08 July 2012

TV Party Tonight (A Few Words from Our Sponsors)

A friend emails me to tell me that he heard the Misfits'"Where Eagles Dare" turn up in a TV booze ad. "I have officially outlived satire," he says. If anything, I figured the song would've been more likely to be used for a car commercial -- y'know, due to its bellowing anthematic nature and whatnot. But jadedness and apathy about such stuff set in early. I suppose it was seeing Gil Scott-Heron used in a Nike campaign back in the early '90s what did it for me; after that...all I can do is shrug. And having some years ago been on the listserve of a community radio station broadcasting from a quasi-Ivy League university, I got used to kids grousing about what punk-rock tunes being sullied by use in car adverts. Iggy's cry of "LLAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWDDDD!!!" being being corralled into the stable of General Motors or whoever it was. Cue exasperated hubbub to some "money-changers in the temple" effect.

I'd say the only one that ever genuinely threw me for a loop was this one...

Because, while yeah, Swell Maps are in my all-time top five -- but why, or all possible choices, that? Not an obvious or expected selection. It's like hearing Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" being used in some ad for dog shampoo. Or like seeing the Minutemen's "Maybe Partying Will Help" get used to sell Budweiser tallboys.

But ultimately, this whole matter is totally early Baffler territory, innit? As in: Company/agency hires hip young kid, hip young kid thinks he's sneaking something buggy -- maybe something that skews the signal-to-noise confluence or whatever -- by advising they do this or that, or to use a particular song. It's kinda like the severely malformed and chronically slobbering inbred third cousin back in the Appalachians that the "culture jamming" sorts at Adbusters try to pretend they're not related to, even tho' they clearly hail from the same gene pool.

But on par with the one up top, my jaw dropped when this one got shoved my way in a movie theater some year ago...

...with which the layers of irony being too numerous and thick to even begin to try and penetrate.


John B-R said...

My personal favorite is the Subaru ad with the cute little hockey playing triplets and the Pogues' "If I Should Fall From Grace With God." I don't even think I could apply the word irony to tht one.

Greyhoos said...

Somehow I missed that one. Or if not, promptly forgot about it.

And yeah, irony doesn't apply in many cases. The only reason I even mentioned it was because of that last clip. I believe it circulated back in 2000. The sense of irony, I thought, having to do something with: The use of "future music" which had by that point had outlived its futurity, and wondering what the target-marketing angle was supposed to be. But ultimately having more to do with Detroit itself and its fate in the wake of post-Fordism, with the presence of the robots in the commercial amounting to an unintentional morbid joke to that effect.

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