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In iTunes/MySpace era, Ads and Artists are a Natural Fit

Posted by: Burt Helm on March 28, 2007

A few weeks ago I reported that John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, and Steven Stills are all in talks to write songs – on spec – for an upcoming Coors campaign. More recently JCPenney launched its new ad campaign with a 60-second spot from Saatchi & Saatchi. It uses a beautiful song the ad agency commissioned especially for it by Australian singer Melanie Hornsdell.

I’m starting to think that advertisers-as-patron can be a very good thing for music. Thanks to iTunes/MySpace/iPod/etc., a thirty-second spot or viral vid can be a great device to pique our interest and get us to click over to her stuff. And when a brand introduces us to something cool and new (as you’ll see from the YouTube comments and on Hornsdell’s MySpace page), that wins our admiration.

Here’s the new JCPenney spot, in case you haven’t seen it:

One more thing I’ve got to rant about before I sign off: Juxtapose this spot with what’s going on at Wal-Mart (I’m thinking about it because Saatchi was a finalist for the Wal-Mart account before it quit to go with Penney last summer). The wholesome familial warmth is just what that chain needs to burnish its low-price image. Instead, Wal-Mart’s campaign isn’t just massively behind schedule, the company is pursuing its former ad execs in the most vicious and, ahem, un-family-friendly way. What kind of company convinces an executive’s wife to forward lurid e-mails so it can publicly prove he cheated on her? Lawsuits get out in the press, Wal-Mart, and your actions can kill your image. If you’re a company about family values, what happened to taking the high road? Sheesh.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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