The silver lining to watching sans-DVR live TV like a goddamn animal is that once in a while, a commercial will feature a song good enough to stop you from hitting the mute button.
Theoretically, everyone wins in this situation: the artist gains exposure, the product becomes hipper, and the consumer is warm in the knowledge that his hard-earned money is being spent at a company whose marketing department/ad manager/focus group czar knows what’s up. I’m not trying to fork my money over to some lame company who listens to John Mayer in mom jeans.
With that in mind, I’d like to showcase the commercial stylings of a few insanely hip companies whose use of these cool songs has totally increased the likelihood that I’ll choose them for my assorted consumer needs. As a white 18 to 34-year-old female, I definitely relate to their choices! Good job, guys!
Jocelyn Alice feat. Right the Stars: “So Groovy (Reach Out of The Darkness)” as seen in Target Style’s “Party Entertaining with Threshold”
Who knew commercials had titles? Probably a huge number of people who work in or on commercials, as well as anyone who’s ever shown the slightest interest in advertising, but I digress. Check out this party! I guess if I buy all that stuff from Target, I can throw classy-people parties too, right? Wait, I already do. Bono was just here last week. Seriously! Only he had just gotten a spray tan and looked all orange-y and so he wouldn’t take any pictures. Next time I’ll get one, I swear. He’s coming over for Law & Order: SVU next week.
I definitely dig this cover, even if it doesn’t necessarily make me want to run right out and buy a buffet server or hard cheeses. That peppy little remake of Friend & Lover’s 1968 hit “Reach Out of The Darkness” is courtesy of Jocelyn Alice, of duo Jocelyn and Lisa, and LA’s own Right The Stars, whose music has been featured in several TV shows and commercials. However, I would’ve bet my last dollar that this song was The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, and from the looks of the YouTube comments, I’m not alone. Yeah, I know…who? You remember:
Exitmusic: “The City” as seen in the trailer for NBC’s Dracula
Did one of you rascals place a call to God Himself on my behalf? Because let me tell you, I prayed for a Dracula TV show for an awful long time before He finally answered me. I almost lost hope! It was so difficult to battle through the negative self-talk, like, “Meg, they’ll never make a Dracula TV show. Everyone knows vampires are laughably passé, and besides, who’d have the gall to take creative liberties with the quintessential masterpiece of horror after it’s already been butchered a thousand times? You might as well just give up. You’ll never see a Dracula series on primetime network television, right where you’d want it.”
He does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
The song providing the dramatic background in that trailer starting at about 1:40 is Exitmusic’s “The City,” from their debut album Passage. There’s certainly something primal and dark lurking in there, but it feels more Frankensteiny to me, somehow. If it raises the hairs on the back of your neck in a good way, check out more from Exitmusic and listen to the full, non-Dracula version of the song below. I’ll be in the section of Hell reserved for assholes who shit all over other people’s creative efforts. (In fairness, Dracula comes from the producers of Downton Abbey and the director of The Tudors, so it’ll probably be the next Breaking Bad and I’ll be fanatically studying spreadsheets devoted to each episode’s color scheme in five years. I’m an awful person.)
Beat Assailant: “Rain or Shine” as seen in Nissan Juke’s Urban Thrill Ride commercial
First of all, what in the Sam Hill is a Nissan Juke? It certainly is a deft little thing, if this expensive-looking commercial can be trusted. Why, just look at it whip around that city, nimble as a prepubescent acrobat. It’s almost as if they’re trying to demonstrate that the car’s both really safe and capable of cool Batman stuff that will impress your homies. Which is funny, because that’s the combination a lot of people are looking for in a vehicle!
That nice hip-hop/disco fusion thang droppin’ in the background is Beat Assailant’s “Rain or Shine,” from the Atlanta rapper’s 2012 album B. And you know what? It makes that commercial enjoyable. It’s a song that catches your ear and doesn’t let go. Maybe my brain’s heavy on the chemical that responds to sick disco hooks, but I can’t get enough of it. Watch the full version of “Rain or Shine” below, and check out more from Beat Assailant if you’re similarly affected.
Any commercials giving you an earworm lately? Let us know in the comments, and I promise I’ll never use the word “earworm” again.