The Avalyn Digest

Vol.98 #084

June 16th, 1998

Today's Topics: Music in commercials - LA Times article (fwd) Re[2]: Swervy Re: Re[2]: Swervy Re: Swervy Re: Swervy and others for sale mercury rev singles Sianspheric....!! Neil on TFI FRIDAY Re: Neil on TFI FRIDAY Re: Neil Halstead FW: Slowdive/Raise Re: Neil on TFI FRIDAY {my 1st post] mojave three info Administrivia: To unsubscribe from the Avalyn Digest mailing list: * send e-mail to: * with the Subject: unsubscribe To post to the Avalyn mailing list: * use the address: Digest back issues can be found through FTP and HTTP: () Please take care not to include the entire digest in your () reply, only the message(s) you are replying to. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 09:41:09 -0500 (CDT) From: cory <> Subject: Music in commercials - LA Times article (fwd) someone sent this to the swervedriver list and I thought that since we had had this conversation a few weeks ago, some might still be interested in it... I was... cory ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 03:04:25 EDT From: Subject: [swerve] Non-swerve: Music in commercials - LA Times article We have talked in the past about cool band's music appearing in commercials. Attatched is an article in text format that appeared in the business section of the LA Times on May 7, 1998 about just this. It mentions the Volkswagen ads and the guy responsible for their "soundtracks" as well as the bands we've talked about. It was written by Diane Seo who I e- mailed for a copy. (She was not allowed to send me one because the LA Times has a web page that charges for it. $1.50 per article after the paper was 25 cents! Bastards.) But you'll get it here for free! Happy reading. -Keith

Thursday, May 7, 1998
Home Edition
Section: Business
Page: D-1

Advertising & Marketing;


Ads Using Alternative Music to Grab Trendy Youth;
Soundtracks: Clients like the low price tags of lesser-known groups, while the bands often benefit from the added exposure.;


Until recently, Crystal Method's music mostly has played in smoky dance clubs, alternative radio stations and concerts and on stereos of Gen Xers who favor pulsating electronic sounds.
But now, the Los Angeles-based duo's hard-driving music has broken through the consciousness of a much larger audience, with tunes from last year's "Vegas" album appearing in the latest commercials for Mazda and the Gap.
Although album sales haven't risen dramatically since the high-profile spots appeared, Outpost/Geffen Records is betting the group's next single will connect with a much broader audience when it is released next month.
"People will recognize their sounds from the commercials, and that could put them in a bigger, more mainstream circle," said Stefanie Lees, the group's publicist.

When launching a new artist, record companies typically lobby radio stations, MTV and VH-1. But increasingly, there's another outlet on their lists: advertising agencies.

In recent months, advertisers have seized on a trend to use electronic, techno and other alternative music in their commercials. Along with Mazda and the Gap, the latest spots from Volkswagen, Swatch and BMW and upcoming ads for MasterCard feature cutting-edge music from artists not widely known in the United States.

Advertisers are experimenting with edgy, unique sounds as a way to appeal to hip young consumers and avoid the hefty costs of licensing music that already has topped U.S. charts. Licensing fees vary, but music from lesser-known artists generally costs less than a song such as the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up," for which Microsoft reportedly paid at least $4 million to use in its Windows 95 commercials.

Many companies--including Burger King and Motorola, which recently launched an ad campaign featuring the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"--still rely on well-recognized tunes to sell their products. But top-notch advertisers such as Volkswagen and Nike have proven that alternative music can work, and their success has inspired others to tap their own up-and-coming artists.

Michael Rutka, creative director at W.B. Doner, the ad agency that produced the Mazda Miata spots, said Crystal Method was selected because the band's high-tech dance beat reflects the image of the car.

"The Miata is not a car for everyone," Rutka said.

For their part, record executives are turning to advertisers because it's become increasingly difficult to get radio stations, MTV and VH-1 to play music by new artists. Some artists still decline advertisers' offers, but more are recognizing the positive impact a prime-time TV appearance can have on their careers. (The Verve, for instance, saw its song "Bitter Sweet Symphony" explode in popularity after Nike featured it in a spot during this year's Super Bowl.)

"If a song gets played on a national ad, the reach is tremendous," said Dan Nathanson, vice president of strategic marketing at Warner Bros. Records. "Advertisers have gone from being followers to taking leadership roles in breaking new music. Last year, they played a lot of music of the '70s. Now they're trying to be cutting-edge and experimenting with new music."

Meanwhile, radio stations have become more followers than leaders, choosing to play established performers over newcomers, said Vicky Germaise, senior vice president of marketing at Atlantic Records.

"It's more and more difficult to break an artist through traditional means, so you've got to look outside and go to products that hit the same demographics," she said.

Record labels generally want to link their artists to fashion and beauty brands, sporting goods, sporty cars and other products favored by youthful, sophisticated audiences who like alternative music.

Artists tend to get the most payoff when they're attached to a catchy commercial for a brand or product with an already-hip image, such as VW or Nike. When the synergy is there, sales of both the product and the music can take off.

But advertisers know they run the risk of turning off consumers if they use cutting-edge music that doesn't match their products. Meanwhile, record labels have to be careful not to place their artists in poorly produced commercials.

Despite the risks, deals flourish.

When selecting music for last year's Volkswagen campaign, advertising copywriter Lance Jensen tapped his favorite college song--a goofy single from the German band Trio that began, "Da Da Da." Although the song made the European charts when it originally was released in 1982, it never attracted a large following in the United States.

But after the commercial aired, radio stations across the country were swamped with callers demanding to know the identity of the band.

The minimalist pop group's label, Mercury Records, jumped at the chance to reissue the now-defunct band's album and ended up selling 300,000 copies in the United States.

Jensen, who works at Arnold Communications in Boston, again raided his own CD collection when choosing music for this year's high-profile Volkswagen Beetle commercials.

This time, he selected British alternative bands Hurricane #1, Spiritualized, Fluke, Stereo Lab and the Orb for the quirky spots. With song titles such as "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space," and "Little Fluffy Clouds," the music is drawing attention.

Although none of the bands have achieved the success of the Verve, VW spokesperson Tony Fouladpour said the company has been bombarded with inquiries about the music. To accommodate consumers, the car maker has listed musical credits on its Web site.

Jensen said he picked the music, not as a way to promote some of his favorite bands, but because it matched the spirit of the Beetle.

"The music carries an emotional vibe that's good for the spot," he said.

This summer, another Mercury Records artist will be featured in MasterCard commercials airing during the World Cup. French composer Eric Levi, known as Era, already has sold 2.5 million albums in Europe. But he has yet to break through in the United States with his ethereal pop music using vocals, harp and a 60-member choir.

Not all artists have gotten breaks from their commercial appearances, however.

BMW used music from techno artist Paul Robb in its latest ad campaign. Although BMW has seen its sales rise since the ads launched last year, sales of Robb's previous CDs have not gone up.

Part of the reason could be that Robb created music specifically for the ad campaign, which means people can't buy the fast-paced BMW song. But Andy Messenger, president of Mess Hall, which produced the music for the BMW spot, believes people had a hard time tracing the music to Robb because he wasn't promoted as part of the commercial.

Swatch, on the other hand, has helped promote British artist Midge Ure, whose music was featured in the latest commercials. It sells Ure's CD in Swatch stores.

After the Swatch spots ran in Europe, Ure became a big hit in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Ure hasn't yet broken through in the United States, where Swatch ads began appearing this spring.

Carlo Giordanetti, Swatch's vice president of marketing in the United States, said the watch company chose Ure because it wanted an artist that isn't considered mainstream.

"It marries well with the Swatch philosophy," he said. "We're not about establishment. We're more about discovering new things."


Advertisers increasingly are using cutting-edge bands in their commercials in an effort to reach hip young consumers.

Volkswagen Golf

Band: Trio (now defunct)

Label: Mercury Records

Song: "Da Da Da I Don't Love You You Don't Love Me Aha Aha Aha"

Type of music: Techno minimalist (originally released in 1982; reissued in 1997) *

Mazda Miata

Band: Crystal Method

Label: Outpost/Geffen Records

Song: "High Roller"

Type of music: Electronic dance music (part of "Vegas" album; released in 1997) *


Band: Era

Label: Mercury Records

Song: "Ameno"

Type of music: Ethereal pop (part of album to be released in June) *


Artist: Paul Robb

Label: Mess Hall

Song: Original composition for BMW

Type of music: Techno

PHOTO: (No Captions)
GRAPHIC: New Grooves


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------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jun 98 13:25:56 CST From: Subject: Re[2]: Swervy Yeah I know and I will probably take the trip but I live in Chicago and Don't own a car so It's a little bit more difficult for me... Crios ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 13:52:41 -0500 (EST) From: bLenDER Subject: Re: Re[2]: Swervy > Yeah I know and I will probably take the trip but I live in Chicago and > Don't own a car so It's a little bit more difficult for me... ahh, that would make things more challenging... ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 14:53:28 -0700 From: kGB Subject: Re: Swervy Is anyone going to the Cincinnatti show tonight? toby ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 00:52:19 -0700 From: "Tim Warner" Subject: Re: Swervy and others for sale Speaking of Swervy, I have a couple of cds to get sell, including a Swervy. Here they are...all prices include postage: Swervedriver-99th Dream $7 Sixteen Deluxe-emits showers of sparks $5 Placebo-selftitled album (promo...different artwork, slim case) $5 Panasonic-Kulma $5 Mojave 3-love songs on the radio (promo single) $4 Galaxie 500-This is our music (original Rough Trade issue) $7 Hair and skin trading co.-Over Valence (ex-loop) $5 Tarnation-Mirador $5 Purple Ivy Shadows-No less the trees than the stars (advance, no art) $4 Please email me at if interested (please don't mail the list). Thanks! Tim ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 20:18:16 +0000 From: Brian Burgher Subject: mercury rev singles hello i need mercury rev singles I have an assortment of bootlegs including 1.spiritualized trocadero philly 2.brian jonestown massacre 2 shows both at khyber pass philly 3.windy and carl khyber 4.sonic youth brand new live at electric factory june 3rd.1998 5. hovercraft middle east philly. ` brian ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 03:07:35 -0400 From: "Mark Stancombe" Subject: Sianspheric....!! Good Evening... It was June 11th, 1998 @ 10:01pm...Sitting at the foot of the stage with the guitar amp blazing a hole in my memory and eardrums that will last the course of a lifetime...the noise was so loud that all the instruments were melding together into a white noise that just made you forget where you were...I just saw Sianspheric up here in Toronto at the North By Northeast indie music festival...I would highly recommend seeing this band if anybody drops by this illustrious town the next time their up in Canada...they have CD out called :Somnium that sounds like "Gravity Grave"-era Verve and have a forthcomming CD out in July...beautiful... Sillabyss... ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 14:06:00 EDT From: Subject: Neil on TFI FRIDAY Hi Neil Halstead has just played with Bernard Butler on The UK TV show `TFI FRIDAY` with Chris Evans. He was playing rhythm guitar and doing a few backing vocals at the end. Well I presume it was kind of looked like down to his shoulders?? Anyway the show is repeated on Channel 4 (UK) tonight (Friday 12.06.98) at 23:30. Just thought I should let you know! Antony ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 22:59:35 +0200 From: Erik Soderstrom Subject: Re: Neil on TFI FRIDAY > Neil Halstead has just played with Bernard Butler on The UK TV show `TFI > FRIDAY` with Chris Evans. He was playing rhythm guitar and doing a few > backing vocals at the end. Well I presume it was kind of looked > like down to his shoulders?? Anyway the show is repeated on > Channel 4 (UK) tonight (Friday 12.06.98) at 23:30. Is someone recording this? I just checked the 4AD website and it had a blurb about Neil touring with Bernard on the news page as well as stating that the new Mojave 3 single is out at the end of this month. //Erik ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:36:04 EDT From: Subject: Re: Neil Halstead it's in the news section of the 4ad website. In a message dated 98-06-10 17:39:55 EDT, you write: << At 17:04 1998-06-10 EDT, you wrote: > i'm not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, but Neil will be a member of > Bernard Butler's (ex-Suede) touring band this summer. he will be playing > guitar, i'm not sure if a part of the U.S. tour, but i'm assuming he > will be interesting to see Neil playing songs that aren't his... Interesting! BB is playing here in Sweden in July (together with Pulp), which means there's a chance to see Neil there! Where did you get the information? >> ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 21:35:47 -0400 From: "Cox, Jonathan Campbell" Subject: FW: Slowdive/Raise ---------- From: JC Superstar Subject: Slowdive/Raise Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 21:23:06 -0400 Hello, I assume you are aware that some pressings of the first Slowdive cdep, Slowdive, came out as Swervedriver's Raise. That is, the cover of the CD and the CD itself is labeled as the Slowdive ep, but when you play the CD, it is Raise. Well, I recently ordered Slowdive, and today I finally received it. But to my dismay, when I put the CD in the player, it registered as 45 minutes long, and when I played it, it was in fact Raise, not Slowdive. So my question is, seeing that I am not a big Swervedriver fan, does this mispressing have any value to Swervedriver fans, or is my best bet to just return it and get credit for what I paid for it? Just curious JC ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 00:00:18 EDT From: Subject: Re: Neil on TFI FRIDAY {my 1st post] In a message dated 98-06-12 17:03:02 EDT, erik writes: << I just checked the 4AD website and it had a blurb about Neil touring with Bernard on the news page as well as stating that the new Mojave 3 single is out at the end of this month. >> wowee!! any idea what the tracks are? jeff p.s.: for more info on why i'm here, go to: i'll introduce myself properly when time permits... ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 09:27:13 -0300 From: Shaun Schmeisser Subject: mojave three info This was posted to the Tindersticks mailing list, havn't seen anything about it here... Posted by >There's plenty of RHP fans on the list, so here's some news from SonicNet >today (12 June 1998): > >Red House Painters leader Mark Kozelek has nearly finished compiling his >tribute to late singer/songwriter John Denver. The album, >which does not have a release date yet, will include tracks from Kozelek's >Red House Painters ("I'm Sorry"), His Name Is Alive >("Sunshine"), Will Oldham of Palace ("Eagle and the Hawk"), Box Set >("Prisoners"), Tarnation ("Leaving on a Jet Plane"), Sunshine Club >("Annie's Song"), Innocence Mission ("Follow Me") and Clodhopper ("I'd >Rather Be a Cowboy"). Kozelek said he's still waiting for >contributions from Richard Buckner, Mojave Three and Ivy... shaun ------------------------------ End of Avalyn Digest Vol.98 #84 ********************************

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