Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the gum company Wrigley’s is in cahoots with Chris Brown, Neyo, and Julianne Hough (some chick from “Dancing with the Stars”), to basically sell you chewing gum in the form of pop music.
Now we all know urban music artists have been selling fans everything but the kitchen sink for the past ten years or so (LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes nodding their heads like bobble head dolls in a Mountain Dew commercial, check), and god forbid any one of these guys passes up a check on the grounds of artistic integrity, but seriously, I’m not 100% sure that I give much of a fuck that Wrigley’s is selling me gum via Chris Brown right now.
Here’s why. I wanted to rip my ears off every time I heard “Pass The Courvoisier” (first one of these horrible sales-pitch style songs that I can think of off the top of my head) in its hey day, but this Chris Brown track, “Forever,” which incorporates the Double Mint gum slogan, “Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun,” is actually good. Not good in like in the sense of like it’s some great piece of art, but just in general it’s a cool little pop song. For what it is, it’s good.
And this is just the start of it. According to the WSJ article:
“Forever” is an extended version of a new Doublemint jingle written by Mr. Brown and scheduled to begin airing next month in 30-second spots for Wrigley’s green-packaged chewing gum…. The campaign includes spots featuring R&B singer Ne-Yo doing his own take on Big Red’s ‘kiss a little longer’ jingle. And ‘Dancing With the Stars’ regular-turned-country-singer Julianne Hough recorded a twangy version of Juicy Fruit’s ‘The taste is gonna move ya.’”
But see, the catch to the whole Chris Brown/Wrigley’s thing is this, the song’s been out for a while, and this whole time it’s been out, nobody knew that it was a really a covert advertisement for Double Mint gum. Now these 30-second spots come out sounding nearly identical the “Forever” track, which is a popular tune (according to the article, the song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot100 last week) and you’ve got some real synergy going on with the marketing of this gum.
Is this right?
I don’t know. I do believe the corporate-sponsored music act is the future of subsidizing music careers though (See: Jermaine Dupri and Tag Records).
The real question is, if a song is truly great, does it matter if you’re subconsciously being sold some shit in the process of listening to it?!? Does the fact that Wrigley’s paid to have the song written and produced, that it paid for Chris Brown to perform it, to endorse their product, does that make you NOT want to hear a song anymore?
Or do you just NOT want to hear the song because you think Chris Brown is gay.