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The Awesome/Annoying TV COMMERCIAL Thread


piranesi
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On the "actors are much more shameless than they use to be" tip, I got Ray Donovan out here selling mattresses.

We had a brief discussion about how crazy it is how times have changed and now actors with fucking Oscars are out there shilling shit.  But music made that jump, too.  I remember that it was huge news when Nike bought the rights to use the Beatles' "Revolution" in a shoe commercial.  "Selling out" was a legitimate concept back in the day that people were worried about.  Now it's this quaint thing that cynics scoff at and you have bands like Imagine Dragons who have had so many songs featured in so many commercials it's hard to think that's not their core goal, and being actual musicians or artists is a distant second or eighth.  They're not a band; they're jingle writers who happen to tour.

Edited by Technico Support
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3 hours ago, Technico Support said:

On the "actors are much more shameless than they use to be" tip, I got Ray Donovan out here selling mattresses.

We had a brief discussion about how crazy it is how times have changed and now actors with fucking Oscars are out there shilling shit.  But music made that jump, too.  I remember that it was huge news when Nike bought the rights to use the Beatles' "Revolution" in a shoe commercial.  "Selling out" was a legitimate concept back in the day that people were worried about.  Now it's this quaint thing that cynics scoff at and you have bands like Imagine Dragons who have had so many songs featured in so many commercials it's hard to think that's not their core goal, and being actual musicians or artists is a distant second or eighth.  They're not a band; they're jingle writers who happen to tour.

Liev Schreiber on camera doing commercials doesn't seem odd or weird to me. I'll note that I did grow up with James Garner all over my tv slinging Beef and Polaroid cameras, along with Telly Savalas pimping The Players Club and the Duluth tourist board. If Schreiber was around back then, he'd be a notch or two lower than Rockford and Kojack on the fame and prestige scale.

 

Edited by Mister TV
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3 hours ago, Technico Support said:

and you have bands like Imagine Dragons

...and being actual musicians or artists is a distant second or eighth. 

I mean, have you heard their songs?  Heard their songs?  Because as soon as they had more than one single that charted, I think they already gave us that impression, gave us that impression.   I like to think they picked their name because telling yourself to just "Imagine Dragons" is the only way to avoid jamming pencils in your ears, pencils in your ears.

Edited by Contentious C
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40 minutes ago, Mister TV said:

Liev Schreiber on camera doing commercials doesn't seem odd or weird to me. I'll note that I did grow up with James Garner all over my tv slinging Beef and Polaroid cameras, along with Telly Savalas pimping The Players Club and the Duluth tourist board. If Schreiber was around back then, he'd be a notch or two lower than Rockford and Kojack on the fame and prestige scale.

 

You're right, I probably should more strongly specified A listers selling stuff.  Lower level guys always did TV spots.  I mean I actually met Bill Sanderson in the mid 90s because he was at an agency lining up commercial work and he had already been in Blade Runner and was famous from the Newhart show. Lower-level celebs never shied from doing commercials, while the bigger names had to covertly jet off to Japan to hawk cigs and booze for that sweet commercial lucre.  Now we got bonafide Oscar winner Jamie Foxx shilling a gambling app every other break.

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20 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

You're right, I probably should more strongly specified A listers selling stuff.  Lower level guys always did TV spots.  I mean I actually met Bill Sanderson in the mid 90s because he was at an agency lining up commercial work and he had already been in Blade Runner and was famous from the Newhart show. Lower-level celebs never shied from doing commercials, while the bigger names had to covertly jet off to Japan to hawk cigs and booze for that sweet commercial lucre.  Now we got bonafide Oscar winner Jamie Foxx shilling a gambling app every other break.

Garner and Savalas were still high up on the celeb prestige scale when they were doing commercials in the 80's, both had Oscar nominations and both won lead actor Emmy's. I agree it's really weird seeing Jamie Foxx and Ben Affleck shilling gambling apps, but those companies have massive amounts of money to throw around and those commercials are everywhere in states that allow online betting so the residuals are going to be insane.

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4 hours ago, Technico Support said:

On the "actors are much more shameless than they use to be" tip, I got Ray Donovan out here selling mattresses.

We had a brief discussion about how crazy it is how times have changed and now actors with fucking Oscars are out there shilling shit.  But music made that jump, too.  I remember that it was huge news when Nike bought the rights to use the Beatles' "Revolution" in a shoe commercial.  "Selling out" was a legitimate concept back in the day that people were worried about.  Now it's this quaint thing that cynics scoff at and you have bands like Imagine Dragons who have had so many songs featured in so many commercials it's hard to think that's not their core goal, and being actual musicians or artists is a distant second or eighth.  They're not a band; they're jingle writers who happen to tour.

Back in the mid-90s I interviewed Kim Shattuck from The Muffs for my zine, right after one of their songs appeared in a Fruitopia commercial. I asked if she was worried about people calling her a sell-out and she said they made more money for that commercial than they had for all of their album sales and touring, so let them say what they want.

And Imagine Dragons is Unimaginably Awful.

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I was at the gym once, a few years ago, when a song called "Safe and Sound" by a group called "Capital Cities" was airing on one of those programming packages made specifically for commercial buildings.  They'd have little factoids before or after the videos and the factoid here was the duo "Capital Cities" were both pretty successful commercial jingle writers before taking a stab at pop music.  It wasn't long before I heard the song in a bunch of different commercials.

So to summarize:

  1. Two ad jingle guys decide to make pop music
  2. They make a hit
  3. That hit becomes an ad jingle

The whole industry is just a snake eating its own tail.

Edited by Technico Support
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8 minutes ago, JLowe said:

Back in the mid-90s I interviewed Kim Shattuck from The Muffs for my zine, right after one of their songs appeared in a Fruitopia commercial. I asked if she was worried about people calling her a sell-out and she said they made more money for that commercial than they had for all of their album sales and touring, so let them say what they want.

And Imagine Dragons is Unimaginably Awful.

An artist being called a sell out for allowing their song to be used in a commercial is such old timey pretentious hippie bullshit, I think Jan Wenner was always the one leading that charge.

The Who actually tried to sell commercial time on "The Who Sell Out" since they were broke and had a shitty record deal, every company they asked turned them down.

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11 minutes ago, Mister TV said:

An artist being called a sell out for allowing their song to be used in a commercial is such old timey pretentious hippie bullshit, I think Jan Wenner was always the one leading that charge.

The Who actually tried to sell commercial time on "The Who Sell Out" since they were broke and had a shitty record deal, every company they asked turned them down.

Don't they have fake ad jingles at the end of some of the songs on that? I know the album cover is fake ads.

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18 minutes ago, Mister TV said:

An artist being called a sell out for allowing their song to be used in a commercial is such old timey pretentious hippie bullshit, I think Jan Wenner was always the one leading that charge.

The Who actually tried to sell commercial time on "The Who Sell Out" since they were broke and had a shitty record deal, every company they asked turned them down.

This is just my own take, but I never considered it "selling out" if a band writes a song, it maybe gets popular or the right person hears it and they end up getting some money for it to be in a commercial.  Now, if a band writes songs specifically for getting them in commercials or changes up their sound to appeal more to commercials or stuff like that, I think it is selling out.

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Just now, JLowe said:

Don't they have fake ad jingles at the end of some of the songs on that? I know the album cover is fake ads.

Yes, it's a concept album that's mimics a pirate radio station.

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I don't necessarily agree that "selling out" is a pretentious, hippy concept.  I think there are degrees and I think the term can be wielded correctly and incorrectly.  I think it's really subjective and is probably a spectrum.  I don't think agreeing to have your song in a commercial for an innocuous product so you can finally make some money at music is selling out.  But letting your song be put into an ad for something against your beliefs, because a few bucks means more than your beliefs, likely is.  I think musicians who change their whole sound to be more commercial might be somewhere on that spectrum closer to selling out.  I think musicians who discover an exact sound that works for maximum crossover and commercial airplay, and then make only that sound instead of the stuff they actually want to make, are closer to that end.  But all those things are just my dumb opinion and it's really in the eye of the beholder. 

Ah, beaten to it and said more succinctly by @Log  😄

Edited by Technico Support
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Posted (edited)

When I see someone famous doing an ad I instantly do a bunch of mental calculus over it. 

Like, I see Andy Daly doing a car rental commercial and I think "Okay, this guy is a pretty dark comedian so it's weird for him to be so corporate and sunshiny, that's not the guy I know and that's creepy. But he's also someone cobbling together a living through standup, podcasts, guest spots on t.v. shows, producing, and probably five other things and this commercial is probably enough to pay his mortgage for the year. He's also still struggling to get really small parts in things, and having more public face recognition is just a necessary component. I can't hate him for this. I want him to thrive."

 

But then I see Taylor Swift or Kevin Hart doing a visa commercial and I think "This mf has in the tens-to-hundreds of millions of dollars and can spend their time doing literally any creative thing they want and people will watch/listen to it, and they decided that the absolute best thing they could do that day was to suckle more $$$$$ from the tits of the evil empire? God I hate everyone."

 

When I see all the A-listers in the gambling commercials I think; "Jesus, ESPN and Draft Kings are teaming up to pour so much money into this shitty enterprise. They must be giving these fucker millions. All in the service of taking yet one more thing that people can easily do on their own for fun, bet on games with their friends, and monetizing it into a profit machine that's going to make watching sports and being alive a little bit worse. Thanks, enormous team of assholes. And yes, that includes you Liev."

Edited by piranesi
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  • 2 weeks later...

I just saw a FREAKY Twix commercial. It had a young Asian girl and apparently her father standing in a boarded up house. All of the sudden a floating candle appears along with a Raiden-esque character with a big round hat and a bell and a staff appears. He approaches and the girl steps on his shadow; he vanishes. Then the candle and man appear again. The father lunges from the boarded up window to save her or something and the man stomps on HIS shadow. He immediately turns into a corpse and vanishes, leaving the girl holding his clothes and crying. The bell man whispers something to her (the sound was off, sorry)... and the screen cuts to the Twix logo and "Happy Halloween!"

Yeah, that's a trip. 

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I'm always perplexed seeing JB Smoove and especially Patton Oswalt, who I adore, in those Caesar's ads, but then I laugh realizing Patton doesn't give a flying fuck about sports in real life and it amuses me even more.

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