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The Friday 5 – things/songs ruined by the advertising industry

Tradition. It’s a wide and varied concept which means many different things to many different people. For some, it’s a proud and disciplined code, a link back to happier times, before credit crunches and Alan Carr. For others, it’s a millstone, a nostalgic excuse to indulge in sepia-tinged memories of situations that didn’t actually exist. For others, it’s a reassuring structure which allows us to bring form to this crazy, chaotic world.

And that’s where we sit with the venerable bastion of ELM that is The Friday 5. The Friday 5 is a precursor to the weekend, the first indicator that a week spent toiling at the coalface of modern industry has ended and that a weekend to recover our weary souls through refreshing beverages, eating binges and oversleeping has arrived. It is a harbinger of better times, admittedly brief. It is also a chance for us to laugh at people smugly through the cover of cyberspace. Hey, we never claimed our lofty ideals weren’t mired in dirt.

This week, we look at the concept of starfucking. No, not the Pamela De Barres style, but the unique effect advertising can have on the profile of something which was once loved. Advertising people have a bad press, for sure, but that’s because they are cunts who no-one likes because they spend their entire pointless little lives trying to shill shit to people who don’t need it on the basic premise that they will look like/get their winkle sucked by some unfeasibly attractive lady who’s probably been digitally altered before the ad went out anyway.

Yes, they make money, but so do pimps, and they don’t have awards ceremonies for them, do they? And since Mad Men hit our screens, they all think ‘hey, I’m a bit like that!’ You’re not. You are an irritating cock munch who wears over-expensive, badly cut suits and too much hair product, and uses the phrase ‘blue-sky thinking’ unironically.

So here we go – five things/songs ruined by the advertising industry.

OK GO – ‘Here It Goes’

OK GO were on the ropes. After a fair bit of hype, their debut album ended up doing, well, not a lot. Armed with a new album but no money, they decided to make an innovative, irreverent video based upon a rather amusing and quite clever synchronised dance routine on treadmills. it cost a paltry $5000 and became a massive hit on YouTube. Band revitalised, well done to all and a nice wee story. And then Berocca ripped it right off for one of their adverts. Bastards. The truly puzzling thing was that EVERYONE had seen this thing, so all Berocca succeeded in doing was making people believe that they were deeply unimaginative idea thieves. Which, of course, they were. Well done chaps!

The Rolling Stones – ‘Start Me Up’

The Rolling Stones said they would never, ever allow one of their tracks to be used in an advert. until Microsoft dangled $10m in front of them for this. Which they took. And come on chaps, Microsoft? You are in bed with the devil there, but not in a good way.

The Howling Bells – Low Happening

The Howling Bells make moody, dark rock which nods to fellow antipodeans The Bad Seeds. They are, therefore, not the ideal band to sell soap, you would have thought. You’d have been wrong. Their sultry pop masterpiece was seized upon because, hey, clanging guitars and cutting lyrics make you want to wash yourself. Ad men are idiots.

The Fall – Sparta FC

In an act which was cool initially, the BBC decided to use one of Mark E Smith’s more accessible tunes as the theme music to Final Score. No, honestly. And it was great. But the thing about incidental music on a long running show is that you hear the same bit again….and again….and again…and again…until it just starts to grate your mind thin slice by thin slice until you can’t cope and want to slaughter a children’s petting zoo at a party and drink the blood. Speaking of which….

Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla

Fucking BBC. They apparently can’t show anything that they think may be large scale, epic or regal without playing this. In fact, scratch that; they use this when trying to fool you into thinking that they are showing programmes which are large scale, epic or regal. They are going the same way with Elbow’s magnificent ‘One Day Like This’. Stop it! Stop it!

Okay, so that’s us a little closer. Have a good one and stay safe people!


2 Responses

  1. A friend’s 4 year old daughter loves ‘One Day Like This’ and in the car says: “Mummy….curtains song, curtains song!”

  2. And I’ll bet soon even they’ll be saying ‘I used to love that curtains song Mummy, but the BBC ruined it’.

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