Monday, February 06, 2012

I can hear it now . . .

I imagine that my students will ask me tomorrow if I noticed that the Super Bowl ads used classical music.

I am not a sports person, and I also know next to nothing about the game of football, but I did watch a bit of the Super Bowl yesterday, and I did shudder a little when I heard snippets from the Scherzo from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in an ad that had polar bears drinking coke. I groaned an "Oy." Then another polar bear ad used a rendered excerpt from the last movement. There was Rossini in the Doritos, and Strauss in the Camry. Every excerpt except the Glass (which does work well as background music for a commercial) was extremely familiar; the "stock" of ringtone-friendly themes. (I suppose we should give creative points to Coke for not using the first movement of the Fifth).

Excuse my curmudgeonly blurt.

These commercials use themes from pieces of music, not pieces in their entirety. It is kind of like suggesting that a line from a movie IS the movie, or, by extension, "the movies."

Don't get me started on the half-time show, or the apocalypse theme that seemed to permeate the commercials. Or the product placement of Twinkies in the end-of-the-world ad for some kind of car that was not a Ford.

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