Is using your music to pitch products selling out or just good business?

Sell Out!

Those are the words used whenever we hear one of our favorite songs in a commercial. Remember how shocked you were when you heard The Beatles “Revolution” used to sell Nike shoes? Bob Dylan selling lingerie, yogurt, cars and computers? BLASPHEMY!

There are lots of reasons for artists to have their songs in commercials. Newer bands can get much needed publicity. Alabama Shakes songs have been used to sell wine, cars and Ipads.

Let’s face it, the big reason is money….BIG TIME MONEY! Even the most popular artists struggle with money in the music business. Album royalties have been slashed to the point where it almost doesn’t pay to put out records. Concerts are where the money is at now but it’s a lot of work to put on a huge tour with a lot of salaries to pay. So if someone is going to offer a lot of cash to use one of your songs, you at least have to listen.

And it is a lot of cash for some of these songs. Remember Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock”? Chevrolet paid him $14 million to use the tune. The ad campaign went on from 1991 until 2003 and Chevy sold millions of trucks. Win/win!

Here are some songs that have sold a variety of products. Remember what Frank Zappa said, “We’re Only In It For The Money”. Do you think Frank would be doing commercials?

Today’s blog was inspired from a conversation with my friend/fellow blogger MBA Mom. She’s a classic rocker who mentioned that she has forgiven Steve Winwood for having his song “What The Night Can Do” used to sell Michelob beer. I’m sure Stevie appreciates your forgiveness. Check out her blog by clicking on the link. Thanks Leah.

Also, here’s a post I did about Bob Dylan and commercials.

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