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August 03, 2009

Commercial viewers enjoy more Beatles songs than ever before

Posted on Mon Aug 3 2009

Most Beatles fans would probably agree that Michael Jackson was relatively cautious about lending the band's songs out for commercials. At least you could say that Jackson, who bought the Beatles catalog in 1984 for a mere $47.5 million and who owned 50 percent of that catalog when he died (Sony owned the rest), showed more restraint than A&M Records did with the Beach Boys ouevre. (Who can forget how "Good Vibrations" was once used to sell Sunkist soda?) Which brings us to this DDB London ad for Budweiser, which features a reworked version of the Beatles' "All Together Now." The ad, presented from the vantage point of a London Chicago train, matches the simple lyrics "1, 2, 3, 4 can I have a little more ..." with items in the landscape (the "4" is on a sign on the side of a building, for example). I never would have put the Beatles and Bud together, but the ad works well enough. In 1987, when Nike used the Beatles' "Revolution" in an ad, there was a tremendous uproar, from Paul McCartney and others. But now, using songs from the Fab Four in commercials is apparently no big deal. Hell, some of these songs are going on 50 years old anyway.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

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