Is lending your music to commercials still selling out?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vic_T, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    I remember the day when allowing your music to be used for any commercial venture was a capital sin. No self respecting rock star would knowingly let one of his/her songs be used to advertise a product. But recently everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Pete sold Bargain to sell an SUV, Windows used Start Me Up (Stones) and Heroes (Bowie). Elton John has pimped Coke. Even the Counting Crows (one of the last vestals of the hippie attitude) have sold Coke. There are countless others.

    However, rising costs in the music industry (most, I believe, self inflicted) it is incredibly difficult to get the capital to make a record or tour the way you want to. You either have to sign away your soul to the record company or make a commercial to pay the up front expenses. So, is it still a sell out to get a million for a 30 second Pepsi add?

    I particularly don't understand Sting. I love the guy, but what does he need to do commercials for? The guy has money coming out of every orifice.

    Pete Townshend claims he has no money left over from the Who. Everything he has now, he says, is because of the commercialization of Who songs and the Tommy Broadway play. This may be true, because he chooses to still reside in England, which taxes entertainers punitively (I've heard 90 to 95%).
     
  2. DennisK

    DennisK Agent

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    Vic, from what I understand, Sting sold out because he wasn't getting any airplay for his new album. Once the commercials started to roll and people were exposed to the music, he started to get airplay and people started to buy the album.

    Moby used the same technique with Play. No one paid any attention to it until he began licensing the music for ads. Blue man Group had the same problem outside of the cities where their show is performed.

    I think it's becoming another way to expose people to wonderful music when the radio stations, mtv, record labels, etc. won't promote you. I don't consider this selling out.

    When you take a 30+ year old song that everyone is familiar with and use it to hawk a product, that I consider selling out.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Dennis, I bet if you were the author of a 30 year old song, and if you were fortunate enough to own it's rights at this point, you'd proably be thrilled to preen a few more dollars out of the music industry that likely preened away quite a few of your dollars in the past.

    About 15 years ago I read that Donovan's song WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN was the most profitable song of all time. It was a hit on the radio but not nearly as popular as his best. But, it was on TV for atleast 20 years on all those Heaven Scent commercials in several countries. ...just a bit of trivia... Maybe some other song has made more by now, maybe not? Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I read this a couple of years back when Graham Nash was asked about one of his old songs being used in a TV commercial, "What am I supposed to say when someone offers you a million dollar for something you wrote 30 years ago??" Yes, I still somehow think it's selling out. On the other hand, it's great way to expose one's music, perhaps to a new generation.

    Look at those Mitsubishi car ads on TV. Without those ads, acts like Dirty Vega may not get the exposure to gain a foothold on heavily-programmed mainstream radio nowadays.
     
  5. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I think there is a point where its selling out. I think that what that one country singer did (Garth or Clint, I don't know which) with the Dr. Pepper commercial was pretty bad. He changed the lyrics to suit the product and used an altered form of his video for the commercial. In general I think its bad when the singer appears singing in a commercial. I think its also important that they maintain some control over how long its used. The "Like a Rock" commercials are an example of where its gone bad.
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Someone here has posted before about the perverted use of a CCR song (Fortunate Son) in a commercial.

    How long ago was it that The WHO Sold Out?

    BTW, I've seen cd's of short coke (that's cola, c-o-l-a) commercials performed by stars of the 50's and 60's. Used to play on the radio when I was a kid in the mid 60's. [​IMG]
     
  7. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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