I hear a lot of classic blues music in ads, and it always makes me wonder. If blues music is popular enough to sell cars, food and even toys, why is it not popular enough to make blues musicians more wealthy?
The Economist online approaches the question from a different angle, in their article, Music in Commercials: Looney Tunes. It is a very good read.
THERE was quite a kerfuffle over this year’s Christmas advert for John Lewis, a British department store. It’s a nice, if overly sentimental, minute and a half in which a child impatiently counts down the days until Christmas. At the end we discover that his eagerness was more about wanting give his mum and dad a present than receive his own.
The article ask 'Are we guilty of over-intellectualizing this?'
I think we are over-intellectualizing this, the more I think about it I realize that most of us connect to music on an emotional level for the most part. The words, and the meanings, the style are not really that important. This is especially true for the music used in ads. Blues music has a lot of emotional content and it is this part of the music that marketers are attracted to.
Blues musicians deserve to be able to make money off their music when they are alive. And I don't think there is anything wrong with their music being used in ads, if it is done in a way that does not disrespect the music.