March 10, 2004
Seeing yet another round of commercials in the final week and noticing the lame music that they use, I got to thinking why campaigns don't jump on the advertising bandwagon and use hip copyrighted songs. Remember Volkswagen's use of Nick Drake and the Orb in the late 90s? The trend hasn't let up with Modest Mouse schilling for some mini van (I still love that song) and even Ween getting into the action (Ocean Man). There are two obvious problems before campaigns can employ this technique. First, the cost of the songs is probably significant. True, but I think the point that Volkswagen made was that the extra cost pays off. Who didn't enjoy hearing Pink Moon every other day and certainly Volkswagen was transformed overnight into a hip brand. The second issue is that these songs have mostly been used for car commercials, which are aimed at young twenty-somethings in the market to buy wheels. But this is just an issue of song selection. Obviously, a Ween song wouldn't snag many votes, but the right tune could make a rather snappy and memorable ad. Rock music and campaigns is not a new combination by any means. "Can't stop thinking about tomorrow......." anybody. Here's a fun exercise. Write in the comment section which song you think would work best with each candidate. I'll select a winner next Monday and send him or her a bozo button.