Advertising Has Removed Music's Soul
There was once a day - or at least it feels like there was - when music had deep meaning. It was very personal and, depending upon the artist or the song, could immediately transform your emotional state, cause you to ponder your worth in the world or simply celebrate the beauty of life and the moments you cherish with the one you love.
There once was a day artists - musical or otherwise - wouldn't dream of allowing their work to be used in any form of commerce other than that of selling their own work. But over the past ten years or so, music and all things pop culture seem to have become one with commerce. Almost by definition, performers (not necessarily musicians in every case) like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, M83, Dr. Dre, Kid Rock, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent, Kylie Minogue, Madonna and, yes, the Beatles must have an element of commerce in their portfolio.
In some ways, it's all part of the normal progression of things. For musicians, participating in ad campaigns is just another channel through which they can promote their work. In some ways, it's because traditional sales channels have been cannibalized and an artists has to do whatever they can to make money just like the rest of us.
In other ways, it's truly depressing. When a musician pours their soul into their work, it has deep meaning and, as a listener, we feel that meaning. When that same music appears in a commercial, it's as if every bit of blood sweat and tears that went into the creation of that music is minimized to a point where the work has almost no meaning at all.
Certainly the association between a musician and a brand can benefit both parties but at the same time it feels like principles are being compromised and morals vitiated. Now it's all about the Bejamins. Anything for the Benjamins.