Music Dealers

Band Changes Song Based on Brand’s Feedback
March 25, 2009, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a new one – and an example of just how far bands are willing to go to partner with brands.  Alt-rock band, Parachute, took some creative direction on one of their songs from personal care company, Nivea, and adapted it accordingly so that they would use it in a commercial.

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Although the acceptance of bands linking up with brands has come light years since the days it was deemed to be “selling out,” this one will certainly still raise some eyebrows.  This is not a case of a band simply letting a brand use one of their songs for commercial purposes.  Or even a band writing a song specifically for a brand.  This is a band changing an already written and produced song based on feedback from a brand’s marketing department so that it can be used commercially.  And for women’s body lotion nonetheless.

The success for the brand and band is equally startling.  Nivea’s sales increased between 15% and 18% (depending on product) when the spot aired, while the song was purchased and downloaded more than 20,000 times during the same period.  The two will soon extend their alliance as Nivea will use Parachute’s second single in their next TV ad, and they’ve negotiated a deal with Target where consumers will get a dollar off every Nivea product when they purchase the Parachute album and a dollar off the Parachute album when they buy any Nivea product.

Parachute rubs on some Nivea smooth sensation body lotion before they rock outl_899df3bd7a8a48f394ca88c2cadc6c20

I think the coupon idea is brilliant and representative of innovative thinking between band and brand that benefits both parties – and the consumer.  But I’m a little weary on changing a song based on the direction from a brand.  This even bothers me more than writing a song directly for a brand.  At least there’s no hidden motives there and it’s all transparent.  But taking something sacred you supposedly created based on your own inspiration and which has some type of emotional connection, and then manipulating it based on feedback from a brand so that they can use it for a commercial seems like it may cross a line….at least for real bands like this one who write their own music.  And it seems to give brands some dangerous power.

But if a band is fighting for survival and this is what they have to do, then I can’t argue with it.  And as the article points out, “the success of Parachute’s deal may mean that retrofitting pop tunes for TV spots may soon be replaced by even greater collaboration than beforehand.”  So, we’re likely to see more of this.  Which is better than retreading classic rock songs or dated artists in commercials I guess.   But not quite as entertaining as this Hispanic Nivea spot.

If they’re going to make bands change their songs for them, can’t we at least get some more Gisele rubbing lotion on herself?


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