Sunday, January 25, 2009

Drive a Lincoln and Die Alone in Space?

Ford is the one car company that apparently doesn't need a bailout, which is odd considering their advertising approach. Lincoln, which is owned by Ford paid, what I'm sure is a substantial amount of money to get Cat Power to cover David Bowie's song Space Oddity they used the song in a new ad for Lincoln automobiles.

The problem is that the song Space Oddity is not a happy song. Although the ad version only uses the beginning of the song - it is still a song about an astronaut who dies alone in space:
"Ground control to major tom
Your circuits dead, theres something wrong
Can you hear me, major tom?
Can you hear me, major tom?
Can you hear me, major tom?
Can you....

Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet earth is blue
And theres nothing I can do."
This, at the very least, qualifies as one of the strangest advertising choices ever made, especially in an economy where you are trying to instill consumer confidence.

3 comments:

Dwight Williams said...

Great performance of the cover, although I do agree that the tune chosen is...an odd choice, given the present circumstances.

2-Ply said...

It's still an effective ad for an automobile. It's got cool graphics and a catchy song. The car is likened to a space ship that has "really made the grade".

I concede that Bowie's complete lyrics would be a poor choice for this commercial; however, the 30 second clip is not the complete song.

Most TV viewers don't think much about what they are watching and hearing. They expect to be entertained or at the very least distracted. Flashy visuals mixed with sexy music is good enough for many. The product becomes cool and the viewer may wish to learn more. Mission accomplished in my galaxy.

Philip said...

Almost anytime I hear a well loved song covered in TV commercials it really grinds on me and it generates animosity in me towards the sponsored product. I find the sanitized and calculatedly effete tones of this particular cover more insulting to us than most.

I know in the end the original composers are also to blame in that they signed contracts that allow their works to be covered for ad spots- artists are not generally more moral than any of us including advertisers sales people or the profit motive.

Still, it grates...