Music and Branding: Sell-out or Buy-in?
Once upon a time rock music was all about being "anti-establishment." What an antiquated term that is. Even though there will always be detractors who feel any association with corporate America is a "sell-out," well, "Times, they are a'changin'."
From an article/interview with Sam Diaz on the NARIP website, "How To Place Music in TV with CBS Television’s Samuel Diaz," Diaz says, “In 1992 (when Sam began his career in music supervision) no one wanted to be a music supervisor back then and everything we requested from a major label would be denied. ‘We don’t want our bands to lose credibility or sell out,’ said the labels. Almost 20 years later the environment has changed completely, and now music supervisors today are almost like radio programmers, they can make or break a song.”
What is rock without something to rebel against? But then, is that what music is really about--rebellion? We need to make a distinction between all the various areas of music. The rock/pop industry is not the be-all and end-all of creativity. Unquestionably, many would be insulted at any comparison between, say, Bruce Springsteen's "Born In the USA" and classic jingles like, "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestles makes the very best...chocolate." And for those unfamiliar with the Nestles theme, there's bound to be one you do remember on the "Jingle Hall of Fame" website (or, just do a Google search on "jingles").
The following video provides a fascinating history of classic jingles from the 50's and 60's.
Clearly the issue of branding is a classic art vs. money issue. Supporters for the commercial use of music will cite classic composers like Mozart who wrote according to the tastes of kings and queens. And today, with CDs headed for the same graveyard as vinyl and cassette, add to that the popular belief that "music is for free," plus piracy, generating an income from music is becoming increasingly difficult.Continued on the next page