In Santa Barbara, Chevron stations have videos displaying advertisements at pumps while customers fill their cars up with gas. The videos have accompanying sound. A lawyer successfully stopped a city ordinance that would have required the installation of a mute button so that customers could opt out of hearing the ads.
One funny side note is the name of the Santa Barbara publication in which story appears. It is the Daily Sound.
Charting the changing impression by independent musicians of having their music included in advertising. The result is a sort of feedback loop of mutual promotion: band advertises product advertises brand.
In her essay in the July/August 2012 issue of The Believer, Lindsay Zoladz makes a solid connection between the diminishing meaning in pop music of the phrase “selling out” and the legacy of the “music library.” In her definition: “Library music (sometimes referred to as ‘production music’ or ‘stock music’) generally refers to music that has been composed and recorded for commercial purposes and which is licensed not through the composer but the library for which it has been recorded.” (Via andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com.)
The link goes to a half-hour documentary: a survey of the varieties of source music, and background music, and theme songs, and all manner of music that was recorded or archived with the intent that it serve a functional purpose: “Never commercially available to the general public, this music was pressed onto vinyl from the 1950s onwards in short, limited quantities and then sent directly to TV production houses and radio stations for use when necessary.” (Via andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com.)
The club CBGB had a name that stood for “Country, BlueGrass, and Blues,” but it is better known as CBGBs, and it is better known for punk rock, the development of which in the U.S. took place to a great extent on its premises.
Those premises, in Manhattan, were shuttered in 2006, and the location was taken over by the fashion brand John Varvatos. Varvatos has managed the transition in various ways, notably via its extensive association with musicians (including the Roots and Green Day). In this video, shot May 17, 2012, mod icon Paul Weller of the Jam performs a song at the Varvatos store that he first played at CBGB(s) 35 years prior. A current ad campaign for Varvatos features Weller and musician Miles Kane, who was -9 years old at the time of that first concert.
As a side note, I’d long associated Weller with Ben Sherman clothing. I have no idea if that association was in any way a formal business one, or simply a matter of style.
Details at adage.com on plan by Spotify, the music-streaming service, to aid brands in collating playlists for its reported 10 million listeners. Brings to mind not only the playlist as the new jingle (i.e., the in-flux cloud formation of associative music in place of a single sound object), as well as such classic cultural sponsorships as Texaco’s relationship with the Metropolitan Opera. It also clarifies, a little, Spotify’s position among the major music-streaming services. Will a Nike playlist on Pandora be far behind?
Condom brand Durex develops a Facebook app to help couples determine their “perfect song.” It’s called a “song generator.” I want to see if it’s in fact making a song or selecting one from a pre-existing set. Check it out at facebook.com. (Via adage.com.)
Report on Audi’s attempts to lend sounds to electric cars. The “car does not broadcast prerecorded engine noises but instead generates sound in realtime to the millisecond, calculated based on data including the electric motor’s rotational speed, vehicle speed, loads, and other parameters.” This is a significant iteration on the sound-addition idea, the concept of noises being determined by context. It has parallels to the evolution of sound in video games, from Hollywood-style scores of fixed sounds, to collections of sounds triggered by specific mid-play action, to algorithms that influence the very sounds themselves. (Via designboom.com)
Reportedly, via adweek.com, this ad involves high-pitch sounds that only a dog — the perceived actual customer for the product, Bakers brand dog food — can hear. It’s an approach, according to adweek.com, that Nestlé Purina PetCare took previously. The question is whether this is a situation where knowledge of the consideration of including sounds for the dog is enough to convince the actual customer — the dog owner/guardian, who purchases the food — to have a positive association with the brand.
The indabamusic.com site is a steady stream of open-call music-making contests, often in the form of remixes. This latest contest, with a due date of July 24, 2012, takes a different approach. Titled “Mnemonic Sound Opportunity,” the goal of it is to produce an original and memorable sound to serve as a “unique acoustical snippet that is associated with a brand.” The contest doesn’t name the client, but provides this description: “We succeed when our customers and communities succeed. Through experience, hard work and understanding what’s important to our customers, we give them the help and guidance they need to achieve their financial goals.” And it asks that the following “attributes” are incorporated: Hope, Optimism, Trust, Friendliness, Positivity, Understanding, and Progressiveness.