NEW HIGHS AND LOWS IN TV COMMERCIALS!
September 20, 2008
Then I see the new series of ads for Target, with the Jonas Brothers, singing the Beatle’s “Hello. Goodbye”, and the hair on the back of my neck starts to bristle. It’s isn’t hard to figure out the appeal of using a familiar song to grab someone’s attention, but it’s important how it’s used or it could have a negative impact, and damage the value of the song forever.
Take “Viva Viagra”…please. If my late friends, Doc Pomus and Morty Shuman, who wrote “Viva Las Vegas”, were alive today, I’m sure they would be amused by the lyric, but I doubt if they would have ever given permission for it to be used.
When I see the Seabond ad for denture adhesive using one of my favorite oldies, “Bye, Bye Love”, with new lyrics that include, “Bye Bye, ooziness”, I fight throwing my bong at the TV! In the early ’70s Del Bryant (now the President of BMI), brought his songwriter father, Boudleaux Bryant (“Bye, Bye Love”, “Wake Up Little Susie”, “Dream”) over to my house to discuss some lyrics I wanted to change in his classic, “Let’s Think About Livin”, and produce with one of my artists.
I sang him the changes I had in mind, which included references to the movie of the year, “Jaws”. He smiled and said he liked it, then he gave me permission to use my changes (without credit or royalty), but not before he said emphatically, “I’ve never given permission to anyone to change any of my songs, but you have maintained the integrity of the song.” I doubt that if he were alive today, that he would allow his lyric to be desecrated in that Seabond commercial.
Finally, the one that really gets to me the most, is the Barclay’s ad that features “What The World Needs Now Is Love”. Maybe it’s because the song has such a strong significance for me. It was a song my friend, Jackie DeShannon, sang to me from the studio as she was recording it, after I had open heart surgery.
One of the most inspiring songs ever written has now been reduced by Barclay’s Bank and investments to this.
“What The World Needs Now is clarity
A little tax efficiency and much more transparency
What The World Needs Now is fresh ideas
More complete advice and shelter from all the nonsense.”
WTF…I can’t believe my pals from the past, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, would push their copyright to the point of extinction, but somebody has. Maybe it’s a greedy publisher, who sometimes has the right to change lyrics at his discretion, depending on the original contract the writer signed.
Anyway, I’ve listed the URLs to commercials I’ve talked about. Like the kids say, “Some are buck…while the others suck!” You can figure out which is which.
Updated Doublemint Ad with Chris Brown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enJbXlb4zqo
Updated Juicy fruit ad with Julliane Hough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5U9rSAWBak
Viva Viagra violating “Viva Las Vegas” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vne7ZqfPaD4&feature=related
Target using The Jonas Brothers, hellish “Hello, Goodbye” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp62MTAyBg4
Seabond adhesive using “Bye, Bye Love”, that’ll knock your teeth out!http://video.aol.com/video-detail/seabond-commercial/1981711158/?icid=VIDURVENT08
Barclay’s Bank brutalizing, “What The World Needs Now” http://www.youtube.com/watchv=2RnmJ6MoOi8&feature=related