Friday, May 16, 2008

TV as a jukebox or another great thing about ads

Just about everyone has noticed the increasingly prominent role that less mainstream music has been playing in tv ads from the early, bold (if selective) use of Iggy Pop's lust for life for Royal Caribbean Cruise lines to Sting's hit-creating soundtrack for Jaguar to the now career-making appearances of anyone lucky enough to get their track on an ipod ad. The various nighttime dramas, especially those involving sexy teens and doctors, have also incorporated an increasingly wide range of popular, classic r &b and alty music into their broadcasts and storylines.

None of this is a surprise. More surprising, at least to me, on my last round chatting with youngsters is how much new music they still discover through advertising and tv shows they like. You'd think they'd have all the reco's they could handle from all their playlists and social media socializing, but apparently, the right 30 second soundtrack to an appealing half-clothed gamine, high-cheekboned surgeon or equally sexy digital device still strikes a powerful nerve or two.

1 comment:

fiveisbetter said...

This does seem to be a bit of a change on the music end of things, yeah?

First, there's the oft referenced evolution of what it means, and if it is even bad, to “sell out.” 15 years ago, you had to be a pretty big tool to go on 90210 and play at the Peach Pit After Dark, but now cool indie artists would jump at a shot to get their music on Laguna Beach, The Hills, or Grey’s Anatomy.

And with Apple ads doing for singles what Oprah does for books, it's perhaps no surprise when well-known, established artists start going the TV show/commercial route too (even if 5-10 years ago, they may have thought of it as low brow). Take Coldplay signing iTunes exclusives and doing big-budget ads promoting their new album (single is #6 on Billboard). And Gossip Girl featuring new music from artists like Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, Beck, and Death Cab.

OMFG- Hardly the kinds of musicians hoping for a big break that used to make up the TV-show soundtracks.

I suppose as the consumer has more and more options on how and if to buy, and as traditional new music access points like FM radio and music videos become increasingly obsolete, bands -- especially "old news" ones -- are tempted to turn to mass media to try to get noticed and stay relevant.

I bet the music biz has even adopted our "above the line/below the line" buzzwords.