Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ah, To Be A Target Demographic

I say this a lot here in Sassy-land, but once again, you know you're old when...There are no fewer than three television commercials currently airing that feature songs by your favorite band.

Yes, the Go-Go's became mainstream pop, but they started as punk rock chicks, for crying out loud. They were an all-girl band who wrote their own songs, played their own instruments and were not controlled by a Berry Gordy or Phil Spector type producer. Belinda can't sing to save her life, but who really cares?

Well, now they're glorified jingle-smiths. A re-recorded version of "Vacation" is being used to promote some travel company or another (it may be Orbitz). "Head Over Heels" now hawks Pantene hair products. And the most offensive... "We Got the Beat" has been changed to "We Got the Meat" for a pizza commercial. "We Got the Beat" may be my least favorite Go-Go's song (the original Stiff Records version notwithstanding), but it didn't deserve that. Now, this is not the first time Go-Go's music has been used to sell products; in 1998 "Our Lips Are Sealed" helped the marketing efforts of AT&T. But three commercials all airing at the same time?

Madness has also recently been featured in a coffee commercial, and Squeeze was co-opted by, I believe, Burger King a few years ago. But those are stories for another day.

So it's official. Any efforts of mine to deny that I'm getting older will be countered by ad agencies' insistence that I am now part of some kind of desirable demographic. I guess I don't blame the Go-Go's members for making a little cash by selling their songs to advertisers, but I never thought I'd see the day when I missed those ridiculous California Raisins commercials. Granted, the genius that was Marvin Gaye didn't deserve jingle status either, and he didn't make any money off those ads because he didn't write "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Um, and he was already dead. But that's another generation's battle.

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