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Beatles songs in commercials

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Steak Snabler, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Seems like all of a sudden, Beatles songs are showing up in commercials all over the place.

    First it was "Come Together" in this Macy's commercial:

    Now, it's "All You Need is Love" for MasterCard Blackberry, which they're showing all over the MLB playoffs.

    Is this just because The Beatles are suddenly hot again due to the re-masters and the release of "Rock Band" or is it because Michael Jackson is dead and whoever controls his publishing holdings is releasing the rights again?

    Anybody got any idea?
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well, they're using cover versions because getting rights to use Beatles performances of songs in ads (or movies, tv shows etc etc) is still extraordinarily tough and expensive. The "shareholders" of Apple (i.e., Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia) retain veto power over any licensing of actual Beatles performances.

    To use cover versions, all you have to do is get permission from the song publishers (SONY/Jacko estate), which is much easier to do; you can pay the cover band to record the song.

    The Nike "Revolution" ads 20 years ago raised such a stink, I can't recall many songs being licensed out since, other than for directly-Beatles-related products.

    I guess I'd prefer the cover versions be used in ads instead of the original versions, unless the ads are for some incredibly beneficial product loved by everyone.

    I don't want "Strawberry Fields Forever" being used in yogurt ads, or "A Hard Day's Night" or "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" for Viagra.

    ::) ::)
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I understand how the process works, I just wonder why it's happening all of a sudden. That this has started to occur since Jackson's death seems like more than a coincidence.

    For all his faults, Jackson did have a good bit of artistic integrity. I can't see him having licensed "All You Need is Love" to Blackberry, but maybe I'm wrong.
  4. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Beatles remasters came out this year, as did The Beatles: Rock Band. So now there's a lot more interest in their stuff.

    And if what Starman says is true, they're not licensing the cover versions, Sony/Michael Jackson's estate are.
  5. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Compositions by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven have been used for commercials. Just where the hell do Beatles fans get off thinking it's some kind of sacrilege for songs written by them to be used as such? BFD.
  6. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Bach, Mozart and Beethoven have been dead for more than 75 years and are no longer subject to intellectual property laws for one thing. Their compositions are in the public domain, and can thus be used and interpreted in any fashion, much like Shakespeare's plays.

    For another, they never "recorded" their music (because the technology didn't exist), so essentially every version of their songs you hear is a cover version.
  7. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I thought Hondo was being sarcastic but then I realised it was just Hondo being stupid.
  8. Machine Head

    Machine Head Well-Known Member

    Starman's right. For one purpose you go through EMI and Apple, for the other Sony and the Jackson estate.
  9. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    So has Keith Richards and I still hear Stones' music in commercials. ;D
  10. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Actually, it would be kinda funny to have "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" in a Viagra commercial.

    Picture this: Average 50-ish looking guy (the kind of guy you see in most Viagra commercials), in his car, at a stop light, with his insanely-hot 40-ish looking wife (again typical in Viagra commercial).

    Song comes on the CD player. Guy starts banging his fist on the steering wheel in time with the drum beat. They both begin "headbanging" in time with the song, shouting out the lyrics.

    The insanely-hot wife gives hubby a naughty wink ;) ;) , and both leap into the back seat.

    Camera cuts to a shot of their legs sticking out of the back seat. Various articles of clothing sail into the front seat. Second verse, sung by Paul in a yodeling falsetto.

    Camera pans away from the car, windows steamed up, rocking violently as it sits at the stoplight. Song thunders to a halt. Light turns green.

    I bet Paul would get a laugh out of it. ;D
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Well Walt Whitman is currently selling Gap jeans.
  12. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    And I think some people are missing hondo's point. He's not comparing the legal right to use Beethoven or Bach vs. the Beatles, he's pointing out that musicians with far more heft than them are being used for commerical purposes, and nobody's shaking their fists in frustration. How often do Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 or Schiller's Ode to Joy get used popularly in a non-ironic fashion?

    I think I can live with I Want To Hold Your Hand being used for a wart removal ad.
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