So maybe I'm a little late to the party but BossLady and I finally saw that Sir Mix-a-Lot "Baby's Got Backpack" commercial for Target. And being complete goofballs and total dorks, we both immediately jumped up off the couch, started shaking our rumpuses in the air and began bumping butts. After proving once again that Korean people have no rhythm, I sat back down to ruminate on what has to be the saddest commercialization of music for advertising that I've ever seen.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to get all holier than thou and start preaching from my soapbox. I think it's safe to say that the words "Sir Mix-a-Lot: and "artistic integrity" have never been uttered in the same sentence. Every artist has the right to profit from his work. And I would imagine Sir Mix-a-Lot could use the money these days. In fact, there's big part of me hoping that Windex buys the rights to his other big hit from the 90's, "Press 'Em Against the Glass." Now, THAT would be funny!
Anyway, like I was saying, I don't disparage the rights of an artist to profit commercially from their work. But a little piece of me dies when I hear songs by independent, anti-establishment artists used to shill consumer products. Here are the Top-5 past or present commercials that have made me cringe most...
Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" (Royal Carribean Cruise Lines)
Nothing says maritime comfort like a song about shooting up heroin.
Rolling Stones "Brown Sugar" (Pepsi)
If you like crazed interracial sex with slaves, you'll love Pepsi.
Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" (Mercedes)
If there was ever an anthem for anti-materialism, this was it.
John Lennon's "Instant Karma" (Nike)
If Michael Jackson's not going to hell for sodomizing young boys, selling the rights to this song should guarantee him a spot.
The Smith's "How Soon Is Now" (LaBatts Beer)
Songs about alienation and suicide really make me want to go to a club and drink beer.
There are other pairings of songs and commercials that just don't make any sense to me. Two that come to mind are Aphex Twins "4" being used in an anti-drug commercial and Peaches' "F*ck the Pain Away" in a McDonald's commercial. But the artists in my top five all played important roles in my life at one point or another so I'm putting them in a specal category. I know we all have to do things to put food on the table but it kills me to hear these songs used in commercials. Sometimes, I don't even want to watch network TV because I'm afraid I'll see something like AT&T using The Clash's "London Calling" in a commercial.
Is it just me? Does this piss anyone else off? Am I crazy to let this bother me so much? I'm a little nuts, aren't I?
(By the way, if you happen to like Sir Mix-a-Lot AND you like bibles, you'll LOVE this link)