Buying rights to songs for the promotion of commercial products has become more and more popular. It is so common now that it is difficult to hear a song you used to enjoy for the sake of the song and not think of a product. And this is just what advertisers want to happen for you.
What songs are being used with what products? Can you recall any? Maybe it has become subliminal already for you as well. Here are a few songs and the companies that are using them:
• “Dream On” by Aerosmith – Buick
• “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin – Cadilac
• “Beyond The Sea” by Bobby Darin – Carnival Cruises
• “Melissa” by The Allman Brothers – Cingular/AT&T Wireless
• “Happy Together” by The Turtles – Clinique
• “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson – Coca-Cola with Lime
• “Love Train” by The O’Jays – Coors
• “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino – Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper
• “You Sexy thing” by Hot Chocolate – Dr. Pepper
• “Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty by KC and The Sunshine Band – Fidelity Investments
The list goes on. On the flip side of the coin, we also hear artists using brand names of products in their music. How about Janis Joplin’s song Mercedes Benz or Paul Simon singing about his Kodachrome. Today, if an artist is using a namebrand, you can be sure they have been paid to insert the product name into their song. Companies will go so far as to advertise for selling space in lyrics to advertisers.
What are some other products or trade names mentioned by artists? Here are a few:
• Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos
• Corona and Lime – Shwayze
• Little Red Corvette – Prince
• Life In Technicolor- Coldplay
• Poprocks and Rock – Green Day
• Volvo Driving Soccer Mom- Everclear
• My Adidas – Run DMC
• Maybellene – Chuck Berry
• Red Barchetta – Rush
• Louboutins – Jennifer Lopez
For a company to use an artist’s song they must purchase the music rights. Some companies will re-record a song as the rights are then cheaper. Re-recording the song leaves you recalling the song somewhere in your mind but maybe it just quite isn’t the same. Some companies that rerecorded songs make a parody of it. For instance Burger King remixed the song “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy. Some companies just re-record music such as Buick with Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”.
Music is not limited to selling products of course. There are many films and television shows that love to use music to either promote nostalgia or emphasize a feeling. How many of you can hear the Beatles song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and not think of the TV show Life Goes On? Likewise, many films and production companies make songs popular and mainstream after putting them into their movies or these companies even hire artists to write songs specifically for their productions. The movie Top Gun had composers write the song Danger Zone and then sought out artists to perform it. Originally they asked Bryan Adams then Toto, but ultimately they went with Kenny Loggins. The song went on to be on the Billboard Hot 100.
Advertisers want to invoke emotion as do film producers, so what better way than to use music. Likewise, artists want to strike emotional cords and sometimes that involves the products of our lives. Both can often go hand-in-hand whether we like it or not.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.