Air Waves
by Laura Nachman
Philadelphia Metro
December 15, 2005
It seems like the classic American commercial jingle is jingling all the way into obscurity. Instead of "I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper," Dr. Pepper uses "Stacy's Mom Has Got it Going On" by Fountains of Wayne. "Just What I Needed" by the Cars gets more airplay for its Circuit City ads than on any classic rock station. And for heartburn sufferers, "Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz," has been replaced by the "Welcome Back Kotter" theme.

Bob Burke, vice president and managing director of radio trade publication,"Friday Morning Quarterback," has some reasons why our television commercials are turning into radio stations.

"The most common reason is, it's a familiar sound, and it might be a type of sound that fits what the advertisers is trying to sell," he said.  Or, "they may want something edgy. Many new songs have become hits from new bands with the help of commercial exposure. Both Gorillaz and Caesars (Ipod), Dirty Vegas (Mitsubishi), and even Madonna (Motorola) and Led Zeppelin (Cadillac) are examples of classic artists or songs used to make products hip within a certain age demographic mostly on the older end.

Years ago it would be considered a sellout and not a good move for a band's image but nowadays money is money. The relationship often starts through tour sponsorship and product placement at the events. Other than professional sports the music world has been to go to marketing partner."

Though advertising professionals say the estimated cost to purchase a licensed song for a commercial can be in six-figures, it's not scaring advertisers away from using those those songs in today's ads.

Popular Songs in recent commercials:

"The Boys are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy for Wrangler
"Let's Groove Tonight" by Earth, Wind & Fire for Target
"Daydream Believer" by The Monkees for Ebay
"This Will Be" by Natalie Cole for
"Slow Ride" by Foghat for Honda Odyssey Van
"Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers for Chase Visa "Double Rewards" program
"Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen for Zales
"Back in Black" by AC/DC for Cingular Black Moto Razr phones