Sunday, October 24, 2004

Eye of the Coffee

First off, please watch this: here or here

Ok, while I was watching this I laughed out loud. I found it so damn funny and thoroughly amusing. I did have the knowledge of it being an advertisement ahead of time and that caused me some concern. I was oscillating from delighted to disdainful that Survivor is actually in the ad selling themselves. I guess my question to you is this: what are your thoughts? Do you think that this commercial, which I admit is funny, is bad? As well, what are your thoughts about commercials using popular music to sell their product? (hopefully your thoughts aren't "stop being so analytical"?)

My one cent (I couldn't find the other)
I think nearly all commercials are bad. Public service announcements and the very few ads that need to bring our attention to a worthwhile product new to the marketplace are about the only things that are not blots on our mental space. Everything else is usually trying to sell you something you don't need in a dishonourable fashion.

What about artists in commercials? (Swiff it good?) Obviously, this is up to the artist and one would have to ask each of them on a case by case basis. Sometimes it is not in their control, other times it is. I believe Moby's "Play" is the most licenced album in history (700+), but he seems to have tenable reasons for his decision. 1) His goal was to get his music heard because radio doesn't usually play his genre and 2) Either they can use his song or some knockoff which people might associate with him and recieve no money. At least he can use the $350,000 from GM to give to greenpeace or something. I cautiously belive him after seeing his apartment on "Cribs." He seems grounded.

As for Survivor, well Rocky III was probably what really popularized the song, which was also selling the song. I think movies are slightly more defensible than commercials (despite the increased blurring between the two), but it depends what you are trying to achieve.

As I wrote this I watched the commercial 2 more times and then put on the actual song. I lauged each of the times, but, of course what I really like is the real song. The commercial is funny, but I have a feeling the replay value will soon diminish. Or if the commercial becomes really successful will Survivor be remembered for helping Starbucks? (more so than Rocky III?)

The other issue is that it is Starbucks. They are like a virus! They currently have 8500 stores and are looking to have 30,000! They are all over Toronto, and in Vancouver there are two Starbucks kitty-corner to each other. I guess it is important to be able to look at a Starbucks whilst inside a Starbucks. Seattle is even worse. I think nearly everything bought at Starbucks is superfluous. Moreover, do people need a double shot of expresso to 'bring on the day?' If so, I think that is almost a bigger problem.
The commercial is successful in that I am actively spreading it and it will likely help form positive associations to Starbucks even if the specific product is not sought. I take solace in the fact that this commercial will not cause me to purchase anything from Starbucks. Most of the time, when a commercial is 'successful' I can only think that our culture has allowed an corporation to manipulate my thought processes to have me desire things which do not help my existence. Success!

An antiquated band whoring themselves to help manipulate our very thoughts through a megalomanical corporation that profits off our drug dependent culture?
just good fun?



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