Several months ago I downloaded the Kansas song “Dust in the Wind” to my new iPod. That 1980s spiritual anthem, with its nifty and meditative violin-based groove, always stopped and made me contemplate the status of the world. Yeah, it dripped a little sap, but it was still a cool tune to me.
So it was good to hear the song again on my iPod after all these years. It took me back, and it still made me think. That is, until I heard it on TV. A few days after downloading “Dust in the Wind,” I was watching TV and the song was played on a car commercial.
It seems you can’t turn the channel these days without coming across a commercial that sports a rock or pop song as its jingle. It doesn’t matter what a song’s lyrics entail — “Dust in the Wind” flaunts a Biblically based message — just as long as the song is a good fit metaphorically. And, yes, as long as the song’s artist is cashing in on its corporate use.
So I pose a question to you. If you were John Mellencamp and Chevy offered you enough money to buy a small town for your song to be used in a car commercial, would you take the money and run? Why or why not? And, by the way, if Titleist offers you 10 grand to paint an advertisement on your course's 18th green, are you going to accept?
— Larry Aylward