Name That Retailer’s Tune

Feb 01, 2005

By George Anderson

It’s been reported that Paul McCartney became nearly apoplectic when he first learned ‘Revolution’ was providing the musical backdrop for a Nike commercial. Rock and roll purists railed at the very idea of Led Zeppelin providing the backing track for a Cadillac commercial, but one thing is clear: Baby Boomers and other consumers, for a number of reasons, are drawn to advertising using past musical hits, and retailers and other marketers are going to keep the tunes spinning for as long as they bring shoppers into stores.

A report in the National Retail Federation’s Stores magazine said retailers, such as J.C. Penney, are finding that old time rock and roll is not only good for the soul but the bottom line, as well.

The retailer used Peter Townshend’s ‘Let My Love Open the Door’ to create an emotional connection with consumers in four spots it ran during the 2004 holiday season.

Michael Cape, vice president of brand marketing for the chain said the target of Penney spots were primarily women who grew up listening to Mr. Townshend as a member of The Who and as a solo artist. “It is a song that thirtysomething moms grew up with and identify with. At the same time, she will connect it with the JCPenney brand.”

Moderator’s Comment: Are consumers emotionally connecting with retailers and branded products as a result of the music being used in commercials? Which
marketer (retailer or otherwise) do you think has done the best job of associating itself with a past hit?

George Anderson – Moderator

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