PLEDGE NOW
Advertising And Pop Music

The sound of commerce.  How advertising has moved in on American popular music.

Barry Manilow performed or co-wrote a number of commercial jingles early in his career, most notably for State Farm, Bandaid, and Stridex. (AP)

Barry Manilow performed or co-wrote a number of commercial jingles early in his career, most notably for State Farm, Bandaid, and Stridex. (AP)

From the dawn of radio, music and mass marketing have had a big affair.  It took about five minutes for songs sung forever in hills and hollows to be put to work selling biscuit flour.  Right behind came the great age of jingles that probably still rattle around your head.

Things go better with Coke, and all the rest.  And at some point, whatever dam there was between popular music and ads just broke.  The Beatles and Bob Dylan and Alicia Keys – everybody, it seems – selling stuff with their songs.

This hour, On Point:  a new look at the marriage of music and marketing in America.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Timothy Taylor, professor in the department of ethnomusicology and musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He’s the author of The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture. You can read an excerpt here.

Ron Dante, singer, songwriter, session vocalist, and record producer. He was a successful jingle performer and composer.

From Tom’s Reading List

Slate “Could Kraftwerk have made a jumble of numbers any catchier than that jingle, performed by Hauldren’s own barbershop quartet, the Fabulous 40s? And why was I protective of those manipulative notes? I still remember the shock when I heard the song in New York with “800” shoehorned at the top of the harmonized call signal, a mandatory addition once the company expanded beyond Illinois. That was my carpet jingle!”

Spinner “Man, those free credit report jingles can be pretty annoying. But the thing is — and we hate to admit this — they’re also kind of catchy. Though classic-rock hits have nudged out original jingles as the primary musical vehicle for selling stuff, the very best advertising songs are synonymous with their products — and have become burned into our brains. Here are our favorite commercial tunes throughout the years.”

Video

Check of the trailer for the Sounds of Capitalism.

Commercials

Here’s Bob Dylan’s Victoria Secret commercial.


Check out this famous diet Pepsi commercial with Ray Charles from 1991.

Here’s singer Barry Manilow playing some of his commercial jingles.

Playlist

I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing
“Like A Rock” by Bob Seger
Bob Dylan “Angels in Venice”
The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour
Chiquita Banana by Mack Shopnick
Chiquita Banana “Opera Rumba”
“Back Seat Blues” Ford commercial
“Things Go Better With Coca-Cola” by Aretha Franklin
“You’ve Got a Lot to Live” by Johnny Cash
“You’ve Got a Lot to Live” by Roberta Flack
“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”
“You! You’re the One!” by Gladys Knight and the Pips
“Sugar Sugar” by Archies
“Anticipation” by Carly Simon
“Revolution” by The Beatles
“Be All You Can Be”
“Pink Moon” by Nick Drake
“Fun” by Wiseguys
Chris Brown Forever Wrigley Doublemint Commercial
“Too Close” by Alex Clare
“New Soul” by Yael Naïm

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 29, 2015
Residents are evacuated by members of the Houston Fire Department from floodwaters surrounding their homes in Houston, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Heavy rain overnight caused flooding and closure of sections of highways in the Houston area. (AP)

Texas floods. Soccer scandal. Nebraska outlaws the death penalty. Identity theft at the IRS. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 29, 2015
In this March 24, 2002 file photo, John Nash, left, and his wife Alicia, arrive at the 74th annual Academy Awards, in Los Angeles. Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2001 movie "A Beautiful Mind,” died in a car crash along with his wife in New Jersey on Saturday, May 23, 2015, police said. (AP)

Remembering a beautiful mind: Nobel –prize winning game theorist John Nash . We’ll look at his game theory. His schizophrenia. His genius.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 28, 2015
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP)

Sentenced to death in Egypt for espionage, respected academic Emad Shahin joins us with a big take on Egypt, ISIS and America’s response.

 
May 28, 2015
Protesters congregate in front of city hall Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Cleveland. Members of about 40 churches are protesting the acquittal of a white patrolman charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists with a march through downtown Cleveland. (AP)

The new Cleveland standard of American policing. Will it stop abuse? Will it get the job done?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: May 30, 2015
Friday, May 29, 2015

FIFAs gotta FIF, and other highlights from the soccer-filled week of news. Plus, we discuss how none of you really seemed all that concerned about a last-minute topic change.

More »
Comment
 
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment