicians, and sometimes vocalists, to create an original song for them, or just to sing their current jingle. Some of those original songs became big hits, like "No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In" by The T-Bones. Coke did a ton of jingle sings by Motown's best artists of the day.

Didn't Gene Pitney get his last hit out of a shampoo commercial?
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