Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008...1:36 am

The Contentization of Commercials (It’s Love)

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I have two songs that have been stuck in my head for awhile now and it’s driving me crazy. As many of you know I’m musically challenged. If life was an opera I would be hanging out with Lenny in the field tending rabbits. So this is as nagging and annoying as a kernal of corn stuck in my teeth.

The two songs are “It’s Love” by Chris Knox and “The Sun Is Out” by the band Apples In Stereo. They’re both catchy tunes. Colby always tells me I’m a sucker for feel good music and that’s exactly what these songs are.

But alas, a few decent songs wouldn’t normally warrant a blog post. The reason why I’m digitizing these thoughts are because of how I discovered these songs.

It’s Love is the song in a neat Heineken commercial that is part of their “Share The Good” campaign. Between the song and the Bollywood and Russian Bath House scenes the commercial has become my favorite part of watching television lately. Check it out.


The second commercial is for the Dodge Journey. A bunch of dudes pull up in there Dodge and build a water slide down a city street. The ad is just ok buy the song is awesome.


So what exactly am I getting at here? Should we all be watching more commercials to find good music. Well, actually, yeah.

Advertising is certainly in the midst of a monumental shift. Consumers are sick of the clutter. They don’t want to hear a brands tired old message over and over and over again. Hence they block it out. We DVR past commercials and refuse to click on digital ads.

Brands need to embrace content. They should create, share or present that content to their consumers in a way that consumers will not only tolerate but even appreciate. When I go to the Heineken or Dodge website I should be able to download these songs for free. The music business needs every boost they can get and those who can’t stand the reek of commercialism should dive back into their vinyl collection. In fact, perhaps every commercial should introduce new music. If I knew the next commercial break was going to share four new songs I’d be more likely to keep my eyeballs glued on the television.

Another example: I would love to watch every Sportscenter commercial over the last ten years. It would be awesome to also get the outtakes, hear how the ideas were created, rank my favorites (here’s my vote) and even submit suggestions for the next clip. I’m sure that site/section on espn would receive huge traffic and allow fans of the show to interact in a super engaged way. Isn’t that what a brand covets? Make it happen Gaff!

At Sportsvite, we often try to pitch brands to create a campaign to connect with their customers in ways that provide unique value to their consumers. Right now it’s often an uphill battle but my guess is that hill gets flattened pretty quickly.

It will be interesting to see how advertising creative evolves in the near future. I think this goes way beyond television commercials. Web banners need to become web widgets (content snippets). Billboards should be coupons. Mobile, well mobile is a blog post unto itself! In a world of oversaturated marketing messages, the unmessage will be heard the most.

  • El Gaffney

    Since you did call me out, I definitely will respond with some thoughts. First, I agree (and assume most would) about the powerful emotional connection people have with music. The Cadbury Gorilla commercial with Phil Collins song is entertaining and memorable and seems to have worked as its chocolate bar sales have increased 9% in the UK. The Cadillac commercials are a good case study – some Justice fanatics feel the band sold out a bit but they definitely reached a new audience and my roommate and I recently searched for what band was responsible for the song in the Summer Sales event (Black Iris Music). Hilton gave songs away of artists featured in commercials on their website.

    Music aside, great commercials are great content. People not only don’t FF past them, but as you mentioned they also seek them out online and often want to share them with friends. They become the start of a conversation vs. an end message. These ads are content and content has the potential to be a product (a profitable one). ESPN and SportsCenter in particular understands the power of its commercials as entertainment/content and a brand and fan relationship-building device. Unfortunately, the rights to use those commercials (and the athletes featured in them) have run out and likely were not negotiated for the web in the first place. However, this is something we think a lot about as we move forward with new spots (content) for sure as well as looking to help fans like you interact with the past stuff.

    If that sounded corporate, I apologize. It’s true though, I’m definitely trying to continue to make great content and make it available to anyone who wants it and where he/she wants it.

  • LL

    I love that song from the Acura commercial….”let the drummer kick”