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“It was kind of a cool promotion,” he said of the Apple commercial. “Artists still have to be comfortable with whatever it is their music is selling.”
Reputably altruistic ’90s rocker Melissa Etheridge spoke out Friday in favor of having songs tastefully used for advertising on another day panel, “The Shifting Brand-Scape.” The panel’s moderator, Bonny Dolan of Chicago-based ad services company Comma Music, said Dylan’s much-ballyhooed Chrysler commercial really wasn’t that big a deal — especially since the Minnesota legend has been in TV advertising going back to his cheeky ad for Victoria’s Secret in 2004.
“Having Bob Dylan do commercials certainly is a green light to other musicians, but it’s been green for quite a while,” said Dolan, whose company — a “music house” in industry speak — specializes in pairing musicians with advertisers.
There are still a few big-name holdouts not willing to play the advertising game, including Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. However, Dolan noted, “Not a lot of artists can afford to say no if they want to have a successful music career. It’s just a different world in the music industry now.”
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658