I was listening to some country music on the radio the other day and heard Rodney's Atkins singing Watching You, which was the #1 country song of last year. It's a story about how kids are little mimics and pick up everything their parents do and say, not just the good lessons and behavior the parents might hope for.
There's a line in the first verse that goes, "Drivin’ through town just my boy and me with a Happy Meal in his booster seat..." I wonder how much that free plug might be worth to McDonald's in sales of their Happy Meals?
That's exactly the question a new company called Lyrics Marketing wants to find out. Here's what they do, courtesy of their website, "At Lyrics Marketing we take product placement to the next level by integrating products into song lyrics! This partnership places a brand in the minds of music lovers around the world, while songwriters/artists create additional revenue for themselves by doing what they already do. Put the power of music to work for you!"
Is this a brilliant win-win idea or just another example of commerce defeating art? Is it The Man keeping the beautiful, creative people down or is he throwing them a lifeline by giving them a way to earn a living in an otherwise difficult business economy?
Singer-Songwriter Jill Sobule has been getting a lot of press lately for her creative way of financing her new CD by offering her fans the chance to buy levels of input into its creation. For one price she'll sing your name on the album; for more you get to sing on it yourself! Perhaps she should contact Lyrics Marketing and pitch them her new song called, "I Was Sipping On A Coke While Driving My Honda Civic Past The Best Buy Store Across The Street From The AppleBees On My Way To See 10,000 BC, Opening March 8."
Full Disclosure Alert: the brains behind Lyrics Marketing is a successful advertising agency owner in Atlanta who has been one of my best friends for more than thirty years. I'm sure he would be interested in your comments on his new business venture as free market research. So fire away!