Monday, September 15, 2008

Don't get too cute with it, Lincoln

If, like me, you spent the better part of yesterday watching football, you might have seen this ad (which has been running for a couple weeks now).

cat power :: "space oddity" (david bowie cover) - bowie

Despite the cool cinematography, it’s not much of a standout spot visually. So many car ads look alike these days. But if you’re a Cat Power fan then you likely recognized the soundtrack. Chan Marshall has done some great covers in her career and I am in love with the snippet of her doing Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” It’s a bittersweet tune, so right in her strike zone.

Lincoln’s use of the song works for their concept of equating driving the car to space travel, and it probably maps well to their intended audience being that it’s a song they probably know updated for today. The weird part is that it’s maybe not the greatest choice when you scratch below the surface of the song to its messages of detachment and powerlessness.

I also kinda hate the “you’ve really made the grade” lyric closing the spot. I bet somebody—the client, the editor, the account guy—was really proud of himself for making that (not so) subtle point.

(I’d love to get my hands on the full version of this song so that I could write over the mental connection I now have between it and this spot. Here’s hoping.)

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