Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Effective Music in Commercials

A recent VW commercial for the Passat spotlights the stereo system by first showing people singing the wrong lyrics to the chorus of Elton John's "Rocket Man," then having the driver of the Passat be able to sing the accurate line due to clarity of the sound system in the car:
And although it doesn't inspire me to actually purchase said vehicle, I must admit I don't always fast-forward through it, because it did strike a chord (so to speak) with me; I, too, was for quite some time mis-hearing that line.

My particular take on the oft mistaken one: "Burning down the streets of heaven, now." (Hey, it seemed to make sense at the time. And at least had the first word correct.) And even after I figured out the correct line ("Burning out his fuse up here alone"), I still tended to hear my interpretation when the song played.

So, kudos to the ad agency behind this (and perhaps their junior Darth Vader ad from the Super Bowl). You got me to actually watch your ad and not only not hate it but think it somewhat clever. In this day, that's as effective as I expect TV commercials to be.

By contrast, a commercial where the music just bugs me: the Lexus "December to Remember" campaign, featuring spots where people somehow get the Lexus jingle into unexpected places, such as in a "Guitar Hero" song:

Why does it bother me so? Perhaps because if you bought your wife a freakin' new Lexus for Christmas, would you really ruin the surprise by going to some elaborate scheme to fit their damned music into a video game? Wouldn't you just have her close her eyes and walk her out to the driveway?

And this is off the subject of music, specifically, but in each of these ads where it's snowing outside--notice the ground covered in it, and the fact that you see snowflakes falling both while the family is in the house and when they come out--and the car doesn't have a single snowflake on it! Perhaps they just drove it out, you say? Then there'd be some damned tracks in the snow. Also, the whole family was inside, playing the game, so it had to have been outside for a while... and should have a layer of snow on it.

I'm also perhaps bothered because I recognize the wife is two-timing Overstock.com--specifically their O.co ads.

Apparently even after decades of TV viewing it hasn't deteriorated my brain to the point where I cannot pay attention to such details. I guess I spent a little to much time away from TV, doing something silly, like listening to Elton John. (Obviously that's somewhere, for many years, I wasn't paying close enough attention. It was awesome.)

1 comment:

So, what do you think?