Count on the music, if not the musicians, for today's advertising

Posted on Tue Feb 10 2009

It was a brand new day for Target but a headachey night for Wrigley and Cover Girl.
  A study by Greenlight of the ads that aired during Sunday night's Grammy Awards on CBS found that Target's toe-tapping, melodic spot with the song "Brand New Day" by Tim Meyers fared better than Wrigley and Cover Girl's ads, which featured Chris Brown and Rihanna, respectively. Of course, the latter two companies couldn't have known that their spokesmusicians would be no-shows at the awards because of a domestic situation. (Brown turned himself in to police and was released on bail; an investigation is continuing. Wrigley has pulled his Doublemint ad, shown here, off the air.)
  Still, it's the music, not necessarily the all-too-human musicians, that is driving an increasing number of ad campaigns, according to the study. "We're seeing a shift by America's top advertisers away from high-profile celebrity endorsement deals and a move toward using music to maintain a cultural connection with consumers," says GreenLight vp David Reeder. During the Grammys, 25 percent of the spots featured contemporary or classic pop music, while only 7 percent had celebs, down from 13 percent last year and 21 percent in '07. Meanwhile, jingles written specifically for ads by agencies are becoming extinct in general, and only 2 percent of the Grammys ads fit that category.
  A few spots that combined famous faces and music were winners, GreenLight says, including Christina Aguilera for Target and Heidi Klum for Guitar Hero. But the Lincoln ads with up-and-coming musicians? Not so much. GreenLight says they landed "in no-man's land between their core demographic and the youth market they crave." It's good in theory to nab them before they're famous (and felonious), but it doesn't always work.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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