dear music media #2

dear music media (and marketing types),

do not bullshit me about your investment in music.




for years i’ve read fistfulayen and followed ian rogers’ twitter account. mostly because marcus brown told me i should. marcus has good taste in these kinds of things.

this week in music
i recently had time to discover ian’s newish thang – this week in music. and i watched a few excellent clips.
the one with erin potts from air traffic control, i really liked. it fed into my whole relationship between music and politics, sound and action in a way i hadn’t thought about. an important service.

it also made me realise that, if this whole art thing fails, that i could definitely do what erin does. it’s a fantastic role and something i would love to do for more underground bands – not the big names with the ‘what’s $50K to a motherfucker like me‘ kind of swag, but for bands with a little cash, a chunk of sway and you know, hearts.

appropriating musical culture for ethical political means.

but that’s not really what this post is about.

actually, maybe it is. but about the complete opposite to that.

coke music

this is the footage of a discussion between ian, mark ronson and wendy clark from coke marketing at the midem conference.

i understand marketing a bit. i know the lingo and the drill. and i’m highly critical. my friends in that biz hate it when i get like that.

and i can tell you (and them) that this woman and her ‘coke music is all about the music’ bullshit is everything i hate about marketing, about multinational brands, about The Industry (FMCG, music and marketing industries included) and the bullshit of those worlds.

it is the arrogance about the façade of care and understanding that makes me see red. and it’s not even a very good façade. puh-lease, my grandmother could convince me that she loved the process of making music better than this woman. and i might even believe her that coke are interested in the true and emotional reaction that music has on people.

bullshit. coke are interested in coralling consumers and leveraging emotional attachment for the purpose of selling drinks.  as they always have. **

i just had to check to make sure the midem wasn’t actually a marketing conference. nope, it’s apparently about ‘connection to music’. yuh. sure.

so, for those who don’t want to watch the vid, coke “commissioned mark ronson on an ‘project’ to investigate the sounds of the olympics for the london campaign.
they basically bought mark ronson’s services to make a slightly-more-interesting coke jingle for advertising during the olympics. and they made a movie about it so that they could do a “transmedia schtick” and seem like it’s part of a much wider process of culture and interest and art.


mark ronson

and, whilst mark ronson is complicit in this, i love what he does. i mean, i’m glad that it’s him who got to record the sound of arrows flying through the air. he’s smart and open and skilled music/artist. 
i’m really interested in the technical aspects to this project too. really, i am. and i’m kind of jealous of his chance to record the grunts of darius knight and i think they way he composed them into beats was interesting. up until the point at which it is restricted by having to squish into a coke-identifying thang.
i know that musicians and artists don’t always just do things for the betterment of society, on an altruistic basis. we’re part of the commerce. i get that. but i’m always sad when amazing people limit their skills and squish them into a financial transaction for the sake of that financial transaction. especially when it’s a naff transaction like a coke endorsement. uh.

the olympics

and, well, this is just a small thing, but the other thing that annoys me about this appropriation of musical amazingness for naff commercial naffery, is that the olympics are such an opportunity to really impregnate something interesting into the world for a couple of weeks. really use cultural difference and variety to its absolute maximum.

it’s a real pity that this kind of sound project has to be supported by a fizzy drink company. that this isn’t the kind of thing that is just obviously part of the olympics – a big festival/competition about the human body and its elite levels of amazingness.

**and for those who might think that i’m living in a quaint utopian ideal where we only trade on authenticity, i see your perception of naivete, and ask why the fuck coke bother with trying with the ‘authentic’ spin and using an artist as a vehicle for sales if it we’re all such mature consumers that can trade in commerce evenly. pssht.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

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