When Money Is Master

It’s what I think every time I hear the carefully produced versions of my favorite songs as part of a TV commercial that’s trying to sell me a cheeseburger or cell phone service.  Sometimes I love the song, other times it’s one I can’t stand – either way, packaged in the commercial it’s just ruined for all time. I never listen to it the same way again.
To the great dismay of music lovers everywhere, this is a trend that’s taken off, and has managed to shake off much of the “sell out” stigma of the early days. Suddenly the floodgates have opened and anything is fair game. Any band who was ever anything (with few exceptions) is ready, willing and able to offer their work to ad agencies who bastardize the music or the meaning of the song, leaving the defenseless listener humming a jingle for Pepsi or pizza, without knowing why.
In fact, popular music has become such a part of TV and commericals, that ADTUNES.com; an online guide to commercial music took the time to come up with a list of the Top Ad Music of 2007. You’ll be amazed at what’s on here. We’ve come a long way from the days of keeping The Beatles Revolution off a Nike commercial. Now everyone does it. It’s accepted. Common.
Of course, there are still advertisers (few and far between though they may be) who blaze their own trial… shunning the commercial success of established music and going their own, unique, though sometimes hard on the ears, way. Case in point, Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture, the privately owned furniture retailer based in Massachusetts has been surprisingly successful with the unique jingle that’s become a staple of their ads, and is now a feature of the store’s ad campaigns.
Hard on the ears it might be, but it’s original, catchy and conveys the positioning of the business in more ways than one. And after all, isn’t that what the music in a commercial is supposed to do?