The Post-jingle Years: Popular Music and Advertising from 2008 to 2012

Katy Flint

 

1  

Abstract
Studies of music in advertising tend to be either outdated or concentrated on America. Much can change in this field in a small amount of time, so updated research needs to be undertaken, and relevant questions asked about the relationship between popular music and advertising in Britain.

This dissertation focuses on three trends that are currently prevalent in advertisements: the cover song, the female cover song, and world music in advertising. Research has been gained through analysis of three main case studies that embody these current trends. Due to the filmic nature of music in recent adverts, consultation of film literature has aided in analysis. Sociological readings and theories were also consulted for the investigation into world music in advertising. Other secondary sources included scholarly journals, newspaper articles, literature on popular culture, and both advertising and musicological perspectives have been considered throughout the thesis.

This dissertation proposes that there is now a genre of ‘advert’ music, populated by slow tempo cover versions, pianos and female singers. It suggests that advertisers commodify empowerment through female cover versions to sell products to women. It also finds that the genre of world music is often used as an ‘other’ in adverts, to promote a sense of voyage and exoticism. It concludes that music in advertising has changed. The emphasis is now on the lifestyle advert, and popular music acts as a signifier for an experience that in reality does not exist. It also concludes that when a song is recontextualised in an advert, its meaning changes, with the result that it becomes hard to separate ‘advert’ music, from popular music.

2    

Contents

List of Illustrations and Musical Examples Introduction

4 5

1 2 3

Unfamiliar Familiarities: John Lewis and ‘From Me to You’ ‘It’s a Man’s World’: The Female Cover Version in Advertising World Music as the ‘Exotic Other’: Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Rice Krispies

10 19

29

Conclusion Select Filmography Bibliography

37 40 42

 

3  

List of Illustrations and Musical Examples

Illustrations 1.1 1.2 2.1 Sleepy man featured in opening shot of John Lewis ‘From Me To You’ Tagline of John Lewis ‘From Me To You’ campaign Image of Keira Knightley mounting motorbike for Chanel Coco Mademoiselle 2.3 3.1 View of the action through a shot of a still camera, Chanel A caravan park in rainy weather for the Rice Krispies ‘Lovely Rain’ advert 3.2 3.3 3.4 Image of bucket and spade in rain, Rice Krispies ‘Lovely Rain’ Father leaving nightshift in Heinz advert, 1997 Ancient proverb featured in Heinz ‘Nightshift’ 32 33 34 21 23 30 10 13

Musical Examples 2.2 Figure that acts as a link into the next verse, and next section of narrative 22

4    

Introduction

‘One cannot say with words what music says without them’.1

Popular music in television advertising is becoming an increasingly prominent feature. It seems imperative to research the phenomenon simply due to the sheer percentage of adverts that feature pre-existing music.2 We have entered the age of the ‘post-jingle’, where the relationship between advertising and popular song grows ever closer and more complex. Music in advertising now functions more like music in film, or in a music video, as opposed to a jingle broadcasting the benefits of a product. The ethos of the brand may still be communicated musically, but it is instead most frequently implied through the manipulation of meaning, and forming an association between the lyrics of a pre-existing song and a commodity.

The functions of using music in advertising are both practical and provocative. Music may be used to provide continuity and coherence, to further the visual narrative, to mask extraneous noises, to attract attention to important events on screen or to induce emotion.3 It can appeal to the masses, by crossing language barriers, yet at the same time target a certain group of people with striking specificity. It can communicate meaning, create an aura of ‘coolness’, and prime memory – or it can serve an entirely

                                                                                                               
1

S. Feld, ‘Communication, Music, and Speech about Music’, Yearbook for Traditional I define pre-existing music as music that has had a life and history outside of the advert. A. J. Cohen, ‘Music as a Source of Emotion in Film’, in P. N. Justlin and J. A. Sloboda (eds)

Music, 16:1 (1984), 14.
2 3

Handbook of Music and Emotion, Theory, Research, Aplications, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) 891.    

 

5  

aesthetic purpose. 4 However, it is this negotiation of musical meaning, and the polysemic possibilities of music in advertising that my thesis will focus on.

To talk about meaning in music, we have to make the assumption that music does indeed have meaning. Many scholars would argue that music does not inherently have meaning, and that it is abstract and empty. Some would argue it is the act of human agency that projects meaning onto music, that it has ‘the potential for the construction of negotiation of meaning in specific contexts’, but is not meaningful in itself.5 I would suggest that, because I will be referring to pre-existing popular song it is impossible to ignore social, historical and cultural context, and that this gives it meaning. A song’s meaning cannot be pinned or controlled permanently; associations will change over time depending on its use, who is listening to it, and any new information that may arise. We then must reflect on the fact that this is music being used in advertising – a field that due to its very nature aims to nudge us in the direction of a particular cereal, perfume, or department store. It is also important to consider the place of the listener, and the personal context they may bring to the experience, thus according to Oliviero Toscani, ‘advertising is a Rorschach test of what you bring to the image’. 6 Therefore it is necessary to examine both the denotations and possible connotations that present themselves. To summarise, in

                                                                                                               
4

A. C. North and D. J. Hargreaves, ‘Music and Marketing’, in P. N. Juslin and J. A. Sloboda

(eds) Handbook of Music and Emotion, Theory, Research, Applications, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) 916.
5

P. Kivy 1990, cf N. Cook ‘Music and Meaning in the Commercials’, Popular Music, 13:1, O. Toscani cf S. Putoni et al. ‘Meaning Matters: Polysemy in Advertising’, Journal of

(1994), 39.
6

Advertising, 39:2, 2010. Oliviero Toscani was the photographer responsible for designing controversial print campaigns for Benetton.

6    

accordance with Cook’s words we must talk about ‘what the music means here’ opposed to ‘what the music means’.7

I have chosen to examine three current trends in television advertising: the status of the cover song; the significance of a female voice; and the use of world music. For each trend I have chosen a case study to illustrate my argument. In each case study I will analyse the interaction between music, lyric, sound, and image in an effort to disentangle meaning. At the same time I will consider extramusical factors, including socio-historical context, that may form meaning. I will use Chion’s method of casual and semantic listening to analyse the audio, whilst asking two of his main questions: ‘what do I see of what I hear’ and ‘what do I hear of what I see’.8 The subjects of all my case studies use music highly effectively – whether or not the music is antithetical to the product, or completely inappropriate. I will assume that ‘music is meaningful and language-like rather than affective and non semantic’,9 and will discuss the contradictions that may arise through audiovisual dissonance. Music ‘is a subjective art form. It cannot evoke a picture of something concrete, nor can it express specific literary ideas’, therefore my arguments will be based on possible audiovisual signs, codes and meanings.10

Chapter one deals with the most unfamiliar of the familiar: the cover version in advertising. I suggest that there are three levels of meaning: ‘pure’, ‘perceived’, and ‘advert’ meaning. The latter is often wildly unrelated to the ‘pure’ or original, because                                                                                                                
7 8

Cook, ‘Music and Meaning’, 30. M. Chion, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, trans. C. Gorbman, (New York: Columbia L. Scott, ‘Understanding Jingles and Needledrop: A Rhetorical Approach to Music in G. Burt, The Art of Film Music, (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994) 219.  

University Press, 1994) 192
9

Advertising’, Journal of Consumer Research, 17:2 (1990), 233.
10

 

7  

‘advertising does not borrow meaning neutrally; it changes the meaning’.11 It analyses the John Lewis 2008 Christmas advert, and compares its cover of ‘From Me to You’ by the Beatles to the original song and places it in wider context.

Chapter two discusses the portrayal of femininity and masculinity in advertising, through an examination of the female cover version. This chapter looks at the ‘lifestyle’ advert, and how Chanel commidifies empowerment in order to sell a certain experience. The chosen case study is Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, and the song ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ is covered by Joss Stone. I will ask if just the fact it is sung by a woman changes the meaning, and will address the relationship between the song and image.

Chapter three focuses on whether advertising’s use of world music creates an ‘exotic other’. The choice of the Rice Krispies ‘Lovely Rain’ advert may seem atypical to previous research on world music in advertising. This is because Ladysmith Black Mambazo are a South African choir, rather than the consciously constructed rootless, nonsensical sound that is so often featured in television adverts. The name ‘Ladysmith’ is even taken from the name of the town where they formed. I will discuss then, how it is the juxtaposition of image and song that creates a sense of voyage through ‘otherness’. I will refer to the idea of post-tourism, and reference Feld’s paper on ‘schizophonia’ in which he describes the splitting of a sound from its source.12 Furthermore, through analysis of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s previous                                                                                                                
11

M. P. McAllister, The Commercialization of American Culture: New Advertising, Control, S. Feld, ‘From Schizophonia to Schismogenesis: on the Discourses and Commodification

and Democracy, (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc., 1996) 125.
12

Practices of “World Music” and “World Beat”’, in S. Feld and C. Keil (eds) Music Grooves, (London: The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., 1994) 257-289.  

8    

relationships with advertising, I will conclude whether the presence of ‘world music’ in advertising is indeed an ‘exotic other’ or whether it has become a part of British discourse.

I will then draw conclusions that link all of my chapters together, and suggest areas for other research that needs to be enacted in the increasingly intertwining world of popular music and advertising.

 

9  

Chapter One Unfamiliar Familiarities: John Lewis and ‘From Me to You’

In November 2008, for the first time in the UK, a Beatles song was licensed for use in an advert. The advert was for John Lewis, and featured a cover version of ‘From Me To You’ by Lennon and McCartney. This chapter will analyse the status of the cover in advertising by focusing on this particular advert for John Lewis created by Lowe London, before panning out to look at its place in wider context.13 It will examine the relationship between image, music and text whilst listening for implied musical messages. The motivation for this chapter is to find out whether the song’s meaning has changed through its recontextualisation.

The advert begins with the image of a sleepy man, slouched in the foreground of a bluish grey monochrome set. The colour of his navy jumper further blends into this most unnatural of settings, and gives the impression that he is perhaps in a dream, or an imaginary space (Fig. 1.1).

Figure 1.1

A piano sounds a major arpeggio figure in the right hand, and the performer stumbles over the keys when the left hand joins in. Some notes are laboured – creating the                                                                                                                
13

‘John Lewis Christmas 2008 TV Ad’, YouTube,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmQ74XO_Fx0>    

10    

impression that the performer is hesitating whilst trying to locate the next note of the phrase. It is not yet obvious that this is ‘From Me To You’, as it bypasses the familiar original introduction. The next image is of a coffee machine. The cut to this shot is fragmentary, giving the impression it appeared by magic, or is a projection of the character’s need or desire. A child-like voice enters with the first line of the verse ‘If there’s anything that you want’, and we see the image of a teenage boy, who raises his eyebrows on the word ‘want’. The next shot is of a chemistry set, where its bubbling and burning further hints at the theme of wants, needs and excitement. It is now lyrically obvious to Beatles fans that this is a cover version, and here is where opinion seems to divide on the subject of this advert. The scenario is similar to the situation Klein describes with Royal Caribbean’s use of ‘Lust for Life’ by Iggy Pop: ‘listeners without access to the history of this song had no reason to be upset or find anything odd with its commercial use’ whereas fans tend to be more protective and upset at advertising’s use of a loved song.14

For the next two-bar phrase, a man’s voice joins the child’s: ‘if there’s anything I can do’. It feels conversational, personal and familiar, so perhaps we are to think he is related to the child in some way. The next image is of a woman looking knowingly at the camera, before it cuts to a shot of three red candles alight in silver candlesticks. The shot is replaced by the image of an older man and an older woman. Due to the familial nature of both the music and the images, we assume they are grandparents, possibly even to the child that started singing at the beginning, due to the quasidiegetic feeling of the music. ‘Just call on me, and I’ll send it along’ accompanies an image of a satellite navigation device where the vocals are staggered, and even                                                                                                                
14

B. Klein, As Heard on TV: Popular Music in Advertising (Surrey: Ashgate Publishing

Limited, 2009) 103.

 

11  

forcibly out of line with each other: ‘wi-with love, from me, t-to you’. It creates an intentionally natural, messy feel, removed from the world of professional singing and recording. Yet the musicians employed were professional performers. Although it is widely known that John Lewis employee Matthew Spinner was asked to sing on the cover, his voice was used in conjunction with professional musicians, and he was ‘asked to sing in a relaxed way as the track [wasn’t] meant to be highly polished'.15 This new information reveals a false, staged sense of naturalness, and indicates that the idea was to sound rough in a highly calculated way.

The next member of the family we see is a small boy, followed by his dream of a toy helicopter and batteries. The underlying message is that John Lewis knows what your family wants, and has it in stock. John Lewis knows what you need: they pre-empt that you will forget the batteries. Next on screen is a longhaired dog pricking its ears up to the sound of ‘I’ve got everything that you want’, followed by the image of a hair dryer. The use of an anthropomorphized dog is where it starts to become clear that the advert is aimed at the gift giver, rather than the gift receiver. It is not that John Lewis knows what your family wants: it knows what you want to give your family. A theme that will be central to John Lewis adverts in the following four years.

At this point in the narrative more voices have joined the sing-along, strengthening the notion of family and friends. The advert continues with the same logic as before, and the only overtly festive sign that this is a Christmas advert is a toy mouse sitting beside a bauble. The advert does not feature a voice-over, and the tag line ‘If you know the person, you’ll find the present’ is instead voiced through the interaction of                                                                                                                
15

‘All Present and Correct’, Cayte Finlay, John Lewis Partnership, (14 November, 2008)

<http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk>  

12    

image, text and music (Fig. 1.2). The child repeats the last line ‘with love from me to you’ on their own, giving a sense of symmetry and familiarity to the advert, before the company name flashes on screen to the sound of an octave leap that fades out.

Figure 1.2

All the products associated with the characters conform to middle-class stereotypes: a ‘geeky’ teenage boy wants a chemistry set, a young woman looks longingly at candlesticks, an elderly couple needs a satellite navigation device. John Lewis plays on the notion of the middle-class family, and exploits the idea of showing love in a consumerist, materialistic way. The memories, and familial feelings that we project onto the advert to make sense of it are very real, but the advert itself is completely unrealistic. For example, it snows and rains in a location that does not exist; the elements have infiltrated an indoor grey box. Ultimately, the advert is what we make of it: ‘advertisers cannot control how a listener makes sense of music; however, by modifying the sensory qualities of music, advertisers take advantage of listener habits, predispositions, and potential responses’.16 The advert relies on our own experiences to understand it, which is how it gives the appearance of individualization, whilst at the same time targeting a mass audience.

‘From Me to You’ is vitally important to the scene and, disregarding taste, is an extremely clever choice. The music not only gives coherence to the story – the visuals make little sense without music – but it ‘draws the spectator further into the                                                                                                                
16  Klein,  As  Heard  on  TV,  p.  100.    

 

13  

diegetic… illusion’.17 Chion speaks of ‘added value’, the idea ‘that this information or expression ‘naturally’ comes from what is seen, and is already contained in the image itself’ rather than just from the music.18 He affirms that ‘whatever virtues sound brings to the film are largely perceived and appreciated by the audience in visual terms – the better the sound, the better the image’.19

Ian McDonald talks of the composition process behind the two-bar phrases that occur in ‘From me to you’. He says such phrases happen when writers are ‘tentatively adlibbing each other’ and are in competition to produce musical developments, which means that the melody does not progress in a natural way – as it would if one person had written it.20 This idea of adlibbing seems to fit with the direct, conversational aspect of the advert, as in everyday life conversations are improvised, responsive, and rarely a monologue. This builds on the idea of the forced naturalness, in combination with the use of staggered voices and a stumbling piano part.

It is not just the music, but also the lyrics that are central to the advert. There is great repetition of the first and second person pronoun in the lyrics, where in typical early Beatles style, they evoke a sense of the personal: ‘from me to you’. This then furthers the idea of giving, and feels very familiar, yet personalized. The reference to ‘a heart that is oh so true’ is also extremely important, as it humanizes the company in conjunction with the use of forced naturalness. It gives ‘the impression that they’re

                                                                                                               
17 18 19 20

C. Gorbman 1987, cf Cook, ‘Music and Meaning’, 39. Chion, Audio-Vision, 5. ibid., viii. I. Macdonald, Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, 3rd edn.,

(Pimlico: Vintage, 2008) 78.

14    

vulnerable, human, just like you … A human vibe is what they want … clapping, whistling and humming … quirky acoustics, very natural sounds’. 21

We cannot ignore the fact that the song’s meaning has fundamentally changed. This is in part due to the omission of the bridge, which refers to the giving of romantic love (rather than the giving of products),22 and in part due to the fact the song has been placed in an advert, as musical meaning ‘is modified when its use radically changes’.23 The manipulation of meaning has occurred simply through omission of lyrics and recontextualisation, producing a shift in message from the human to the materialistic. Tom Nester-Smith, the client services director at Lowe London, said of the song choice: ‘We didn't set out to specifically create an ad based around a Beatles song, but we found that the lyrics summed up the ad's message that a present's value is in its appropriateness, rather than its price.’24 Nester-Smith inadvertently raises the issue of ‘pure’, ‘perceived’ and ‘advert’ meaning. For the purposes of this thesis I define ‘pure’ as the meaning the author intended: it is sometimes known, and sometimes unknown – it is also debatable as to whether it exists. ‘Perceived’ refers to the widely accepted meaning by fans and critics – of which there are often many. ‘Advert’ meaning is when the perceived meaning is changed through

recontextualisation and association with a commodity, it sometimes occurs through a                                                                                                                
21

Tom Haines, composer interviewed for ‘Singing with the Brand’, Rhodri Marsden, The

Independent Online (5 May 2012) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/advertising/singing-with-the-brand7715792.html>
22

In the original song, the bridge’s lyrics are: ‘I got arms that long to hold you, and keep you Anna Lisa Tota, ‘When Orff Meets Guinness: Music in Advertising as a Form of Cultural ‘Beatles Song to be Used in John Lewis Ad’, Alex Turner, Liverpool Daily Post, (10

by my side, I got lips that long to kiss you, and keep you satisfied’.
23

Hybrid’, Poetics, 27:1 (2001), 116.
24

November, 2008) <http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/ldpbusiness/businesslocal/2008/11/10/beatles-song-to-be-used-in-john-lewis-tv-ad-96026-22222178/>  

 

15  

change in lyric or simply through the act of transporting it to an advert. NesterSmith’s ‘understanding of musical meaning is privileging the literal, downplaying other possible layers of meaning, even as they use them’,25 he does not acknowledge that the message of the song has been manipulated.

Unsurprisingly, this formula of a slowed down acoustic cover version, combined with a manipulation of meaning from ‘pure’ or ‘perceived’ to ‘advert’ happens frequently in advertising, with John Lewis firmly at the helm: ‘communicating familiarity is really important, and often the original songs can’t be used – either because of cost licensing, or because the artist doesn’t allow it. Brands wanting emotional soundtracks is nothing new, but now many of them look specifically to put an emotional twist on a familiar favourite.’26

In the four years following ‘From Me To You’, John Lewis has used all female singers, and music instead of voiceovers in their Christmas campaigns. 2009 saw Victoria Bergsman cover Guns N’ Roses power ballad ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, with the tag line ‘Remember how Christmas used to feel? Give someone that feeling’.27 2010 featured Ellie Goulding covering ‘Your Song’ by Elton John and the message ‘For those who care about showing they care’.28 In 2011 John Lewis used Slow Moving Millie’s cover of ‘Please Please Please’ by The Smiths, and its message: ‘For

                                                                                                               
25 26 27

Klein, As Heard on TV, 99. ‘Singing with the Brand’, The Independent. ‘John Lewis 2009 Christmas Advert’, YouTube, ‘John Lewis Christmas Advert 2010’, YouTube, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpV-

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ7Rz2rmjck>
28

xagkTDU>

16    

gifts you can’t wait to give’.29 2012 made use of Gabriele Aplin’s cover of ‘The Power of Love’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and the line ‘Give a little more love this Christmas’.30 All of the singers apart from Victoria Bergsman are English, all feature a simple piano accompaniment in a prominent position, and all inhabit a ballad-style. Tamar Carr-Madindale from the music consultancy Hear No Evil says that:
It's important for some brands to communicate fragility, it makes people feel comfortable. Using a folky soundtrack has traditionally been one way of doing that – "Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez [from a 2005 Sony Bravia campaign] is a good example – but using a female vocal sends out a reassuring, personal message.31

The use of the female vocal will be discussed in chapter two, but it is interesting to note there is almost a genre of advert music that has formed, comprised of a folk female voice, presence of piano or guitar, and a cover version performed at a slow tempo – the piano seems to have become a signifier of domesticity and family life in advertising. Dorian Lynskey refers to this style of music as ‘Innocentese’; a genre made up of the ‘fetishization of naivete’ and infantilization of language that is popular with brands such as Innocent smoothie.32 In a world where it is increasingly common for a take-away coffee or a smoothie to be humanized,33 it is used in an attempt to create a friendly and familial relationship between a business and its consumer.                                                                                                                
29

‘John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011’, YouTube, ‘John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012’ YouTube, ‘Singing with the Brand’, The Independent. D. Lynskey, ‘The Tweelight of the Gods’, Innocent Smoothies feature copy such as ‘stop looking at my bottom’ underneath the bottle,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSLOnR1s74o>
30

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU>
31 32

<http://33revolutionsperminute.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/the-tweelight-of-the-gods/>
33

whilst take-away coffees often inform you that ‘I’m hot’.

 

17  

Lynskey explains: ‘Innocentese is relentlessly chirpy and nice, in a profoundly white and middle-class way which connects with its affluent customer base’,34 which is precisely what ‘From me to you’ does. It hides under the guise of individualization, somehow implied by child-like sincerity and performance of ‘if there’s anything that you want, if there’s anything I can do’. In the words of Cook ‘purely musical relationships are being used to assert a message that only has to be expressed in words for its absurdity to be obvious’.35 In other words, John Lewis will do anything for you.

Musically and lyrically, the song has been altered just the right amount to make us think that this advert is different, yet familiar. To borrow Adorno’s critique on popular music, cover versions in advertising are fundamentally standardized but give the illusion of individualisation. 36 The lyrics are the same, but the meaning has changed and become capitalist. The cover manipulates the familiarity of sound, song, and situation to forge a relationship between consumer and product: it pretends to be specific when it is in fact highly generic. This leads me to conclude that a fixed meaning cannot be assigned to a song, and its connotations are forever changing depending on its context.

                                                                                                               
34 35 36

Lynskey, ‘Tweelight’. Cook, ‘Music and Meaning’, 32. T. W. Adorno, ‘On Popular Music’, in R. Leppart (ed.) Essays on Music, (California:

University of California, 2002) 446.  

18    

Chapter Two ‘It’s a Man’s World’: The Female Cover Version in Advertising

In the previous chapter I discussed how the meaning of a song is flexible, and can change depending on musical or lyrical alterations and recontextualization. This chapter will discuss the use of the female cover version in advertising, with particular reference to Joss Stone’s version of ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ in the latest Chanel advert for Coco Mademoiselle perfume.37 This chapter focuses in detail on the contradictions and synchronizations between music and image. It will analyze Stone’s rendition, and how it may enhance or relate to the visual narrative. It will discuss the supposed dichotomy of masculinity and femininity, and music’s place in this ideology. I will evaluate how this advert fits into the genre of perfume adverts, and whether it conforms or rejects the stereotype. Furthermore, I will ask why this song has been chosen for this particular advert, and what possible meanings may arise out of its choice.

There is one main problem that perfume advertisers face: their audience cannot experience the product visually. As a result, advertisers have to become increasingly creative in how they portray a lifestyle, or experience that the perfume could provide the consumer. Musical style and genre become extremely important as they ‘offer unsurpassed opportunities for communicating complex social or attitudinal messages practically instantaneously’.38 In the case of ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ the advertiser hopes not only that the ‘attributes of the music are transferred’ to the product, but that the attributes of the cover singer are transferred. Furthermore they                                                                                                                
37

‘Coco Mademoiselle con Keira Knightley’, YouTube, Cook, ‘Music and Meaning’, 35.

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KifjdV1h6X8>
38

 

19  

use the power of Stone’s voice to empower Knightley’s character.39 The interplay between a cover of a famous song, a famous actress, and a famous singer offers a rich field for analysis and ‘draws the meanings of products, records, stars, and videos ever closer together’.40

The use and meaning of ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ is problematic. Originally written by Betty Newsome and James Brown in 1966, the lyrics are ‘biblically chauvinistic’. 41 The song portrays a history of active men and passive women. It gives the most back-handed of compliments: ‘this is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl…you see a woman makes a better man’. It portrays clearly defined gender roles, in that the masculine role is to build, and the feminine is to support. The song then becomes infinitely more contradictory when placed in this advert and sung by Joss Stone.

The narrative of the Chanel commercial can be divided into a symmetrical four-part structure framed by the act of travelling. The protagonist waking up (0.00-0.20), riding through the streets of Paris on a motorbike (0.21-0.55), the photo-shoot (0.563.11), and riding once more through Paris (3.11-3.19). The commercial opens with a shot from above Keira Knightley lying in bed. We hear the familiar minor scalic brass stabs of ‘It’s a Man’s World’: ‘She is isolated, glamorous, on display, sexualized.’ 42 The strings descend in a flurry as the camera spirals downward to focus on her face. Here there is a temporal intersection between Knightley opening her eyes and the                                                                                                                
39 40 41

Cook, ‘Music and Meaning’, 29. Frith 1998, cf Scott, ‘Understanding Jingles’, 232. ‘James Brown: It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World’, Rolling Stone Magazine,

<http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-500-greatest-songs-of-all-time20110407/james-brown-its-a-mans-mans-mans-world-20110526>
42

L. Mulvey, Visual and Other Pleasures, (London: The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1989) 22.

20    

final note of the opening passage. It is a moment Chion would refer to as synchresis, ‘the spontaneous and irresistible weld produced between a particular auditory phenomenon and visual phenomenon when they occur at the same time’.43 She looks over to the nightstand, as Stone sings ‘This is a man’s world’, where there is a bottle of Coco Mademoiselle perfume, a picture of herself with her perfume, and an ornamental bird. These objects seem to signify a degree of narcissism, along with the idea of liberation through consumerism. The theme of liberation continues through the metaphor of a bird as we see an open birdcage, wallpaper, and ornaments, which recur later in the photo-shoot scene. The scene closes with the image of Knightley dressed in a sheet putting on perfume.

The next development (0.21-0.55) begins with Knightley walking towards a motorbike, and we hear her footsteps on the pavement. There is then a prolonged shot from behind of her mounting the motorbike (Fig 2.1).

Figure 2.1

We see and hear the sounds of her preparing to leave, followed by the sound of the engine roaring as she takes off through the deserted streets of Paris. She comes to a sudden halt at a red traffic light, where three men dressed in black join her. At this point the audio uses an effect Chion calls ‘rendering’, where the screeching of brakes                                                                                                                
43

Chion, Audiovision, 63.

 

21  

conveys the effect of the jolt Knightley felt on screen.44 The green light in the visuals combined with a cadential sequence in the piano and tutti silence leads into the next section of narrative and the next verse (Fig. 2.2). Figure 2.2 becomes an important structural device that marks the end of one scene and the start of a new narrative development.

Figure 2.2 The link into the next verse is marked by three quavers voiced in octaves in the piano, followed by a tutti silence. This phrase signifies a change in scene, event, mood, or plot development. Its rhythm is heard in the all instruments that are playing.

Knightley continues to ride through the empty beige streets, in her beige catsuit, whilst passing a print advert of herself on the side of a building. Only a few other people are in the scene, but they all turn to look at her. She is the erotic subject for the characters on screen, and the audience.45

The next portion of the advert is dedicated to the relationship between Knightley and a photographer during a photo-shoot (0.56-3.11). The set mimics the character’s bedroom, and the bird metaphor reoccurs. The implication is that although he may be taking suggestive pictures of her, it is her choice to participate. Figure 2.2 again signifies the change in scene, and a descending piano figure mimics a zoom into the still camera (Fig. 2.3).

                                                                                                               
44

Chion, Audiovision, 224.

45  Mulvey,  Visual  and  Other  Pleasures,  21.    

22    

 

Figure 2.3

The action slowly becomes more intimate. The quiet sound of Knightley unzipping her catsuit it heard over the music, but the loud sound of the photographer shouting is muted. This irrational diegetic logic places emphasis on Knightley’s body, and the audience becomes more voyeuristic. We are voyeurs to another voyeur, watching her through his camera. Stone’s increasingly agitated performance coincides with the lyric ‘It wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl’. However, her tone changes when we view Knightley through the photographer’s lens. Having previously been aligned with the female protagonist it is as if her performance shifts to his point of view, expressing his desire ‘man, he needs a woman’. Just as the main characters are about to kiss, Knightley whispers ‘lock the door’ over the sound of the nondiegetic band. Whilst his back is turned, she leaves through the window. Her exit is signified by the use of a chime tree, that hints towards the magical to explain the temporal ambiguity that allowed her to dress and depart so quickly (2.55). This narrative twist is never explained, but it could be said that the character tries to subvert what is expected of her. The protagonist tucks her bottle of perfume away into her jumpsuit and rides off through the Parisian streets, whilst the voiceover (Knightley) whispers ‘Coco Mademoiselle, Chanel’.

 

23  

The fact that there is so little musical change from the original song places real significance on the change of singer, and the implication of its use is that the protagonist is breaking stereotypes, and playing with the notions of masculine and feminine behaviour. She is indeed breaking the stereotype of the male hero, by being the focus of the action, not just the supporting role. Stone’s voice aligns itself with the protagonist, and vocally plays on the seductress stereotype in parallel with Knightley, before perhaps expressing anger, with the phrase ‘it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman’. The performance of the line could also be read as Stone vehemently agreeing with this statement. Stone is in control of her band members as Knightley is control of the situation on screen. Stone’s voice becomes a leitmotif for Knightley’s character, as it was featured in the previous campaign for Coco Mademoiselle with a cover of ‘L.O.V.E’.46

It is not just Stone’s performance of the lyrics, but the musical characteristics of the song that break the familiar advertising gender stereotypes. Tagg’s study outlines the associations people make between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ musical characteristics and image.47 If we take into account his research that people associate short phrases, brass stabs, jazz, repeated notes and angular basslines as male musical characteristics, Stone’s performance is distinctly masculine. A similar picture appears when considering the visuals used. Tagg’s findings suggest that the images his sample group associated with masculine music were ‘action, city, riding, fast, concrete, streets, modern and tough’, whilst feminine were ‘love, sad, couple, summer, calm,

                                                                                                               
46

‘Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Perfume Commercial’, YouTube, P. Tagg, ‘Music, Moving Images, Semiotics, and the Democratic Right to Know’, in S.

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbMNjSx-L-Q>
47

Brown and U. Volgsten (eds) Music and Manipulation, (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006) 177.  

24    

countryside, France, sitting, beautiful’. It is clear that the images used in this particular advert conform more to the masculine than feminine stereotype.

Placing this advert in the wider world of television advertising, it seems female voices are very often used to sell female products. It could be argued that female singers are frequently used in four ways: to portray a sense of naiveté, to promote familial feelings, to sexualize a product, or to empower the consumer. The festishization of naiveté was discussed in chapter one, but it has influenced the world of female performers in advertising more than any. Companies such as Nissan, who used Frederika Stahl’s cover of the nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’,48 and Windows, who featured Lenka’s ‘Everything at Once’ are typical of this style of ‘Innocentese’ music. 49 The vocal techniques and language used in these songs purposefully create the sound of an untrained younger voice,50 and advertisers use such songs to infuse their product with a sense of child-like fun and sincerity. Stahl’s cover featured ‘over-sweet sound colours, functioning like musical cookies and candies’ and advertisers used it in an attempt to free the listener from the adult responsibility of driving.51 In order to create this particular genre of ‘advert’ music, language may also be changed, or omitted. For example, Blondie’s ‘Sunday Girl’ was transmogrified from its roots as a song about Debbie Harry’s lost cat ‘Sunday Man’,52

                                                                                                               
48 49

‘Nissan Juke TV Advert’, YouTube, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqqyXNqtyvc> ‘Windows 8: Lenka – Everything At Once (TV Spot: Microsoft’, YouTube, L. Stras, ‘Voice of the Beehive’, in L. Stras (ed) She’s So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ2cftjyHys>
50

Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, (Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2010) 35.
51 52

Adorno, ‘Popular Music’, 450. ‘Blondie interview, “Later with Jools Holland” 1998’, YouTbe,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A12rMWfMBmA>

 

25  

to a song about ‘rainbows and mystery’ in an advert for Nina Ricci’s ‘Elixir’ Perfume.53 Hurry up Hurry up and wait Until the sun comes up and breaks the day Cherry trees and honeybees Won’t you come and hide with me? She can catch up with the fireflies Dance across the blueberry skies Live in dreams Sunday girl. The sickly sweet lyrics were combined with a rose-tinted fantasy world, where the female character took on the role of a princess in a ‘strange melding of the doll and the real girl’.54

In opposition to the world of glockenspiels and ukuleles, music can also be used to ‘sell women empowerment through buying products’.55 Such music often features a powerful vocal melody, sung by a trained singer with vibrato from the chest voice. These singers may be referred to as ‘women singers’, rather than the ‘girl singers’ featured in the Nissan Juke and Nina Ricci campaigns.56 It seems then, that Coco Mademoiselle and Joss Stone belong in this category of empowerment.

                                                                                                               
53

‘Nina L’Elixir Music Video’, YouTube,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjhhNej3Se8>  
54  Walter,  Living  Dolls,  2. 55

 

ibid.

56

L. Stras, ‘Introduction’ in L. Stras (ed) She’s So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness,

Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, (Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2010) 5

26    

Although the commercial attempts to break out from the tired genre of the perfume advert, some aspects of it could be seen as flawed. Knightley is portrayed as a powerful character, yet she is mostly taciturn in the advert. She is mysterious and aloof negating the need to understand her.57 The protagonist in the drama suffers from the beauty myth purported by advertisers: her ‘silent beauty [is] held up as the perfect specimen of womanhood’.58 The advert seems to portray the idea that power can only be gained through beauty, and through exploitation of sexual allure; ‘It is the one kind of power that is sanctioned for women – the power to look sexy, to draw attention to your sexiness’.59 Although the director may maintain that the advert is a ‘story about the male gaze, but becomes about the female gaze’ it cannot be denied that the character is portrayed in a sexualized way.60 This seems to undercut the veneer of power the character has, as most viewers would not see the sexualization as ironic, but as a reinforcement that our ‘highly sexualized culture is…a sign of women’s liberation and empowerment’.61 It is also hard to ignore that the aim of using such a powerful character and song is to sell a product.

Stone’s vocals have been used as a commodification of empowerment; the message the advert seems to portray is that to be a powerful woman you have to be beautiful, and presumably, wear Chanel. Nonetheless, this advert provides a contrast to the infantilization of girl singers in advertising. Even if the aim and effect of the advert is

                                                                                                               
57

S. De Beauvoir, ‘The Second Sex: Myth and Reality’, in V Leitch (ed.) The Norton

Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd edn., (London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010) 1268.
58 59 60

N. Walter, Living Dolls, 213. Walter, Living Dolls, 44. Vogue Magazine Online, ‘The Perfect Muse’, 21 March, 2011. Walter, Living Dolls, 5.

<http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2011/03/21/joe-wright-on-muse-keira-knightley>
61

 

27  

contradictory, it is refreshing to see an advert that tries to play on the gender stereotype – rather than completely conforming to it.

28    

Chapter Three World Music as the ‘Exotic Other’: Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Rice Krispies

World music in advertising can either be seen as a form of cultural homogenization, or heterogenization. In other words, global flows either produce a ‘unified, interconnected society’, 62 or enhance cultural difference. This chapter will ask whether world music is used in advertising as the ‘exotic other’, or if it has become a part of British discourse. Through an analysis of the ‘Lovely Rain’ commercial for Rice Krispies,63 I will discuss why the song may have been chosen. It will then examine the audiovisual dissonance that may arise from contradictions between image and music, with reference to Feld’s article on ‘schizophonia’.64 I will also consider whether the advert unwittingly plays on the idea of post-tourism and distributed tourism through music. The history between Ladysmith Black Mambazo and British advertising will be explored, before asking if the pairing has become the ultimate form of hybridization, or a commodification of ‘Africanness’.

                                                                                                               
62

S. Appelrouth and L. Desfor Edles, ‘The Global Society’, in S. Appelrouth and L Desfor

Edles (eds) Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, (London: Sage Publications Ltd. 2007) 566.
63

‘Leo Burnett – Kellogg’s – Rice Krispies – Lovely Rain’, YouTube, S. Feld, ‘From Schizophonia to Schismogenesis: on the Discourses and Commodification

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb7oGkqhht4>
64

Practices of “World Music” and “World Beat”’, in S. Feld and C. Keil (eds) Music Grooves, (London: The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., 1994) 259.

 

29  

Figure 3.1 A caravan park in rainy weather.

‘Lovely Rain’ depicts a stereotypically British holiday. Images of rain, sodden sand and caravans dominate the scenery (fig 3.1). It relies on Feld’s concept of ‘locating’, where a retrieval of the experience is necessary to understand the visual meaning.65 As a result of this, the advert is able to reach a mass market, because the majority of potential consumers will have experienced the situation. In an effort to represent a typical British family, the advert also seems to stereotype gender roles. Leo Burnett London explain that the advert is about:
mums looking for things to do with their child. As the rain pours down outside, Mum is left looking for things with which to entertain her bored children cooped up inside. Rice Krispies comes to the rescue with the Colouring In pack, which gives her and her child something fun to do together in spite of the rain.66

The relationship between father and child is portrayed as distant and non-interactive, as only one father figure is seen on screen – and he is in the driving seat of a car. The advert seems to promote the damaging stereotype of the British family that women are naturally more nurturing and empathetic than their male counterparts.67                                                                                                                
65 66

S. Feld, ‘Communication, Music, and Speech about Music’, 8. Official copy for Leo Burnett London ‘Leo Burnett - Kellogg's - Rice Krispies - Lovely Rain’, Walter, Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism (London: Virago, 2010) 210.

YouTube, < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb7oGkqhht4>
67

30    

The music itself is a structurally modified version of ‘Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain’ by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. As a South African choir who embodied black traditions under apartheid, and whose ‘songs constitute an African discourse about Africa’,68 it is pertinent to ask why they have been featured in an advert that depicts such a stereotypically British scene. It is the lyrics that hold the most obvious answer, as they tie together the image and diegetic sound of rain. Once again, the advertisers are ‘privileging the literal’ and ignoring other layers of meaning and functions the song may have.69 Oh Rain oh rain (Oh rain oh rain), Beautiful rain, Don’t disturb me beautiful rain, Oh come, (never come) Oh come (never come) Oh come to me beautiful rain. In accordance with the traditional isicathamiya style, an all male choir sings softly with ‘velvet-textured sounds’ in close harmony.70 There is interaction between the choir leader and the rest of the choir, and it is sung in English rather than Zulu. The music is punctuated by the sound of rain, which changes as we move from outside to inside, matching the location of the visuals. Perhaps the rain could be said to center the advert on the product, mimicking the ‘snap, crackle and pop’ that normally frequents Rice Krispies adverts.

                                                                                                               
68

V. Erlmann, ‘Fantasies of Home: The antinomies of modernity and the music of Ladysmith

Black Mambazo’ in S. Frith (ed) Popular Music: Music and Identity, Vol. 4, (Oxon: Routledge, 2004) 267.
69 70

Klein, As Heard on TV, 99. V. Erlmann, ‘Fantasies of Home’, 278.

 

31  

Figure 3.2 Mud, rain and a bucket and spade are signifiers for the British seaside holiday.

Although Anne Cassidy claims that ‘the soundtrack is perfect’ 71 there are contradictions between audio and visual that must be noted. A South African choir are used in an advert where the landscape and images are cultural signifiers for Britian (fig 3.2). It could be said that this is a form of cultural fusion, where ‘the local meets the global producing an ever-expanding mixture of cultural practices, meanings, tastes, and personal identities’.72 It could also be argued that the use of South African music in this particular advert is used to evoke a sense of travel – a voyage into the exotic to escape from the dreary British weather. The message of the advert seems to suggest that ‘Rice Krispies can take you away from this rainy boredom’. This is furthered by the notion of the ‘colouring in pack’, where the children use bright felt tip pens to colour in the white picture. ‘Colouring in’ is equated to overcoming boredom, and escaping normality, as the Northern British accent of the voice-over states: ‘pick up your rescue pack’. In this instance the music appears to be used as ‘a touch of the exotic as local colour’, although Taylor argues this is ‘giving way to a

                                                                                                               
71

‘Pick of the Week, Leo Burnett/Rice Krispies’, Campaign Magazine, Appelrouth, ‘The Global Society’, 566.

<http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1140690/Pick-Week---Leo-Burnett-Rice-Krispies >
72

32    

more pervasive series of representations and icons of otherness as a cultural dominant, not simply as an occasional style’.73

This is not the first time Ladysmith Black Mambazo have been used in combination with British stereotypes in an advert. The choir’s ‘Inkanyezi Nezazi’ (The Star and the Wiseman) was featured in a 1997 campaign for Heinz soups, baked beans and tomato ketchup. In the ‘Nightshift’ advert,74 a father is seen returning from work to eat Heinz spaghetti with his family (fig. 3.3). Given that the lyrics were in Zulu and the advert was for a UK audience, it can be presumed it is the sound of the words that are deemed important, not the words themselves. Perhaps the song was used purely for aesthetic values, to add a ‘nice’ sound to a familiar story. The series of adverts all close with traditional poems, or ancient proverbs followed by an image of the Heinz logo (fig 3.4). It could be suggested the proverb is used to give the company an air of worldly wisdom, and that non-Western music is featured to authenticate its use, somehow implying a natural sense of wisdom through ‘otherness’.

 
Figure 3.3 Heinz spaghetti. A father returns home from his nightshift.

                                                                                                                 
73 74

T. D. Taylor, ‘World Music in Television Ads’, American Music, 18:2 (2000), 180.   ‘Heinz Spaghetti Ad “Nightshift” UK 1997’ YouTube,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH_tfzR-xO4>

 

33  

Figure 3.4 Ancient proverb featured immediately before Heinz logo.

In opposition to academics who are optimistic about such musical diversity and transcultural flows, Feld states that ‘such perspectives, drawing on the more normative conceptualization of a world in creolization, risk confusing the flow of musical contents and musical expansion with the flow of power relations’.75 He applies Schafer’s term schizophonia, ‘a synthetic soundscape in which natural sounds are becoming unnatural’,76 to world music stating that ‘the splitting of sounds from sources simultaneously implicates matters of music, money, geography, time, race, and social class’.77 The use of Ladysmith Black Mambazo in advertising lies in a space between the tensions of anxiousness and celebration. It is of course culturally repressive to segregate musics, however, the use of Mambazo’s music as a form of escapism is worrying. It connotes ‘old western notions of escaping the ordinary, of the voyage, by signifying “the world”’ through one choir,78 thus reducing Mambazo’s music to non-western and ‘other’.

                                                                                                               
75 76 77 78

Feld, ‘From Schizophonia’, 263. M. Schafer 1977, cf Feld ‘From Schizophonia’ 259. Feld ‘From Schizophonia’ 262. Taylor, ‘World Music in Television Ads’, 181.  

34    

This usage also raises issues about post-tourism and the distributed tourist. Tourism can become a particularly useful lens through which to understand change, and currently tourism has lost its specificity: ‘People are tourists most of the time,

whether they are literally mobile or only experience simulated mobility through the incredible fluidity of multiple signs and electronic images’. 79 Taylor argues that ‘sounds obviate those risks [of travelling] for those who don’t want to, or don’t have the opportunity, to take them’.80 Travelling through music is a safe way of escaping boredom without actually moving: the listener becomes a ‘distributed tourist’ who moves between spaces without changing places.81 World music can also become a positive signifier for the brand; it somehow implies that they are well travelled and well versed in ‘other’ cultures. Taylor concludes that this process is ultimately ‘homogenizing, reducing difference between places through the proliferation of essentially the same signs and images’.82

Erlmann suggests that the very genre of isicathamiya represents:
the search … for an identity and some kind of rootedness in indubitable spacetime structures, although it flows from a deep sense of alienation and from the bitter experience of being part of modernity and at the same time excluded from it, is deeply caught up with modernity and some of its specifically global fictions.’
83

                                                                                                               
79 80 81

Lash and Urry, cf Taylor ‘World Music in Television Ads’, 181. Taylor, ‘World Music in Television Ads’, 181. A. Kassabian, ‘Would You Like Some World Music with your Latte? Starbucks, Putumayo Taylor, ‘World Music in Television Ads’, 181. V. Erlmann, ‘Fantasies of Home’, 267.

and Distributed Tourism’, Twentieth Century Music, 1/2 (2004) 221.
82 83

 

35  

If we take this into account, it becomes clear to see that advertisers can easily exploit this pursuit of identity. Ultimately, the search for ‘what isicathamiya performers call home … draws them ever more inexorably into the West and the modern world.’84

It seems then that ‘every culture must liberate its creative potential by finding the correct equilibrium between isolation and contact with others’.85 The blending of cultures through music can be an extremely positive act in western society, provided it is not exploitative, or commodifying the ‘otherness’ of a culture that is different to their own. The case of Rice Krispies and Heinz are troublesome; the music used is antithetical to the situation, but it almost passes unnoticed as ‘world music’ gradually becomes a normal part of advertising within British society.

                                                                                                               
84 85

ibid. Claude Lévi Strauss cf T. Hylland Eriksen, Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to

Social and Culural Anthropology, 3rd edn. (New York: Pluto Press, 2010) 307.

36    

Conclusion “The Times They are a-Changin’”: A Commentary on the State of Music in Advertising

The relationship between popular music and advertising has evolved considerably. Jingles became extinct along with the product-based advert, and were replaced by a complex interdependent relationship between the popular music industry and the ‘aspirational’ advert. In this relationship music becomes a signifier for a world or lifestyle that does not exist. In accordance with Baudrillard’s theory of the simulacra: ‘the signifier is mistaken for the signified, reproductions are experienced as real – all creating a condition of hyper reality … a “reality” that is rooted in reproduction rather than in “reality” itself.’86

Attitudes have also changed towards popular music in advertising. The trend for musicians to permit the use of their music for advertising was truly given credence when Bob Dylan licensed ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ for a Co-operative advert in 2009.87 Having once said ‘You know things go better with Coke because Aretha Franklin told you so … The Corporate world, when they figured out what [rock ‘n’ roll] was and how to use it they snuffed the breath out of it and killed it’88 – it was a surprising move, and an indication that the times really have changed.

                                                                                                               
86

S. Appelrouth, L. Desfor Edles, ‘Introduction to Simulacra and Simulations’, in S.

Appelrouth and L. Desfor Edles (eds) Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2011) 419-420.
87  ‘Co-operative

group – good for everyone – cinema version bob dylan’, YouTube,

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_UFaKt5Yqo>
88

Bob Dylan 1985 cf Klein, As Heard on TV, 85.

 

37  

For many consumers, music now belongs to the advert, rather that to the musician. In some cases it is hard to distinguish whether the advert is a music video for the artist featured in it, or an endorsement of the product – or both.89 Numerous websites are dedicated to finding music featured in television adverts, and it is now possible to purchase ‘best of’ TV advert music compilations.90 These compilations generally feature all pre-existing music, but have associated them with advertising rather than with the artist. This in turn, could suggest that the meaning consumers associate with the song is not their own, or one they would have naturally interpreted by themselves. For many people ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ will forever be associated with a small boy in tartan pajamas and John Lewis.

The next step for research on music in television advertising must be an investigation into why it works. Previous psychological research has proved too simplistic and unhelpful to musicologists who find the results a statement of the obvious. Findings such as ‘Music in the major mode expresses more animated and positive feelings than music in the minor mode’, and ‘music used in marketing-related contexts is capable of evoking nonrandom affective and behavioral responses’ are either too simple, or too vague.91 Both disciplines need to work together to find answers to the common problem of how music evokes such sentiment in the listener.

It may also be interesting to research music in advertising from a phenomenologist perspective: to what extent does music allow people to move away from the perception that they are being sold something? Advertisers should then take heed of                                                                                                                
89

See Florrie for Nina Ricci L’elixir, and Beyonce for H&M See: ‘The Very Best TV ad Songs’, Sony Music Entertainment, 2013.    

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aMok-RBgj1I>  
90 91  G.  C.  Bruner,  ‘Music,  Mood,  and  Marketing’  Journal  of  Marketing,  54/4  (1990)  98-­‐99.

 

38    

the results, and treat music with care, considering its effects and meanings before using such familiar and well-loved songs in their advertisements.

 

39  

Filmography
Coco Mademoiselle (2007, 0’60”) dir: Joe Wright

prod: Chanel actors: Keira Knightley music: ‘L.O.V.E’ Bert Kaempfert and Milt Gabler singer: Joss Stone < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk5BR9YR6tc> Coco Mademoiselle (2011, 3’20’’) dir: Joe Wright prod: Chanel actors: Keira Knightley, Alberto Amman. music: ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ James Brown and Betty Newsome singer: Joss Stone <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KifjdV1h6X8> Heinz Spaghetti (1997, 1’10’’) music: ‘Inkanyezi Nezazi’ (The Star and the Wiseman) singers: Ladysmith Black Mambazo <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH_tfzR-xO4> John Lewis (2008, 0’60’’) agency: Lowe London prod: Morgan Van Dam music: ‘From Me to You’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney singer: Matt Spinner and unknown. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmQ74XO_Fx0> Nissan Juke (2010, 2’) agency: TBWA/London, music: ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ singer: Frederika Stahl <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqqyXNqtyvc>

40    

Rice Krispies (2012, 0’31’’) dir: Joanna Bailey

agency: Leo Burnett London music: ‘Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain’ singers: Ladysmith Black Mambazo <  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb7oGkqhht4> Nina Ricci L’elixir (2010, 2’05’’) dir: Nez

agency: TBWA/365 music: ‘Sunday Girl’ Chris Stein, Debbie Harry singer: Florrie <  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wojQuAnBFb4> Windows 8 (2012, 0’30’’) agency: JWT: Beijing music: ‘Everything at Once’ Lenka Kripac singer: Lenka Kripac <  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ2cftjyHys>

 

41  

Bibliography
Adorno, T. W., ‘On Popular Music’, in R. Leppart (ed.) Essays on Music, pp. 437469, California: University of California Press, 2002. Appelrouth, S. and L. Desfor Edles, ‘Introduction to Simulacra and Simulations’, in S. Appelrouth and L. Desfor Edles (eds) Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, pp. 419-420, London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2007. Appelrouth S. and L. Desfor Edles, ‘The Global Society’, in S. Appelrouth and L Desfor Edles (eds) Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, pp. 561-580, London: Sage Publications Ltd. 2007 Beauvoir, S. D. ‘The Second Sex: Myth and Reality’, in V Leitch (ed.) The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd edn., pp. 1265-1273, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. Bruner, G. C., ‘Music, Mood, and Marketing’, Journal of Marketing, 54:4, (1990), 94-104. Burt, G., The Art of Film Music, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994. Chion, M., Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, trans. C. Gorbman, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. Cohen, A. J., ‘Music as a Source of Emotion in Film’, in P. N. Justlin and J. A. Sloboda (eds) Handbook of Music and Emotion, Theory, Research, Applications, pp. 879-908, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Cook, N., ‘Music and Meaning in the Commercials’, Popular Music, 13:1, (1994), 27-40. Erlmann, V., ‘Fantasies of Home: The antinomies of modernity and the Music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’ in S. Frith (ed) Vol. 4, Popular Music: Music and Identity, pp. 266-282, Oxon: Routledge, 2004 . 42    

Feld, S., ‘Communication, Music, and Speech about Music’, Yearbook for Traditional Music, 16:1 (1984), 1-18. Feld, S., ‘From Schizophonia to Schismogenesis: on the Discourses and

Commodification Practices of “World Music” and “World Beat”’, in S. Feld and C. Keil (eds) Music Grooves, pp. 257-289, London: The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., 1994. Feld, S., ‘Notes on “World Beat”, in S. Felt and C. Keil (eds.) Music Grooves, London: The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., 1994, 238-246. Hylland Eriksen, T. Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Culural Anthropology, 3rd edn. New York: Pluto Press, 2010. Kassabian, A. ‘Would You Like Some World Music with your Latte? Starbucks, Putumayo and Distributed Tourism’, Twentieth Century Music, 1/2 (2004) 209-223. Klein, B., As Heard on TV: Popular Music in Advertising, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2009. Macdonald, I., Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, 3rd edn., Pimlico: Vintage, 2008. McAllister, M. P., The Commercialization of American Culture: New Advertising, Control, and Democracy, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc., 1996. Mulvey, L., Visual and Other Pleasures, London: The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1989. North, A. C. and D. J. Hargreaves, ‘Music and Marketing’, in P. N. Juslin and J. A. Sloboda (eds), Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research, Applications, pp. 909-930, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Powrie, P. and R. Stilwell (eds), Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-existing Music in Film, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006. Redfern, C., and K. Aune, Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement, London: Zed Books Ltd., 2010.

 

43  

Rodman, R., ‘The Popular Song as Leitmotif in 1990s Film’, P. Powrie and R. Stilwell (eds) pp. 119-136, Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-existing Music in Film, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006. Scott, L. M., ‘Understanding Jingles and Needledrop: A Rhetorical Approach to Music in Advertising’, Journal of Consumer Research, 17:2 (1990), 223-236. Strachan, R., ‘Music Video and Genre: Structure, Context, and Commerce’, in S. Brown and U. Volgsten (eds) Music and Manipulation, pp. 187-206, New York: Berghahn Books, 2006. Stras, L., ‘Introduction’ in L. Stras (ed) She’s So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness, Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, pp. 1-32, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2010. Stras, L., ‘The Voice of the Beehive: Vocal Technique at the Turn of the 1960s’ in She’s So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness, Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, pp. 33-56, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2010. Tagg, P., ‘Music, Moving Images, Semiotics, and the Democratic Right to Know’, in S. Brown and U. Volgsten (eds) Music and Manipulation, pp. 163-186, New York: Berghahn Books, 2006. Taylor, T. D., ‘World Music in Television Ads’, American Music, 18:2 (2000) 162192. Tota, A. L., ‘When Orff Meets Guinness: Music in Advertising as a Form of Cultural Hybrid’, Poetics, 29:2 (2001), 109-123. Walter, N., Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism, London: Virago, 2010. Warner, T., ‘Narrating Sound: The Pop Video in the Age of the Sampler’, in P. Powrie and R. Stilwell, (eds) pp. 167-179, Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-existing Music in Film, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006. Putoni, S. et al., ‘Meaning Matters: Polysemy in Advertising’, Journal of Advertising, 39:2, 2010, 51-64. 44    

Online Sources
‘All Present and Correct’, Cayte Finlay, John Lewis Partnership, (14 November, 2008) <http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk> [accessed 02 December, 2012]. ‘Beatles Songs Owner Moots Use in Advertising’, Brand Republic Online, (03 May January 2008), <http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/774583/Beatles-songs-ownermoots-use-advertising/> [accessed 1 April, 2013]. ‘Beatles Song to be Used in John Lewis Ad’, Alex Turner, Liverpool Daily Post, (10 November, 2008) <http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/ldpbusiness/business-

local/2008/11/10/beatles-song-to-be-used-in-john-lewis-tv-ad-96026-22222178/> [accessed 3 April, 2013] ‘Coco Mademoiselle the Film: About Perfume’, Chanel Online,

<http://www.chanel.com/en_GB/fragrance-beauty/Universe-Coco-Mademoiselle122467> [accessed 10 March, 2013]. ‘James Brown, It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’, Rolling Stone Magazine, <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-500-greatest-songs-of-all-time20110407/james-brown-its-a-mans-mans-mans-world-20110526> [accessed 13 April, 2013] ‘Singing with the Brand’, Rhodri Marsden, The Independent Online (5 May 2012) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/advertising/singing-with-the-brand7715792.html> [accessed 4 January, 2013]. ‘The Perfect Muse’, Vogue Magazine Online (21 March, 2011)

<http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2011/03/21/joe-wright-on-muse-keira-knightley> [accessed 5 March, 2013]. ‘The Tweelight of the Gods’, Dorian Lynskey, <http://33revolutionsperminute.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/the-tweelight-of-thegods/> [accessed 25 April, 2013].   45  

46    

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful