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tv commercials using indie music
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
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tv commercials using indie music

while i understand it is a great opportunity for the label to get money and for the band to get know, what really surprises me is how kids these days really don't see anything somewhat wrong or depressing about that.

Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear, was just used in a car commercial

YouTube - Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks (music video in HD) Veckatimest out now

i was mad when i saw the commercial ... but reading the youtube comments it seems i'm the only one to be depressed

(here's the ad) YouTube - Peugeot / Grizzly Bear

maybe i'm too old ... but people went mad when Dc Martens used Kurt Cobain's image to promote their shoes recently ... it seems like he's the only exception.

thoughts ?
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
thoughts ?
Yes, it's pretty simple: The pubic just aren't buying records in the quantities they used to, so artists are turning to other places to monetize our music so we can keep our lights on. Ads are just plain lucrative if you can land one, and for a band like Grizzly Bear, that ad goes a long way toward paying back the recording advance which, in turn, ensures that they'll have another recording budget to access in a year or two. Which is good for all us engineer / producer types.

- Chris
Old 15th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 

pretty much what i've just said
Old 15th November 2009
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
pretty much what i've just said
Basically true. Are we left to conclude that you are, in fact, too old?
Old 15th November 2009
  #5
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ok i wasn't very clear
my post wasn't about bands selling their music for commercials. i'm ok with it and i actually make music for commercials - but i'm paid muuuch less

what makes me sad if that the current generation don't care about THEIR music being used in stupid ads selling stupid things and depicting a stupid world. it's that lack of reaction that makes me surprised

i would have been totally mad if nirvana (even though they were not that "indie") was used to sell a car
Old 15th November 2009
  #6
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AnthonyRochester's Avatar
 

I don't see what's sad or depressing about having your music used in a commercial. That one looks pretty cool. Grizzly Bear are cool.
Old 15th November 2009
  #7
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tapehiss's Avatar
i wouldnt necessarily call a peugot stupid............

as far as cars go, ,this would be indie

however, i do believe chrysler just bought them out and is now bringing them to america.


and by all means, im not going to be the one to say that an indie band should not license their music a little $, as they already make very little compared to other genre's.....


thats very cool to see chris walla on this board,
i remember running into you a couple years ago at piano's in manhattan, we played with 'now its overhead' and michael stipe showed up....
anyway, i heard you also recently opened up a studio in portland, hope all is well at the hall of justice!
Old 15th November 2009
  #9
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great article. thanks mr. Ochre !

a bit depressing though.
Old 15th November 2009
  #10
Vum
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Quote:
I don't see what's sad or depressing about having your music used in a commercial. That one looks pretty cool. Grizzly Bear are cool.
I agree.

However this is not what the OP is talking about. I agree 100% about it being depressing. Most of us trudged through the dross which was the late 90's early 00's clutching desperately to our indie brethren, hoping that their 1st and 2nd albums wouldn't be the only ones. It is a luxury for us now that they have extra revenue - however - experiencing TV ads with the music lessens our personal "ownership" of fandom and cheapens further experience with the music. It is selfish and narrow (without these revenue streams the bands would be whittled down greatly) for us to feel this way but that is what "feelings" are - out of bounds logic that sometimes (usually) leads us down the very path of ruin we fear to tread.

It's like Happy Jack in a hummer commercial. Pete Townsend is a huge environmentalist but, Roger Daltry can't keep money in his account so they sold to the highest bidder. One of my all time favorite Who songs is now branded by Hummer. Great for Hummer, terrible for Who fans. I don't think anyone was like "man, this song isn't on the radio. Thank god it's on tv. Thanks Hummer!!"

This is like grunge music being marketed and sold to move "poseur" items. There are a number of car commercials and energy commercials that have indie music that is just sublime in them. It's unfortunate that people only know it by the commercial, but ironically fortunate as they would never know it at all without them as the commercial success of the music SAVED the genre.

It's not about selling out. It's about accessibility.
Old 15th November 2009
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Great article?

A whole bunch of idealistic baby boomers finding new ways to complain about how it used to be so much better back in their day.

Most labels are owned by companies with all sorts of unsavory links - anyone with principles wouldn't sign with them in the first place, and to work with a major label & then take some sort of bullshit moral position is just hypocritical. Not that it's stopped a lot of people.

Anytime you try & sell a CD (or your music), art = commerce, so if you're a band & no-one is buying CDs anymore, you look for alternate sources of income. If you're indie, you get a bigger cut & don't end up supporting major record labels with links to arms manufacturers. Instead of being commended for your independence, you get lambasted in the press & on forums.

?

I think the big difference is the death of the 'buffer zone' - A&R people or managers that used to exist between the artist & the money. When the size of the pie was so much bigger, it could support extra people taking slices from that pie. Bands could take drugs, fcuk groupies & take well publicised moral positions safe in the knowledge someone else was looking after the cash. Unfortunately that time is well & truly over and now bands are forced to try & develop themselves independently rather that sign an (increasingly rare) deal, with no development & an over the top budget that 90% of the time won't get recouped.

If selling a tune to a car commercial is what it takes to sustain interesting, modern music, it can't be all that bad.
Old 15th November 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 

in fact, i think i just hate commercials.
even the funniest one. all i see is how the brand tries to manipulate people and make them consume more and more. and it works perfectly !

indie music on top is just the cherry on the cake. again, i understand and would probably do the same if i was in that position (if the label ever gives the choice to the band)

anyway. i hardly turn on the tv anymore
Old 15th November 2009
  #13
Ad music goes in phases.

A while a go it was all trip hop and slinky drum loops

then DJ / producer dance tracks.

now it's all frail / weedy / nerd vocals or band next door indie pop.

What's next? Old 60's classics?

Ad agencies get bored and change things around all the time.
Old 16th November 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Definitely agree with Walla. Also, if I'm going to be watching TV, I'd much rather hear Grizzly Bear/Phoenix/Postal Service during the commercials than some fake-sounding cheap synth program that most TV shows seem to employ for their "music."
As a musician/songwriter I'd have no problem having my music used to sell things if it means exposure and income - though I would have certain limits. I don't think I'd ever agree to have my music in a Republican/Conservative party ad or an oil company or something. But they probably wouldn't want my music anyway. haha

Also, if you are indeed Chris Walla, the guitarist, producer extraordinaire, I just want to say, you are one of the best producers working today. Keep up the awesome work! Big fan. thumbsup
Old 16th November 2009
  #15
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by walla View Post
Yes, it's pretty simple: The pubic just aren't buying records in the quantities they used to, so artists are turning to other places to monetize our music so we can keep our lights on. Ads are just plain lucrative if you can land one, and for a band like Grizzly Bear, that ad goes a long way toward paying back the recording advance which, in turn, ensures that they'll have another recording budget to access in a year or two. Which is good for all us engineer / producer types.

- Chris
EXCUSE ME commercial sync to video pays back advance?
No wonder they are broke, they aren't attached to album sales exclusively anymore, one foot in the grave.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beebay007 View Post
I don't see what's sad or depressing about having your music used in a commercial. That one looks pretty cool. Grizzly Bear are cool.
Not anymore, sorry, sell outs. "To what?" you may ask.
To straight vapid commercialism over community.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanto View Post
Great article?
A whole bunch of idealistic baby boomers finding new ways to complain about how it used to be so much better back in their day.
Most labels are owned by companies with all sorts of unsavory links - anyone with principles wouldn't sign with them in the first place, and to work with a major label & then take some sort of bullshit moral position is just hypocritical. Not that it's stopped a lot of people.
Things aren't black and white everywhere, especially in that area.
Quote:
Anytime you try & sell a CD (or your music), art = commerce, so if you're a band & no-one is buying CDs anymore, you look for alternate sources of income. If you're indie, you get a bigger cut & don't end up supporting major record labels with links to arms manufacturers. Instead of being commended for your independence, you get lambasted in the press & on forums.
That's counter to the above post.
Quote:
?
I think the big difference is the death of the 'buffer zone' - A&R people or managers that used to exist between the artist & the money. When the size of the pie was so much bigger, it could support extra people taking slices from that pie. Bands could take drugs, fcuk groupies & take well publicised moral positions safe in the knowledge someone else was looking after the cash. Unfortunately that time is well & truly over and now bands are forced to try & develop themselves independently rather that sign an (increasingly rare) deal, with no development & an over the top budget that 90% of the time won't get recouped.
If selling a tune to a car commercial is what it takes to sustain interesting, modern music, it can't be all that bad.
I don't think it's working as a business model. It sure won't create any balance or support one.
It's not about you, it's about the total vapid lack of a sense of community and when you lose that you have no community in short order.
HOW LONG did it take Pete and Roger to "sell out"? How long did it take the Beatles to "sell out their music to commercials? THAT is the point, too much saturation devalues music, It's not that ALL the music is bad, it's not that selling it to TV commercials is the only way to make money came FIRST, it's that Selling it to TV devalued it to the point that now you have to.
STOP DOING IT.
If you want to bring value back to good music, stop doing every stupid thing that devalues it to all of it and especially the good stuff, Grizzly Bear, huh, I guess "they got theirs" Indie my ass.
What a load of BS.
Old 16th November 2009
  #16
Led
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Led's Avatar
Kids don't care about their favourite tracks being used on ads because they don't really consider it 'their' music. They haven't shelled out their pocket money for the albums, and they'll be downloading some other artist next week anyway. They don't see music as something valuable, so who cares if someone else is appropriating it?
Old 16th November 2009
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisindie View Post
HOW LONG did it take Pete and Roger to "sell out"?
I believe The Who Sell Out was in 1968, which is why I use Odorono to this day.

It was too easy! I couldn't resist.

Community and making a living don't have to be at odds . . . there are practical considerations at every turn. I mean, Grizzly Bear probably aren't fighting to keep the lights on. But a lot of licensing decisions are, in fact, made to pay the rent. And buy strings and heads and tubes and put gas in the van and so on and, ultimately, so those bands can make records with people like us.

Cool recordings, BTW. Love the 8-track stuff especially, that's my world.

- Chris
Old 16th November 2009
  #18
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mexicola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisindie View Post
If you want to bring value back to good music, stop doing every stupid thing that devalues it to all of it and especially the good stuff, Grizzly Bear, huh, I guess "they got theirs" Indie my ass.
What a load of BS.
Seems to be the trend everywhere and in everything. You could say the same thing about virtually every industry in this country.
It's Ayn Rand's conservative dream world come true by too many years of Republican "I got mine, Jack" economic policies. I'd go so far as to say it's modern America's zeitgeist. I think because of that, it's a mentality that has found its way into the attitude of the artists of modern popular art genres, and into its audience.
Hopefully in a hundred years Ayn Rand's writing will be viewed as incompatible with reality as Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.

The only place where music communities still exist is on the local level. Once you go beyond that, for the most part it's a dog eat dog world. Which is unfortunate because if there was a true sense of community, it would benefit everyone. But as long as a few people can make a quick buck fending for themselves, it's gonna be hard to change bad habits. Just look at Wall Street.

I think memphisindie hit the nail on the head here.
Old 16th November 2009
  #19
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Led View Post
Kids don't care about their favourite tracks being used on ads because they don't really consider it 'their' music. They haven't shelled out their pocket money for the albums, and they'll be downloading some other artist next week anyway. They don't see music as something valuable, so who cares if someone else is appropriating it?
There's the attitude that will make it al better...NOT. Give UP ain't in my vocabulary, sorry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by walla View Post
I believe The Who Sell Out was in 1968, which is why I use Odorono to this day.

It was too easy! I couldn't resist.
You dog.
Quote:

Community and making a living don't have to be at odds . . . there are practical considerations at every turn. I mean, Grizzly Bear probably aren't fighting to keep the lights on. But a lot of licensing decisions are, in fact, made to pay the rent. And buy strings and heads and tubes and put gas in the van and so on and, ultimately, so those bands can make records with people like us.

Cool recordings, BTW. Love the 8-track stuff especially, that's my world.

- Chris
I agree and thank you very much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicola View Post
Seems to be the trend everywhere and in everything. You could say the same thing about virtually every industry in this country.
It's Ayn Rand's conservative dream world come true by too many years of Republican "I got mine, Jack" economic policies. I'd go so far as to say it's modern America's zeitgeist. I think because of that, it's a mentality that has found its way into the attitude of the artists of modern popular art genres, and into its audience.
Hopefully in a hundred years Ayn Rand's writing will be viewed as incompatible with reality as Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.
I don't think it's today's zeitgeist, I know its the zeitgeist of the supply side spin doctors in the biz that hope we believe that, and they got that in the 80's and don't want to grow up, they are like old ladies in skin tight jeans.
I have an ex father in law that owns a 100% union mill, workers and drivers, in America, didn't move to the nonunion south, didn't move to mexico, didn't move to asia, and he's one of the biggest in the USA. He's still kickin butt. His dad, of blessed memory, who started the biz making suitcase liners, was a teamster youth and knew where Hoffa is. He decided that the town would collapse if they left so they didn't. The town is still doing fine, they are still there, they've had run-ins with the unions but they decided what was important and stuck to it when everyone else fled. They make a LOT of money. They aren't crying a tear in this economy. What they have done has trickled down to their great grandkids and many many other people's.

If I have to I'll wait every single person in this business out and be the ONLY man left if that's what it takes. This is what I do best, I will operate as if I value what is important. Community and balance must be restored, that is my "revolution".
Quote:

The only place where music communities still exist is on the local level. Once you go beyond that, for the most part it's a dog eat dog world. Which is unfortunate because if there was a true sense of community, it would benefit everyone. But as long as a few people can make a quick buck fending for themselves, it's gonna be hard to change bad habits. Just look at Wall Street.

I think memphisindie hit the nail on the head here.
Thank you very much.
I saw the end of the good parts in my life in NYC, I saw what happened and why, I saw my friends exit the community, and we had a community, we really went all out for each other. There were some who wouldn't and we left them alone and left them out whenever we could, but, the queen of cost cutting and nepotism-run-amok over-ran us all. MTV people, TV commercial producers, all making decisions that all budgets should be the same rip off as rap budgets were back then. I saw some excellent community behavior too, I miss that. We all saw where it was going to go if we were any other way. Too many spoiled rotten kids got in. I was young, they were my age.
I think that the fact hat any community exists anywhere states that THAT is the publicly desired state and that the supply side ethos we are weathering now is DEAD WRONG about why this is the state of things, and it shows that we can rebuild, if we do it right. Community must be built in.
Old 16th November 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Ad music goes in phases.

A while a go it was all trip hop and slinky drum loops

then DJ / producer dance tracks.

now it's all frail / weedy / nerd vocals or band next door indie pop.

What's next? Old 60's classics?

Ad agencies get bored and change things around all the time.
There was an ad not long ago...and the song comes on, and the people I'm with are "what's that song?!"...sounded cool and edgy and indie...

was The Kinks Picture Book...

don't remember what the ad was for though!
Old 16th November 2009
  #21
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So I put Kinks Picture Book ad in Google:

Old 16th November 2009
  #22
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Saudade's Avatar
 

If, as one of the 10 million indie bands on Myspace, you can choose between eternal obscurity versus a short Toiletbowl cleaner ad campaign worth of fame albeit them paying you "peanuts" (versus what they'd pay to use a major label "catalog" track), which would you choose?

I think this explains why there are so many "middlemen" sync licensing agents like Pumpaudio etc etc and why there are so much "fodder" out there for them to pick from.
Old 16th November 2009
  #23
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
If, as one of the 10 million indie bands on Myspace, you can choose between eternal obscurity versus a short Toiletbowl cleaner ad campaign worth of fame albeit them paying you "peanuts" (versus what they'd pay to use a major label "catalog" track), which would you choose?

I think this explains why there are so many "middlemen" sync licensing agents like Pumpaudio etc etc and why there are so much "fodder" out there for them to pick from.
A Flock of Skanks, hmm, heh
Old 16th November 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadman View Post
Definitely agree with Walla. Also, if I'm going to be watching TV, I'd much rather hear Grizzly Bear/Phoenix/Postal Service during the commercials than some fake-sounding cheap synth program that most TV shows seem to employ for their "music."
i make that "fake-sounding cheap synth" music, it's my full time job.

except it's not "fake sounding" anymore. these composers (who've had their fame mostly from the 80's, are quite old now and still haven't sold their Akai S6000) are bound to disappear. today our clients expect our music to be as good as what their listen to everyday in their iPod. and we provide it to them. check out some recent "stock music" catalog, you'll be impressed by the quality.

i have no problem making music specifically for commercials. it's not MY music, it's the specific music i was asked to do (and redo and redo and redo and change the snare and lower that cymbal and blablabla).

we are here so that bands don't have to sell out
but as the songs we create are not KNOWN, and we don't have years to finish them but an afternoon, the ad sure don't have the same impact.

but we're cheaper !
Old 16th November 2009
  #25
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
what makes me sad if that the current generation don't care about THEIR music being used in stupid ads selling stupid things and depicting a stupid world. it's that lack of reaction that makes me surprised
It's just a tune.
Now that music is no longer a luxury item it's a bit naive to hope anyone will care much, if anything about a situation like this.
If the exclusivity ever returns, then maybe, but until then, folks should grab such advertising revenue whilst it still exists, because it won't for much longer.
Old 16th November 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaudio View Post
If the exclusivity ever returns, then maybe, but until then, folks should grab such advertising revenue whilst it still exists, because it won't for much longer.
why would it disappear ?

a friend of mine just lost a competition for an eBay ad. they ended buying the "real" song for 300 000 euros, instead of taking his "in the mood of" version.

a well known french touch act sold one song for 100 000 euros for an italian commercial ...

things are going well it seems
Old 16th November 2009
  #27
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
i make that "fake-sounding cheap synth" music, it's my full time job.

except it's not "fake sounding" anymore. these composers (who've had their fame mostly from the 80's, are quite old now and still haven't sold their Akai S6000) are bound to disappear. today our clients expect our music to be as good as what their listen to everyday in their iPod. and we provide it to them. check out some recent "stock music" catalog, you'll be impressed by the quality.

i have no problem making music specifically for commercials. it's not MY music, it's the specific music i was asked to do (and redo and redo and redo and change the snare and lower that cymbal and blablabla).

we are here so that bands don't have to sell out
but as the songs we create are not KNOWN, and we don't have years to finish them but an afternoon, the ad sure don't have the same impact.

but we're cheaper !
Yeah, but that's cool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
why would it disappear ?

a friend of mine just lost a competition for an eBay ad. they ended buying the "real" song for 300 000 euros, instead of taking his "in the mood of" version.

a well known french touch act sold one song for 100 000 euros for an italian commercial ...

things are going well it seems
Water swirls faster near the bottom of the drain.
Old 16th November 2009
  #28
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Ad music goes in phases.

A while a go it was all trip hop and slinky drum loops

then DJ / producer dance tracks.

now it's all frail / weedy / nerd vocals or band next door indie pop.

What's next? Old 60's classics?

Ad agencies get bored and change things around all the time.
that's right - and you can either be in the party or not. THAT simple. IF an artists says no then generally they need to be in a financially secure position - that's why you rarely see Radiohead syncs. It's also why until recently the Beatles never did it. Now you hear Beatles tracks on adverts.....
Old 16th November 2009
  #29
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
why would it disappear ?

a friend of mine just lost a competition for an eBay ad. they ended buying the "real" song for 300 000 euros, instead of taking his "in the mood of" version.

a well known french touch act sold one song for 100 000 euros for an italian commercial ...

things are going well it seems
300,000? Then they paid too much - unless it was for a year long campaig, you can get super highend sellers for 50k!!
Old 16th November 2009
  #30
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankdrummer View Post
. check out some recent "stock music" catalog, you'll be impressed by the quality.

Check out SOME of them. I deal with music libraries daily as they try to sell me second rate produced junk touting it as "really cool"...DeWolfe - a great example of a library with nothing, and i mean NOTHING, but crap. There are a couple of goodies but what I hear is:

RnB - out of date sounds production
Rock - no writing ability
Pop - poor mixing {actually can apply that across the board although there are a few good ones}
Retro pastiche - poor performance.... the worst being the current "Pringles" advert.... fekkin terrible

There are some really good agency and library pieces out there....but just like commercial music , they are the exception rather than the rule. I'm thankful that most are junk {and I must stress most - because there are some good ones} because it is that junk that allows bespoke/licensing & partnership companies like mine to get in the action!!
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