Freddie Matthews writes from London: … and the 2012 most yawn worthy award goes to New York singer, Lana Del Rey. She’s recently been announced as the new face of Jaguar cars. (Incidentally, the correct pronunciation is Jag-You-Are, in case you were wondering, well certainly in England anyway.) The face of the new ‘F’ type Jag due to be launched in Paris in September, Lana has also been announced as the new face of H&M’s autumn/winter campaign.
So what’s the big deal about Lana Del Ray? Well, her album Born To Die has sold over 2 million copies worldwide since its release in January. It went Top 5 in 25 countries but whenever I listen to the song Born To Die it sounds overly slug. Like slow, morbid and depressing and I actually feel as if I wish she would die. Well, either that or cheer the hell up. She won the International Breakthrough Act at the BRITS 2012 and Best Contemporary Song for Video Games at the Ivor Novello Awards but is moonlighting in advertising really all that necessary?
Why in the ruthless world of brand awareness do PR gurus think a celebrity plugging a product can convince us to buy it? If you saw the recent UK advert for the all-new Lexus, it featured Australian singer and almost actress Kylie Minogue at the wheel. I say ‘almost actress’ because she made her acting career in the Ozzie soap opera Neighbours, one of the trashiest TV shows ever. I would love to be introduced to the complete muppet who thought we’d want to purchase this top of the range executive car just because a 40 something year old has been at the wheel. It’s farcical and it would take a lot more than Kylie Minogue to lure the 40 something to buy a product I wouldn’t have ever considered in the first place.
Why can’t singers just stick to singing? Are they performers or brand promoters? I was waiting for Kylie to break into a song halfway through the 30-second advert because that’s what we know her for. Is the singing and celebrity just another avenue to more profit making opportunity?
There is, however, one exception to my argument. British 60s singer Lulu stars in the Christmas Marks & Spencer adverts every single year. Well, it’s not like she can sing anymore and we’ll let her off because she’s a grandma, an old age pensioner and surely her government pension of £140 a week, just won’t stretch far enough to pay for the botox.
Further to this what about bands in adverts?
The Rolling Stones featured in an Omega watches’ Olympic advert – please, don’t tell me their 1964 song Time Is On My Side was used (another predictable YAWN). The scruffy Boomtown Rats and Band Aid organiser Bob Geldof has appeared in a shaving advert. What a joke, he’s never had a clean shave in his life, with that bumfluff schoolboy bitty beard. Alice Cooper – yes, he is still performing – once appeared in an advert for US School supplies. If that isn’t synchronisation I’ll eat my hat. In hindsight, I bet he would have never written School’s Out had he known this would haunt him in later life.
And finally, the winner of the most ridiculous advert and lack of musical synergy goes to Motorhead & Hawkwind, Rock God Lemmy. He was cast in an advert for Kit-Kat! No that is really hilarious.
It should be carved in stone at the gates of rock ‘n’ roll hell, stretched in spandex, covered in tight butt clinching leather and featured in the rock dictionary that any member of the rock ‘n’ roll fraternity can only advertise fire breathing, hellraising, 200 per cent proof alcohol, class A drugs or complete debauchery but certainly not chocolates.