Commercials Ruin the Song

Why is it that TV commercials rarely use original music anymore? I know that at one point in time this was standard practice. Original themes and jingles used to be created for every product on the air. It seemed like everything had its own song.

Nowadays products seem to hijack songs that have been pre-recorded. I really despise this practice. I hate to see songs that are great in their own right being attached to a product for a catchy commercial. The advertising companies that are doing this are affectively ruining good songs. The songs then become associated with the product or the commercial in our minds and the original song that we loved loses something in the process.

I remember the first time I heard a Beatles song on a commercial I almost fell out of my chair. I thought that it was offensive to hear one of their songs morphed into an advertisement. I am pretty sure that the band would never have allowed this to happen if they were still alive and had control of their music. Beatles songs have been well protected for quite some time and I think the Fab Four preferred it that way.

Of course, some musicians might like to have their song attached to a product. It’s a great way to get exposure and it certainly worked for Feist. Her song and video was pushed on the Ipod commercials for some time. She then blew up and achieved popular and critical success. Was it because of the commercial? Who knows. I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

I must admit that I am getting really tired of hearing oldies and popular songs being co-opted for commercials. I know that advertising agencies stopped creating jingles because it was getting old and they were pretty much becoming parodies of themselves. But the same thing is happening again to classic songs. It’s time to change, or I will change the channel. That’s a promise.

2 Comments on Commercials Ruin the Song

  1. Hi Chase,

    Interesting observation, but very true.

    I’m guessing the advertiser have to pay some type of royalty to use the oldies. To me, it seems it would be cheaper to hire a creative person to write an original score, and stand out from the crowd.

  2. I think original commercial jingles all started to sound the same. They became a parody of themselves so the only way out of this was to use oldies. But now it’s swung around again and all commercials are starting to sound the same again. And it’s annoying.

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