Friday, June 16, 2006

It's a pink moon: a VW flashback

Play it: Volkswagen TV Ad Songs (1995-2005)

Remember when new songs were broken on the radio or MTV? It all seemed to start to change in the mid-90s when the consolidation of radio made it harder and harder for new and interesting songs to break out.

It was about that time Volkswagen started re-invigorating their marketing with the use of 'cutting edge' music in their television commercials. The little-heard 80's techno song "Da Da Da" (by Trio) became a hit after being featured in a clever ad for the 1997 Jetta, and it was only the beginning. Volkswagon then re-introduced the Beetle, and a slew of 'indie rock' songs helped invoke a 'lifestyle' that the new Beetle represented. Between 1999 and 2000 Volkswagon's marketing campaign used a slew of songs from acts like Stereolab, The Roots, Spiritualized, Lilys, Velocity Girl and Lush to sell the new Beetle... and it worked.

In 2000, they also helped introduce Nick Drake to millions with their award winning Cabriolet commercial which featured "Pink Moon." Hearing one of my dead idols singing in a car ad brought mixed emotions, but it was such a great ad it didn't cheapen the song or Drake's memory in the slightest:

I recently came across a CD soundtrack that VW sold via their website which had many of these songs. Of course that soundtrack was in the used bin for cheap, but it made me a bit nostalgiac and I had to go back and compile this playlist for my own edification.

More videos:
VW Bubble Boy ad featuring ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky"
VW Golf TDI - featuring Son Volt's "Chanty"
'99 Golf featuring "Mr. Roboto" by Styx
"Wedding Day" featuring "One Million Miles Away" by J. Ralph

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drake leLane said...

1. "Hear" moonpools and caterpillars
Drivers Wanted (1996 Jetta)

2. "Da Da Da" Trio
Sunday Afternoon (1997 Golf)

3. "La guitaristic house organisation" Rinôçérôse
Cute Car (Rally Cup Beetle)

4. "Parsec" Stereolab
Less Flower More Power (1999 New Beetle)

5. "Mr. Roboto" Styx
Crazy Guy (1999 Golf)

6. "II B.S." Charles Mingus
Great Escape (1999 Jetta)

7. "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space" Spiritualized
Motor Trend Car of the Year (1999 New Beetle)

8. "Little Fluffy Clouds" The Orb
What Were The Skies Like (1999 New Beetle)

9. "Dynamite!" The Roots
(1999 Reflex - Limited Edition Beetle)

10. "Pink Moon" Nick Drake
Milky Way (2000 Cabrio)

11. "Beautiful" Ivy
(2000 Beetle)

12. "Sorry Again" Velocity Girl
(2000 Beetle)

13. "Any Place I've Lived" Lilys
(2000 Beetle)

14. "Sweetness And Light" Lush
(2000 Beetle)

15. "Subject To Status" Pitchshifter
(2000 Vortex - Limited Edition Beetle)

16. "One Million Miles Away" J. Ralph
Wedding (2001 Jetta VR6)

17. "Chanty" Son Volt
Buffalo to Memphis (2002) / Getting Warmer (2004)

18. "The Staunton Lick"
Lemon Jelly
Driver's Tan (2002)

19. "I Can See Clearly Now" Jimmy Cliff

20. "Mr. Blue Sky" Electric Light Orchestra
Bubble (Beetle Convertible 2003)

21. "Light & Day"
The Polyphonic Spree
Pods Unite (iPod promotion 2003)

22. "Strange & Beautiful (I'll Put A Spell On You)" Aqualung

23. "Fiery Yellow" Stereolab
Remote Control Car (Phaeton 2004)

24. "Ariel Ramirez" Richard Buckner
Picture (2004 Touareg)

25. "Spoonful" Howlin' Wolf
Hum (2004 Jetta)

26. "Molly's Chambers" Kings Of Leon
Apartment (2005 Jetta)

drake leLane said...

I should mention the chronological order is approximated (a lot of calculated guesses!)

kamagra said...

I think you are right. It was a nice way to do it: music in their television commercials. it's all about imagination and this'll be the norm. They are doing the same thing during years.

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