Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ok Go + Dashboard Fall Into the Banana Republic

Everything related to advertising is my fault.  Since I work at an ad agency, I get yelled at every time a bad commercial comes on TV.  When an indie band's song is in a commercial, it's my fault they sold out.  But when McDonalds makes an ad with a singing fish that you like, do I get any thanks at all?  No, I do not.  I'd rather watch a Ford ad with Band of Horses in it than listen to that irritating fish, but no, we can't have our precious weird beards selling out like that!  You want the singing fish instead.

Although I'm fine with indie bands getting their songs into commercials, today was the first time I saw one in a print ad.  Ok Go is all prettied up and wearing suits in this ad for Banana Republic.

There's no doubt the boys look good - you can put a suit on any man (especially a smarty pants frontman who has a totally hot linguistics degree) and he looks like a million bucks.  But something about this rubs me the wrong way.  It's a classic corporate move of putting a celebrity in an ad to make the brand seem young and cool.

The worst part is, this will probably work, and that means it's not Banana Republic's fault for paying Ok Go tons of money.  It's Ok Go's fault for taking it.  Using a song in a commercial merely creates a mood, but putting a on stuffy Banana Republic suit erases any trace of fundamental rock star image and culture.  This ad has turned willingly turned the members of OK Go into corporate puppets.

Here's another Banana Republic ad with Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba.  My favorite part about this one is how they rolled up the sleeve, just so you know that Banana Republic is down with tattoos.  Congratulations Carrabbie, you look like our generation's Chris Issak.

/sellout rant.

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