You are going to read an article about music in advertising. For each question, choose the answer which you think fits best according to the text.
Advertisers don’t want fake pop. They want the real thing.
Not long ago, rock stars would turn up their politically correct noses at the notion of using their precious songs to sell anything as crass as cars or cornflakes. In the 1980s Sting, a British singer, refused to allow the lyrics of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” to be used in a deodorant commercial. Now Sting is an unabashed advertising star. One Jaguar commercial in America shows him meditating in the back seat to the tune of a recent hit. With traditional sources of revenue falling, the music industry, having become comfortable with its music being used over the years since Sting’s protest, is now desperate to get advertisers to use original pop songs to sell everything from handbags to hamburgers.
This trend, which media types call “synchronisation”, is leading to another: the decline of the jingle. Once pop songs in their own right (America’s first radio jingle, Pepsi’s “hits the spot”, became a jukebox hit in 1939) catchy jingles such as Mars’s “work, rest and play,” or General Electric’s “bringing good things to life”, are being discarded. Despite the $90,000-plus cost to license a pop song (compared with $15,000 for a customised jingle), advertisers, especially those aiming at younger consumers, think it money well spent. This year’s Super Bowl ads included a DaimlerChrysler spot with Celine Dion trilling a song written for the ad while driving a sleek new Crossfire. Old timers, from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, are earning extra royalties for no extra work. But new bands are benefiting too. Britain’s Dirty Vegas became overnight stars when Mitsubishi used their edgy music in American commercials. Audi has just taken a bet on a tune by an unknown British singer, Dog.
Adrienne Dunlop, commercial-markets director at EMI Music, calls synchronisation “an explosive trend”. Her division’s profits have doubled in the past four years. “We have 20 ads in Britain alone featuring our artists, and more are coming.” The record companies are creating multimedia campaigns to support the ads. Ms Dion’s car deal, devised by Sony, spans print, TV and the internet, with personal appearances where she promotes Chrysler cars and, of course, her own records.
Meanwhile, spare a thought for the jingle writers. Ronnie Bond, who created some of Britain’s best-loved ones, including Cadbury’s Flake’s “crumbliest, flakiest, milk chocolate” (still running, against the trend, after 30 years), used to write five jingles a week. He admits that, now, one a month “would be an exaggeration”. Tony Satchell, boss of Candle, a British firm of commercial composers, criticises the lack of risk-taking in today’s ads: “Composers were once integral to building ad campaigns. Now creatives are scared that an untested jingle will scupper a project. They only offer music the client already knows.” Jeff Rosner, head of AMP, which represents commercial composers in America, says that business fell by 25% in the key $150m New York market last year. In both America and Britain, many music firms are going bust. For Candle, cheap technology and re-recording old hits are keeping it afloat. But, muses Mr Satchell, “It’s depressing, isn’t it? The death of the jingle.”
(adapted from The Economist)