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Just what are they selling? by jason
February 9, 2010, 11:47 am
Filed under: Failure | Tags: , ,

So, Pitchfork reports that the Air Force Reserve used the song “Fell in Love with a Girl,” as made famous by The White Stripes, and the Stripes are pissed.

According to Third Man Records, the songs “was re-recorded and used without permission of the White Stripes, our publishers, label, or management.”

Which leads to a number of questions. First, why would anyone think that it is OK to use a song without permission? I realize that an ad agency picks this stuff, not the Air Force Reserve, so you would think that an agency that does this kind of work would know better.

Secondly, why “Fell in Love with a Girl?” What about that song says anything about flying, or combat, or anything like that? I would think that for the military, you would want something that was more “bad-ass” or something that sounded “heroic” or “noble.”

Third, and this is unrelated to music, though it might answer the other two questions, why all the extreme sports? I was going to link to the ad, but the Air Force Reserves have taken it down. However, it was a bunch of people parasailing, surfing, snowboarding, and skydiving. What does that have to do with the Air Force Reserves? What? Flying jets faster than the speed of sound is not extreme enough? Seriously, THAT should be your selling point. I mean, I’ve never worked in advertising, so I don’t know how it works, but jets are exciting! They’re better than skateboarding!

Anyway, Jayson has worked in advertising, so I’d like to hear his opinion. Anyone else have ad experience? Comments?


1 Comment so far
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It’s hard to say. Bad ad agency people do unscrupulous things. The bad ones have a worldview where nothing in the world exists as a creation of human beings, but is just a tool for them to use to sell the product. It seems dumb and that you’d get caught really easily, just like this; but they’ll still go for it. In a similar vein, if you follow @Hydro74, you’ll see that guy gets a design ripped off by some Walmart level clothing mfg about once a month. It’s the same thing, nothing matters but the sale.

It also could be an ego thing. Despite just trashing someone’s song, bad ad people feel that their advertisements are the only creative output valid in the world. It’s like, someone could have just said “This is what we’re doing.” Then someone in the Air Force Reserve who as never heard of the White Stripes signs off on it.

The Superbowl ads were uniformly terrible though.

Comment by Jayson

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