Last night, upon seeing Beck’s new car commercial composition, a cover of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision,” for a new Lincoln campaign, I could think of only one word, ridiculous. So, I took to facebook and typed, “One word: Beck’s cover of Bowie’s “Sound Vision” for Lincoln is ridiculous. The arrangement is over the top ridiculous and the amount of $$$ on this production is even more so.” And, “Plus, let’s thank about this for a minute. A company with a stodgy brand tries to establish a younger image with a freaking gigantic orchestra? Was hologram Frank Sinatra booked for the night?”
After letting the obscenities performed to this David Bowie classic stew for a day, it turns out I have more than one word for this production. A lot more.
You see, being a Gen X-er with disposable income, I am Lincoln’s target. I am the one who’s supposed to be wowed by a multi-million dollar production featuring a full orchestra, a saw player, three dudes on xylophone, three longhairs on guitar, a church choir, a choir not in church robes, a marching band drum section, a hippie band drum section and a yodeler. Yes, a yodeler. I’m supposed to see this video and say, “Hey, if Beck made a commercial for Lincoln, maybe I should give this stodgy old car company a second chance?”
And let me tell you why. It’s been done before and done better by Chrysler.
It’s as if the folk’s at Ford/Lincoln Motors witnessed the success of the Eminem ad, realized the pride it inspired in Americans from the Midwest, saw them respond and overspend on a car they really didn’t need and said, “How can we get ourselves some of that?”
“I know. We’ll get names with a bigger cache of cool for our target audience. How’s Beck? Gen X-ers still think he’s cool, right? We won’t use one choir, we’ll use two. Then we’ll get an orchestra and some guitarists, because we don’t want to look to square. And then, we’ll put it all on youtube and then we’ll use fancy cameras and a fancy recording set-up that looks like a human head and then…PROFIT!”
Umm…Lincoln, did you forget about the recession? Do you not know that wages have remained stagnant for all but the top earning class? Gen-Xers, and I do know a lot of them in the professional class, being one of them, aren’t exactly thinking extravagance these days. They’re thinking how long before the financial industry fucks over the country again, and will I have anything left for retirement by the time these thieving bastards are done?
What Lincoln is telling me, by spending millions on one song is an entirely different message, one safely removed from reality. They’re saying: “Hi, we’re Lincoln. We waste money. If you like wasting money like we like wasting money, why not test drive a Lincoln at your local dealership today?”
This is a far cry from Chrysler’s fine ad and it ruined a classic song, too.
At least some musicians got paid, I suppose. Lincoln, you did pay the full orchestra, saw player, three dudes on xylophone, three longhairs on guitar, the church choir, the choir not in church robes, the marching band drum section, the hippie band drum section, the yodeler, and all of the support staff, right? I’m sure the yodeler still can’t afford to go get his new Lincoln with his share, but at least he can go to the corner store for some lozenges on someone else’s dime.
photo courtesy of Beck.com