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Jefferson Airplane anthem becomes preppy lure

 
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teknofriend



Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:54 am    Post subject: Jefferson Airplane anthem becomes preppy lure Reply with quote

NEW YORK (Billboard) - When Jefferson Airplane's "Volunteers" peaked at No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969, it was a call to arms. Penned by bandmates Marty Balin and Paul Kantner, "Volunteers" captured the mood of America's anti-war youth. Fast-forward to today: The song has been co-opted by clothing retailer Tommy Hilfiger for its latest ad campaign. Conceived and created by Toth Brand Imaging in Concord, Mass., the TV spot is pure fun -- with not an iota of political angst or rebellion. Rebels are we? Not for the kids in this ad. Confused? You're not alone.

"The first time I saw the ad I was scratching my head," says Eric Korte, VP/music director at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

But executives at Toth say the rationale for the song was straightforward.

"It's a great song and works well in our spot," says Tyrone Sayers, a management supervisor on the Hilfiger account. "The song is used as a soundtrack behind the imagery. There's no greater message intended."
Korte, who is "old enough to be a child of the '60s," acknowledges that the ad is not aimed at someone in his age bracket, but "affluent 20- to 25-year-olds" who are unlikely to be familiar with the song's origins. And while the lyrics remain relevant, it's all but certain that those watching the ad -- particularly the target demo -- are not connecting the dots between then and now. In fact, the way the song has been edited, much is lost in translation.

But this is nothing new in advertising. A few years ago, a Wrangler spot -- also crafted by Toth -- featured the sounds of another Vietnam War-era song, "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

"It is unsettling and confusing and disturbing when you take a song and totally rob it of its original meaning," Korte says. "It's a shame that they are trivialized in this manner." Sayers sees it differently. The benefit of using a 36-year-old classic rock song is that it eclipses time and circumstances, he says.

For Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, which specializes in the youth market, this is not lost on today's kids. She does not think there is a disconnect between the Hilfiger brand and the music. And she credits this to iTunes, which she says exposes teens and tweens to music not heard on the radio.

"Brands are definitely thinking of ways to market music from the '60s and '70s," Wells says. She predicts such retro sounds will become more popular in TV ads next year. Pausing for a moment, she adds, "Even war movies are hot right now. Look at Jake Gyllenhaal and 'Jarhead."'

If there's a disconnect, Wells says it's with the Hilfiger brand. She believes the company needs to re-identify itself with the youth market, with which it has lost contact through the years.

"Tommy Hilfiger is missing what American Eagle and Ralph Lauren picked up on: urban prep," Wells says. So, if Hilfiger wants to reconnect with teens and young adults, Wells' advice is simple: Go with Kanye West.
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zypherious



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like American Eagle clothes and if the clothing brands want to survive, they need to reserach what young people are wearing these days.
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