Does anyone besides me remember when famous songs weren’t in commercials? What I mean is, if you watch TV lately, it’s shocking how many songs show up in ads for one thing or another. I remember when it was a big deal that Nike got the rights to use the Beatles song “Revolution,” in one of their ads, everyone was totally up in arms, this is terrible, the end of the world for music, etc. Now, it’s common: there’s even a website to keep track of them. It’s also weird, I think, because we often have such personal memories attached to songs, and to hear something that sparks a particular recollection in you, only to see it now representing a car or dishwashing detergent or whatever, is odd. I think I heard a KISS song the other day in some ad. I mean, what is that all about?
This is on my mind because a few moments ago I was on the CNN.com website and there was a banner ad at the top for Dell Computers. (Disclaimer: I love Dell, I’ve bought three computers from them, adore them, wish I’d bought stock way back when, etc.) Anyway, the first part of the ad, which caught my attention initially, said YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT. The second part: GET WHAT YOU NEED. Which, of course, made me think of possibly my favorite Rolling Stones song of all time, entitled (yes) “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” truly a classic song, and not one that I really would associate with computers (although maybe I will now?).
These days, actually, there isn’t even a lag between when a song is a song and when it’s an ad: look at “Vertigo,” by U2, which I first heard on an ITunes commercial (again, disclaimer: love ITunes!) or all the songs that maybe we never would have heard at all if it wasn’t for ads that used them, like Stereogram’s “Walkie Talkie Man,” also ITunes, (a great song) or that really annoying song from the Mitsubishi commercial that would get stuck in your head for hours or even days (you know the one, bo-de-bee, ba-dee-bah, what was it called?). I guess the line is really blurred. But that Rolling Stones song, as well as Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” which is running in some ad these days, will never be about products to me. They will forever, in my mind, be about this: driving home from high school on bright fall days, hand out the window, breeze through the fingers, so much time left for everything, or so it seemed. Yes. That’s it.
have a good day everyone!