Monday, March 13, 2006

We really got you

The Kinks are advertising's biggest band by a long way. Really big, to the tune of £6m racked up last year selling anything from the likes of Kohl, Saab and GMs to IBM and… Abbott Laboratories.

I like the odd Kinks tune as much as anyone who likes guitar music, but I'm not a fan. Just as well. The Kinks have plundered their entire back catalogue to sell all kinds of products. And you know what it's like, suddenly rather than memories of snogging at the school disco for the first time the memory would suddenly be appropriated for associations with IBM servers or worse medical products from Abbott Labs.

Right behind The Kinks come the likes of Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, who have all made a few million each out of licensing their music. Again, I don't care for any of those bands, but I can't help wondering why they do it, you know, make the move from selling music to selling out.

In the case of the Stones, they can't come close to needing the money unless ex-wives really do cost he earth.

Maybe all bands succumb and it was sad recently to see Oasis license 'All Around the World' to AT&T after they had publicly said they would not license their music and had publicly lambasted The White Stripes for penning a song for Coca Cola. Though a cautionary tale comes in in the form of Hurricane #1 who let their 'Only the Strongest will Survive' song be used in an ad for The Sun in 1999. There was a backlash from fans and the band disappeared shortly after.

Maybe most bands offered the chance of big bucks will in the end succumb, although so far there's no sign that personal favourites Radiohead will or that Nirvana are ever likely to and somehow, while it's difficult to like them, it is easier to respect Coldplay's decision to turn down a huge ad deal.


At 6:10 PM, Anonymous neil christie said...

Both Trans Am and the Thermals recently turned down offers from Hummmer, according to Pitchfork:

I worked on that Sun campaign. We were turned down by Paul Weller and Madness before asking Hurricane No 1. And of course, Andy Bell of Hurricane no. 1 is now in Oasis, though I think All Around the World was before his time.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Gordon said...

I don't think the demise of Hurricane are a great loss to the world; I'm glad to hear Weller turned down such an offer; and I'm surprised Madness did, but I'm sure there is an ad out there that uses some kind of take on "Our house"? Can't remember what it is, but surely they must have signed on the dotted line.

The Oasis thing is lamentable, but All around the world is a rip off song anyway and does not come from either of the two Oasis albums that matter (Definitely Maybe/What's the story). So no great loss.


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