Monday, November 19, 2007

Artists and commercials

When the temperature drops and winter lurks around the corner, I tend to let laziness dominate and hole up in my apartment. So last night, I cozily curled up in front of the TV and turned on the American Music Awards. Unfortunately, because I have Tivo and fast forward through all the commercials, I missed the only interesting thing about happened during that broadcast.

Halfway through the show, a T Mobile ad aired featuring Of Montreal. The commercial, which you can check out here, revealed the band sitting in a hotel room when their manager calls a band meeting (very Murray of Conchords) and informs the group that he’s chatting with Japanese promoters about their upcoming reunion tour. A few lines of dialogue are exchanged and the spot ends with “Gronlandic Edit” playing under a voiceover.

Admittedly, I wince more often than not when I hear one of my favorite bands blaring out of my TV speakers but at the end of the day, what’s good for them works for me. These guys took a lot of heat for that spot prompting lead singer Kevin Barnes to write up a lengthy discourse posted on Stereogum defending their stance. He raises some interesting points.

If the song works with the product, I don’t object. For example, I’m a big fan of the CSS iPhone/”Music is my hot sex” combination. I love how they skirt around that lyric, the most prominent and song title, but don't use it. The one they do use however, “My music is where I want you to touch,” makes perfect sense in this context.

I’m a little confused about what Shiny Toy Guns’ “Le Disko” has to do with RAZRs and completely dumbfounded about the connection between Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Chromeo’s “Needy Girl.” I also don’t understand why Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On” was used to sell cars as opposed to cameras. Or is that too obvious?

Finally, we’ve all seen M.I.A.’s “Galang”/Honda spot, (a questionable combo) but did anyone notice that she’s still doing some free advertisement for them with the lyrics “ Barbarella look like she's my dead ringer / When I'm dogging on the bonner of ya red Honda” from “Bamboo Banga?” Is this her FU to anyone who accused her of selling out or is she just trying to score more dough? Genius!

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