Cars and music are two of my greatest passions in life. In fact, they easily go hand in hand. What can make a blast up your favorite country road even better? Easy, by picking the music that enhances the experience for you. As soon as radios were installed in cars, music and the automobile became permanently entwined. While there are those of us who happily trundle down the road in silence, or accompanied by the dulcet tone of news radio, I personally cannot drive unless I have music on.
Which partly explains a dilemma I have-when advertising fuses music to cars. Granted, this has been going on for ages, but when it’s a band that exists outside the mainstream, whose fans are more of a cult following than casual listeners, acceptance that the artist sold the song is heartbreaking. Again, it’s not new. In 2000, The Smiths sold “How Soon Is Now?” to Nissan in a global advertising campaign for the Maxima. Earlier this year, Sia covered The Church’s “Under the Milky Way” for the Lincoln MKT. But perhaps the most shocking use of a song in a car commercial is Subaru, who used The Pogues’ “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” to advertise the Forester. Why? Read on!The Pogues, for those of you who may not know, are a band that fuses traditional Irish music, influenced by punk and folk music. The commercial features a Hockey Mom running her three kids to practice and games, and the frenetic pace of “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” matches the hurried lifestyle Subaru is showing you. But there is one glaring problem. The song is about death and dying. The message that Subaru conveys at the end of the commercial is the safety of the Forester. So why would they choose this song? I have contacted Subaru regarding the choice of music here, and as soon as I hear from them, I will let you all know.
In any case, what is your take on artists selling their songs to sell cars? Is it just business? Letting them pay their bills? Or does it take away from the song for you? Or lose respect for the artist? Let The Garage know, and be heard!
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