By Sarah Elkeaikati
Big companies are frequently incorporating popular music in
their commercials. Has advertising invaded our personal
When was the last time you heard a song by The Beatles?
Was it played on the radio, or maybe on your iPod when you set
it to “shuffle?”
More than likely, it was when you turned on your TV and saw a
If it isn’t enough that advertisers have blurred our senses with
billboards, commercials, celebrity endorsements and product
placement, now they are stealing our music.
The themes and lyrics tied with popular music are now being
dumbed down to fit commercial jingles.
The 1967 Beatles single “All You Need Is Love,” written by John
Lennon, went from a world-wide message of peace to a cheesy Luvs
Apparently, more than 40 years after the song’s debut, all you
need is product.
What’s more devastating than the fact that I now think of Target
when I hear “Hello, Goodbye,” or Traveler’s Insurance when I hear
Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble,” is that it’s only getting worse.
With the growing influence of TiVo and other digital video
recorders, advertisers have already begun incorporating their
Remember “Transformers” starring Shia LaBeouf?
It wasn’t a movie, it was a 144 minute Chevy Camaro commercial.
(They chose Megan Fox as supporting actress for a reason.)
Videos streamed online, once pleasantly barren of the constant
badgering of companies telling you why you must buy their crap,
have also succumbed to the lure of profits.
Hulu.com, Pandora Radio, and even YouTube, will provide you with
the videos or music you request, but not before you’re slapped with
On the flip side, celebrities are practically prostituted on
television just to get consumers to take a bite into that
delicious, or deadly, depending on your taste, fast-food meal.
Thank you, Paris and Kim.
The goal of advertisers is to associate their products with
ideas or people liked by the general public.
Pick up a can of Sprite, think of Kobe Bryant.
Use Proactiv, think of Jessica Simpson.
Shave with Gillette razors and ” oops, nevermind.
Advertisers don’t want a thought in your mind to stand alone. So
after snatching up every valuable celebrity and stamping them with
a commercial logo, they’ve now honed in on music.
Frankly, it’s brilliant. Instead of wasting money writing
product-specific jingles that you may or may not eventually love”
five ” five dollar ” five dollar footlong!” companies just buy the
rights to songs you already love and tweak them to fit the
They’re officially in your head.
Turn on your TV, radio or computer. Look out your car
Where ever you set your eyes, a big company is saying you’re
inadequate and if you just give them some money, they will fix
According to the American Psychological Association, children
are the most susceptible to the negative consequences of
advertising because their young minds seecommercials as truthful
The Association even notes a strain on relationships between
parents and children after advertisements persuade kids to nag
their parents for a particular product.
Though the APA gives recommendations to help parents reduce the
impact of advertising, it will be no easy feat considering children
and adolescents ingest 40,000 advertisements a year.
So until the technological brains develop a force field to block
out the BS, guard your ears and close your eyes, the advertisers
Reach Sarah Elkeaikati at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustration by Sarah Elkeaikati
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