The music nerd in me (combined with my undergrad marketing background) always notices when indie-ish bands are featured in commercials. While I suppose lots of the folks who are working on Madison Avenue are either in my age cohort or younger and, therefore, probably have similar tastes in music to me, I am often confused (and a little put off) by their choices in background music for ads.
This commercial for Absolut Vodka features a Joy Division/New Order song, Ceremony:
According to this NPR article, Vodka Ad Combines Art and a Sacred Joy Division Song, this version of Ceremony is actually a cover by a Brooklyn band. Nonetheless, JD/NO fans could have strong reactions to this song choice. As one commentator said:
The flip side is to react to the commercialization of the sacred. As I clearly stated, “Ceremony” is an important song – quite possibly the last song I would think a director would incorporate into a Vodka ad
While I wouldn’t go as far as calling their songs “sacred,” I was genuinely surprised to hear this song being used in a liquor advert. Can you imagine Swing the Heartache by Bauhaus being used to sell Bud Light? Just strange.
Is there such a thing as selling out anymore? Maybe when Of Montreal reworked one of their own songs for an Outback Steakhouse commercial? Or this old Nissan Maxima ad feature How Soon Is Now? by Moz and the gang (you can watch in English here, although the audio is super-quiet)? Or maybe Sigur Ros providing the soundtrack to a video game trailer?
I have to say, though, I kind of like this Vick’s ad, with Yuki! Yuki! Yuki! by Anathallo:
According to their blog, this one commercial paid for the entire recording of their latest album. In this age of torrented mp3s and leaked albums, is this a new way for indie bands without big label support to move forward?