Okay, maybe this happened years ago, and I was living under a rock. Maybe it happened recently which is why I just now find myself pondering this “issue.” While watching something I will not name on NBC.com I was treated to constant commercials from Sprint’s new ad campaign that features classic Beatles hits. Then I recalled the TV spots from the same campaign I’ve been seeing recently. Then I got confused.
You see, the Beatles wrote amazing music. Seriously, amazing music. In one documentary that I saw sometime around the 20th anniversary of John’s death (Dec 2001, natch) somebody who I can’t recall said the Beatles made music that made you feel good. It was that simple. It was also categorically true. No matter how dire things may be, having the Beatles playing in the background can make it better. Bar none. It’s so good, in fact, that I almost actually ENJOY the commercials. Then I get queasy.
I can’t help but remember that while this song, this music, this life affirming, world changing, amazing music that I grew up with (thank you Mom and Dad) is now being used to shill cell phones. I used to be a cellular customer service rep, not for Sprint, but for a cell company, and at the end of the day I can assure you, they’re all very similar, and none of them really respects their customers or the public interest at large. There is a part of me that does not want this music used to sell me things. Don’t use it to sell cell phones, or computers, or cars, or clothes, or anything, please. I want it to stay… pure?
It’s not a rational response I realize. Arguably by putting these songs in ubiquitous advertising new generations will hear them, and using song identifying apps or something, end up being exposed to the wider catalog, and hopefully experience the same wonderful, child like joy that the Beatles gives me.
Honestly though, I don’t quite know how to feel about it. I imagine the daily ennui of 21st century life will eventually make me numb to it. I just wanted to comment on it while I did still feel it, I suppose.