Ongoing History Daily: Songs in commercials

Back in the day, you almost never heard well-known songs in TV commercials. But then in the 80s, things began to change with the turning point being a Nike commercial that used the Beatles song, “Revolution.”

Today, using a song to sell your product or service is pretty much the norm. Next time you’re watching TV, count the number of commercials that have licensed songs. And that’s not all. Notice how many TV shows are using big tracks as their theme songs? The traditional theme song is quickly disappearing because it’s easier (and cheaper) to grab your attention with a few bars of a familiar hit.

Fans used to go crazy over this sort of thing, screaming “sellout!” But now, we’ve more-or-less accepted this as just another development in the evolution of media.

Yesterday’s post was about surgery songs.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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