.

John Lennon U.K. Car Commercial Reignites Rock in Ads Debate

March 4, 2010 11:14 AM ET

Whenever rock & roll appears in advertisements, some fans protest. A few years ago, Rolling Stone tracked the Worst Rock Sell-Outs Ever! ("All you need is Luvs" ... diapers) and the Best Rock Sell-Outs Ever! (VW adopts Nick Drake's "Pink Moon"). It's the debate that rages every time the Moldy Peaches give a song to a Bahamas resort, Dr. Dre teases Detox for Dr. Pepper, or Bob Dylan promotes Pepsi. One rocker with experience in this arena, Ryan Adams, complained about being nagged over his Gap ad. But in truth, rock stars have appeared in dozens of Super Bowl commercials.

A new car commercial featuring archival footage of John Lennon is currently causing a bit of an uproar in the U.K., and some Beatles fans are questioning why Yoko Ono permitted French automaker Citroen to use footage of Lennon discussing the creative process. The backlash has prompted Sean Lennon to respond via Twitter, where he defended his mother's attempt to keep his famous father in the "public consciousness."

"Look, TV ad was not for money. It's just hard to find new ways to keep dad in the new world. Not many things as effective as TV," Sean tweeted. "Having just seen ad I realize why people are mad. But intention was not financial, was simply wanting to keep him out there in the world… No new LPs, so TV ad is exposure to young."

This isn't the first time the posthumous use of John Lennon in a commercial has sparked controversy: As Rolling Stone reported in December 2008, a digital version of Lennon was used in a commercial for One Laptop Per Child.

In the commercial for Citroen's "anti-retro" DS3 model, Lennon says in the interview footage, "Once a thing's been done, it's been done. So while this nostalgia, I mean for the '60s and '70s, looking backwards for inspiration, copying the past, how is that rock n' roll? Do something of your own, start something new. Live your life now."

Related Stories:
John Lennon Appears Digitally In New "One Laptop Per Child" Ad

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com