January 10th, 2006


Music and commercials

Do commercials pick songs because they're popular, or do songs become popular when they're used in commercials? I think the answer is "yes," but I may not be an accurate judge of which is true in any particular case, especially after entering the state of Venerable Flatulence. I can only say that, for example, I'd never heard "Adiemus" before it was used in an airline commercial. Others, especially in the US, might not have been familiar enough with Clannad to have heard the "Theme from Harry's Game" before it was used in a commercial.

In the case of the music used with the (first; I saw one the other day that uses different but similar music) M&M "kaleidoscope" commercial, my initial judgement was in error due to Venerable Flatulence; I was pretty sure that it was an obscure 60s song that I'd managed to miss as a child. I finally tracked it down last night, and found I was wrong. It's an acoustic cover, by Iron and Wine, of "Such Great Heights," originally by Postal Service. Postal Service's version is a cheesy thumpa-thumpa dance track (perhaps you can tell that I leaned towards the "Disco Sucks" faction back in the 70s); Iron and Wine slows it down and gives the lyrics the setting they deserve.
  • Current Music
    "Such Great Heights," Iron and Wine