While musicians moonlighting in advertising is increasingly commonplace, for some reason Iggy Pop’s Swiftcover venture, which included the lines “actually I was thinking of playing a little golf”, was particularly grating, and considered the final nail in punk’s coffin. Here’s some more dodgy deals from idols you know.
Jarvis – Eurostar. The rather surreal ad, which sees Jarvis’s head popping out of a crowded stadium, helped Eurostar post a 6 per cent rise in annual sales. Entitled ‘Trainstorming’, it focuses on the London Olympics and ends on a charming Jarvis quip: “Maybe we need bagpipes.”
Alice Cooper – Staples. If you could place Alice Cooper in any situation, shopping for school supplies with his fake daughter wouldn’t be one of them. The distressed child looks up and says, “But I thought you said school’s out for ever,” before the camera cuts to her dad- Alice Cooper in full fright drag, who replies: “No, I said school’s out for summer! Nice try.”
Pete Doherty – The Kooples. Pete Doherty’s range for the Kooples was inspired by Suedeheads, Mods and Doherty’s own vintage wardrobe. Pete models the clothes himself in posters that now appear on the side of every other London bus.
David Bowie – Crystal Sake. This TV ad was a really weird few seconds which saw Bowie, in a pale silk shirt, stare ominously into the camera and toast a glass of Crystal. Think Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.
Lemmy – Kit Kat. Lemmy joins an, ahem, all star cast including Bernard Manning, Roy Keane and Kelly Brooke in Kit Kat’s “Peace and Love” ad. Here, he plays the violin for a group of elderly ladies as they dine. Or rather, have a break.
Kim Gordon – Surface to Air. The Sonic Youth front woman took time off from being a rock star to collaborate with Surface to Air on a 12-piece collection. Pieces, she said, which would be able to fit into the overhead compartment of a bus during long tours. Neon orange pants and snakeskin boots aplenty.
Ozzy – World of Warcraft. Ozzy discusses who the real prince of darkness is with the lines, “I’ve been the prince of darkness since 1979” and “what’s your fucking game?” Now let’s count how many computer screens would be smashed and family members screamed at if Ozzy was to ever sit down and actually play a video game.
Katy Perry – ProActiv. A four million dollar ad depicting the singer’s struggle with acne aired in 58 different countries. “A lot of my insecure moments are related to my skin problems,” she says. Who needs pimples? Not Katy Perry.
John Lydon – Country Life Butter. This five million pound TV campaign was another stab through punk’s withered heart. Wearing a tweed suit and ambling around the countryside, Lydon asks: “Do I buy Country Life butter because it’s British?” before the slogan ‘It’s not about Great Britain, it’s about great butter’.
John Cooper Clarke – Dominos. Remember John Cooper Clarke’s line: “He’s a health fanatic… makes you sick?” Well here, the punk poet stays true to his love for fast food by narrating a Domino’s advert aimed at raising awareness of the true determination and passion that goes into every single pizza delivery.
Madonna – Macy’s. A collaboration between Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes Leon, ‘Material Girl’ saw Lourdes blogging about her mother’s clothes as a way of not talking to press. Highlights include the line: “Don’t expect to find your favorite pair of gladiators in her line. U know, like 4 reeealz yo totesssssss HOLLA”.
Beyoncé – L’Oreal. The campaign earned the headline ‘Beyoncé The Pale’ from the New York Post, after L’Oreal was accused of “whitewashing” the star by digitally lightening her skin. Beyoncé is seen dancing around to her own track, ‘Naughty Girl,’ before ending on: “Because hey, we’re worth it.”
Paul McCartney – iPod. Shortly after McCartney announced he would be distributing his music on iTunes, he starred in this ad that sees him strum a mandolin and sing track, “Dance Tonight.” Animations of buildings artistically fall away behind him. Does it make you want to spend money?
Julian Casablancas, Santogold, Pharrell – Converse. To celebrate the 100th birthday of the iconic shoe brand, the three artists came together to record an original track and ad campaign called ‘My Drive Thru’. Perhaps a little less awkward than the Dr Martens ads which featured a string of deceased artists, including Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious sitting in heaven wearing Dr Martens boots.
50 Cent – Reebok. The Advertising Standards Authority had several complaints about this ad before it was banned. Highlighting the fact that 50 Cent has been shot nine times, it ends with a voice asking: “Who do you plan to massacre next?” The rapper laughs and stares threateningly into the camera.
Jack White – Diet Coke. The figurehead for anti-business music sings in this short film, entitled Love is the Truth. The track was written by White to celebrate what to him, is “the greatest drink ever made by man.”
Duffy – Diet Coke. The ad that possibly ended Duffy’s career. It even sparked Blur manager Chris Morrison to warn pop and rock stars to think carefully before appearing in campaigns for big brands. “I won’ give up this dream of life that keeps me alive. I gotta be me,” Duffy sings, whilst she rides her bike to the nearest supermarket.
Dylan and Will.i.Am – Pepsi. Dylan’s ‘74 hit ‘Forever Young’ is mashed into a duet with Will.i.Am. At the start, the pair share a pair of Ray Bans, insinuating, maybe, that Will.i.Am is our generation’s Bob Dylan. At the end, we are reminded: “every generation refreshes the world.”
Madness – Kronenbourg. As part of Kronenbourg’s ‘Slow the Pace’ campaign, the band slump on the table of an intimate French bar and sing a slowed down re-arrangement of ‘Baggy Trousers’. Saxophonist Lee Thompson is slowly lifted from his chair by a wire that attaches him to the ceiling fan above. It works.