poll question: what does it take to sell out these days?

wilco was unapologetic about their vw ad. at least vw makes great ads! are there any artists who will turn down all advertising gigs? is there a product that your band would not endorse? is anyone reading this blog? please give us your answer in the comment box.

3 Replies to “poll question: what does it take to sell out these days?”

  1. it all depends. depends on the product.
    you’re not selling out until you compromise yourself or your art for nothing more than personal gain.
    i have no problem at all when i hear a band i like in a car commercial or whatever. now, if i heard them in an ad for mcdonalds or something, that would be very different.
    anyway. i’d absolutely love it if apple ever wanted to use one of my songs.

  2. One band I’ve always found rather hypocritical on this issue is (Chickfactor hall-of-shamers) The Beastie Boys. Mr. Yauch in particular has spoken and rhymed extensively on the subject
    (i.e. i might stick around or i might be a fad but i won’t sell my songs to no tv ad”). Yet the B-Boys’ jams have always celebrated well-known American TV commercials, and consumer products in general (i.e. I’ve got more suits than Jacoby & Meyers!” or “I splash on beats like sauce on spaghetti / Putting MC’s out of business like they’re Crazy Eddie!” More examples? Anyone?). So I guess I find it odd that they remember the catchy advertising jingles and slogans of old enough to incorporate them into their songs, yet feel that these same songs are for some reason “above” being used in today’s ads.

    Does this make sense? Or have I committed some error in logic? Dr. Klein?

    Also- Some of this “selling out” is more the result of creative trends in the advertising business than bands’ willingness to allow songs to be used. It used to be that advertising creatives didn’t want to make commercials with pop songs in them nearly as much as they do today. Using an existing song would mean not being able to commission or write an original composition or “jingle”, which an advertising egomaniac could point to as an example of his “creative genius”. Using a pop song was seen as taking the easy way out of putting music behind an ad. What they did needed to be 100% original to be respected. Nowadays, advertising creatives seem to think that they can prove how cool/ironic/clever they are by finding just the right song to use.

    So my point is, there’s way more opportunity for huge song licensing deals now than there was in the past. And make no mistake, the money involved is absolutely astounding. Always. Sure, U2 can pass up a huge offer because they’re already swimming in money. But when you’re a criminally under-appreciated composer living in a tiny, expensive apartment with 50 synthesizers, 25 ukuleles and 1 chihuahua and some idiot comes along and offers you $50,000.00 in exchange for your signature on a contract that lets them use a few seconds of your song in a commercial for a chain stores in Midwestern malls, what’s a girl to do?

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