Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Music Sells in Olympic Commercials

Is it just me, or is the Olympic telecast the new Super Bowl when it comes to flashy and creative commercials? Unlike the Super Bowl, however, you have about 3,457 chances to watch each of these commercials, so I've started to develop some favorites, as well as a few that force me to reach for the remote. It's also reinforced the fact that the background music can make or break a commercial.

Take for example, United Airlines. Some ad executive made a very wise decision in 1976 by licensing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue as the airlines' official theme. When they decided to start combining that anthem with cool animated sequences, they hit commercial gold. They've upped the ante significantly during the Olympics and accomplished the seemingly impossible: I actually enjoy watching the commercials.

Rhapsody in Blue is an astounding piece of music because it can elicit so many different emotions and be used to establish a variety of moods, each of which has been mined by United commercials. The unique artistic styles are engrossing, too.

It's hard to choose, but this one might be my favorite:

In case you missed one, you can view them all here.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, the Diet Coke commercial featuring Paul Oakenfold's Starry Eyed Surprise has been getting that song stuck in my head for days. I don't know why it's so catchy, but I think it's the way Oakenfold samples Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" in the background. Watch it below if you also want to "dance all night to this DJ."

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