Thursday, August 31, 2006


I wanted to post this song but didn't at first because it was written specifically for this commercial. Then I checked the title and subheading for this blog and noticed that nowhere is it specified that the music must be written for an album by an artist prior to the inception of the advert.

Sounds like a new category: Original songs written for or about the product being sold. Volume One.

Here's the product:

Here's the song, in an advertisement called "Song." Click on the 30 second or the original 15 second version. For some reason, I appreciated the candy bar more during the 15 second spot.

No reason to name the product because that would be against their entire campaign. This was reinforced as I noticed in a vending machine this week a candy bar with the label "Satisfy" on the wrapper.

Extra credit: This song reminds me of another song (or maybe combination of songs), but I can't place it. Any ideas?

Cell Phones v3.0

Here is another Verizon ad for their Chocolate phone. It features the song “Love Me Hate Me” by Lady Sovereign. Who has a boastful album coming out on October 17th. This tune is catchy makes a good ad.

Stream song in Windows Player

Stream song in Real Player

Other Chocolate Post or Cell Phones v1.0

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pontiac V1.0

GM's Pontiac division has been turning out new vehicles over the past couple of years as fast as they can make commercials for them. Here are a seleciton of current Pontiac adverts, and the music they employ:
Car: G6
Ad: "Google Pontiac"
Music: Robbers On The High Street - Japanese Girls
Car: G6 Convertible
Ad: "Opposites"
Music: Mercury Rev - Secret For A Song
Car: Solstice
Ad: "Paint"
Music: The Dandy Warhols - I Love You
Car: GTO
Ad: "Vapor"
Music: Eagles of Death Metal - Flames Go Higher

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I’m Gonna Wash That Song Right Outta My Head

As far as shampoo commercials go, there are two kinds: ones with woman swirling their hair to and fro; and ones with woman swirling their hair to and fro. Toss is a Franz Ferdinand song and you got a winner.

Franz Ferdinand ~ Do You Want To

Download the tune and blast it while in the shower.

Buy Franz or Shop L’OReal

Thursday, August 24, 2006

VW v2.0

I don’t like to brag about my trendsetting, but I was listening to Nick Drake long before he gained some much deserved attention with this ad. I remember reading some sociological things about this commercial. Something like how wonderful it was to see kids NOT stop at the drunken party. That there is more to being young than drinking under a full moon (although that is enjoyable). That sometimes driving down a winding road with close friends can be the perfect evening, especially when you have Nick Drake on the stereo.

Nick Drake ~ Pink Moon

Music = 5/5

Effectiveness = 4/5

Overall = 4/5 (a subtly brilliant commercial that brings a tear to my eye all these years later)

Buy Nick Drake or Visit VW

Other V-dubs ~ VW v1.0 ~ New Golf

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cell Phones v2.0

I wasn’t able to link the video to this blog but you can visit Verizon’s page and view it. I have to give props to Liane for suggesting this commercial and its song by Goldfrapp. She says it is hell if you are dieting. And I agree.

The Yellow Stereo chimes in also, with remixes et cetera.

Goldfrapp ~ Strict Machine

Music = 3/5 (the song is fun and catchy)

Effectiveness = 0/5 (as a hater of all things cell phones, nothing will ever get me to want to buy one)

Overall = 3/3 (even though I don’t care for phones, this commercial is a joy to watch and its use of the song is quite nice – chocolate pulsing to the beat, etc.)

Buy Goldfrapp or Buy Chocolate

Other Cell Phones ~ Cell Phones v1.0

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Volkswagen: New Golf

Volkswagen indeed likes to use popular music to promote their vehicles. This is a new favorite of mine, for the new Golf. Song is Mint Royale's remix of Singin' In The Rain

The band's official video for the track is pretty awesome as well- who doesn't like break-dancing garbage?

Song gets a 4/5 -damn good remix/reversioning of a classic), effictiveness is a 2/5 -Golf is an econmony car, you buy it for that reason, not for the 'cool factor- if you want cool, you get one of these:
2006 VW EOS

Volkswagen's use of commercial music has grown prolific enough that the company has actually released 2 compilation albums of music used to promote their vehicles (for clarification, I drive a VW, and love it).

VW Street Mix - Volume 1

Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Hooverphonic - Renaissance Affair
Charles Mingus - II BS
Styx - Mr. Roboto
Master Cylinder - Jung At Heart
Ben Neill - Turbonium X
Pitchshifter - Subject To Status ad
Fluke - Absurd
Spiritualized - Ladies And Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space
Trio - Da Da Da video ad
Velocity Girl - Sorry Again
Psychic TV - Roman P

VW Street Mix - Volume 2 (partial listing)

Moonpools & Caterpillars - Heat
Papas Fritas - Way You Walk video
Imperial Teen - Ivanka
Archer Prewitt - Good Man
Bent - Invisible Pedestrian

Cell Phones v1.0

Where would the world be without cell phones? In my opinion, a better place. But then, I am in the minority. Of course, without cell phones there wouldn’t be cell phone commercials.

This one is for Cingular. The song is Persephone’s Bees ~ City of Love.

Music = 5/5 (this is a perfect pop song)

Effectiveness = 3/5 (I like the swirling phones and the visuals are intriguing but it doesn’t make me want one)

Overall = 4/5 (I wish this one was still in rotation)

Buy some Bees or Shop Cingular

Learn more about Persephone’s Bees at The Late Greats.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

VW v1.0

1998 Volkswagen Jetta: synchronicity

I think it was VW who first utilized music in their ads. Or at least for my generation of TV viewers. And I think it was this ad that set the bar quite high.

I tried to track down the track, but had no luck. It is by Master Cylinder and called "Jung at Heart" (clever title if you ask the Duke).

Music = 3/5 (catchy chill-out tune)

Commercial = 5/5 (pretty sure this one changed the world of commercials)

Effectiveness = 4/5 (didn’t really want a Jetta, but I at least remember the ad 8 years later)

Look for more in V-dub in the future...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

If you don't give my football back...

This would have been a betta post back in World Cup mania, but alas, this blog did not exist then. The commercial? One dubbed "The Impossible Team" or "Jose + 10" with two youths "picking" famous footballers to be on their team. The famous players come out, one by one. And then, one of the kids goes and picks former German player Franz Beckenbauer and out he comes in all his youthful glory (a la kid-Tiger Woods playing in modern tourneys in the Nike commercials). Then the other kid calls "Platini" (Michel Platini from France.) Even though I was a short, utterly non-athletic frizzy hair'd young girl, the extreme charm and beauty of this ad is not lost on me. It so gets to the core of children dreaming big about what matters most to them without nary a second thought.

"Beckenbauer? Ha ha ha."

And the music? Well as soon as the game commences, the sound flows with the seemingly effortless ease of a perfect pass.... thanks to Jim Noir's "Eany Meany"— a song that does talk of football with the same childhood glee that this commerical seeks to exploit (in a good way.) It's funny, I would never have matched this commercial with this soundtrack though. I would have instinctively gone for something higher energy, or maybe the word I'm looking for is "thumpier." And I would have been so very wrong. It's the perfect backdrop to the little movie and the perfect summer pop tune to boot.

Listen ~ Jim Noir, "Eanie Meany"

Watch ~ The Commercial in its entirety

I'd give this song a 5/5. Ditto on effectiveness. It just gets the joyful afternoon mood right. //

inside promo ads: MTV

An inside promo advertisement is one where you are your own sponsor. A lot of cable stations do this; in particular I recall viewing several Animal Planet spots last week while dog sitting a blind chocolate lab who really likes to listen to Pet Detectives.

This one is for MTV, called "Language of Love," circa 2000. I found it while perusing the Commercial Closet, a website that documents all ads gay, be they positive, negative, neutral, what have you.

The featured song is Creed's "Higher," which when played saves not one, but three troubled relationships. The couples - two men, a man and a woman, two women - made me think of the above graphic, which I first saw on a T-Shirt promoting the Feve Bar in Oberlin, OH.

Social commentary: This ad is rife with it. The Commercial Closet sings praises that the ad meets and exceeds their mission, seeking to "integrate GLBT sensitivity into mainstream/business-to-business advertising." Kudos to MTV, who did such a good job that I've added a rating category, below.

Music - 5/5

Effectiveness - 2/5 (makes me want to keep watching the ad, not the station)

Social Commentary - 5/5

Overall - 4.9/5

Watch "Language of Love" by clicking "view this ad" in left sidebar

mmmm, M&Ms

Do swirling M&M’s really make you want to eat them? Is a kaleidoscope of colourful chocolate what you think of when you hear Iron & Wine? Are Ben and Justin really pleased to have the song they wrote together turned into a commercial for candy coated shells?

I am sure I am not the only person to be turned onto Iron & Wine via the Garden State soundtrack. Seam Beam’s treatment of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” is the kind of song that ended up on every mix I made for everyone in the last few years. So it is no surprise it was co-oped in a commercial. Try this link to view the ad.

Listen ~ Such Great Heights

Music = 5/5 (a perfect song?)

Effectiveness = 2/5 (doesn’t make me want M&Ms, just want to listen to more of Sam’s tunes)

Overall = 4/5 (because I would watch it just for the music)

Buy Iron & Wine or Buy M&Ms

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Old Navy v1.0

So, there is this Old Navy ad with lots of hopping and stop-time camera work. I saw it the other day and said, “Damn, that sounds like FannyPack.” Who remind me of Northern State, who remind me of the Beastie Boys. After some searching, I found the track, it is below. The spot is called Bounce. Try this link for viewing.

FannyPack ~ Fash’On

With any luck, The Commercial Music Blog team will be able to get some of these ads posted for your viewing pleasure. But I wanted to get the ball rolling with some tunes.

One of the ideas here is to see how effective the ads are. Seeing that it wasn’t until I looked up the commercial at Old Navy, that I realized it was for denim. Fun ad but not effective.

Music = 4/5 stars

Effectiveness = 1/5

Overall = π/5

Buy a FannyPack or Shop Old Navy

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

To Start With

Welcome to The Commercial Music Blog.

Sorta modeled after Tim Young's Contrast Podcast, I have decided to start a music blog that will:

a) feature music featured in TV commercials;

b) feature an assortment of bloggers, contributing an assortment of tunes;

c) feature a sociological perspective on the effectiveness of said ads;

and d) feature The Duke of Straw as a ring-leading and dictator (as Castro is heading down a road he won’t return, I figure I better start practicing now).

If you would like to join the team, email me.