How many of you were unlucky enough to hear the award winning seven hour radio show, Dreaming of the Past (more aptly named Living in the past) which commemorated the 25th anniversary of Lennon’s assassination when it aired last year? It was pretty hard to avoid at least even hearing about it, unless you completely shut off the radio and stopped reading magazines and papers, which isn’t always a bad thing. Especially in a case like this.
To make sure everyone in the universe was aware of this historic broadcast they bombarded the airwaves for over two months prior to the event with sixty second commercials disguised as programs called, A Minute of Lennon.
I’ll agree, its a nice idea to honor the deceased beatle like this, after all he did have a positive message to send out after he left the FF. Lennon has obviously done more for world peace than Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and even Bob Geldof, yet he still gets so little press these days it’s a miracle we haven’t forgotten his name!
You must be wondering what great humanitarian organizations and peace activists pulled together to produce this incredible testament to the memory of the immortal Lennon.
Well, it was those thoughtful folks at…..AN ADVERTISING AGENCY!
You mean…this was about making money, not honoring the deceased and his gifts to the world? Exploiting the dead for profit? Are there no cosmetic creams left to hustle? Rotgut beer to hawk? Cigarettes for children? Pesticides? Erectile dysfunction pills?
Surely there must be more to this than putting gas in their Range Rovers and vacationing in the French West Indies. Right??
Lets hear if from the horses mouth:
“We try to come up with interesting radio programs that advertisers can leverage. Branded entertainment is something I’m not sure is even happening in Canada. So we’ve created a seven-hour radio special around Lennon.”
If you’re not aware of what branded entertainment is, here’s a quick definition:
It’s hiding ads in material written for a target audience, creating an affinity between the brand and the subject matter. Backwards product placement. Coke doesn’t pay Martin Scorsese to film coke bottles in every scene, they hire some schmuck to write Scorsese a movie where it’s integral to the plot.
In other words: they used John Lennon to sell you cars, donuts and tires.
In regards to the two month shock and wealth campaign, also known as A Minute of Lennon, they had this to say:
“We’re building a long-term, loyal audience over two months through 65 one-minute programs called A Minute of Lennon to keep listeners hooked. Within each 60-second spot is a 30-second audio tag for Toshiba, our title sponsor,”
Other sponsors were Goodyear and of course EMI Music.
Step aside tampons, sneakers and laundry detergent, the shysters found a new way to hock the beatles! Geez, I can’t wait to see what they’ll sell when all the FF are dead!
Once again, if you think I’m making this up go read it for yourself:
Link to the full article
At least now you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that sleazebag in the power boat tearing through your lake drunk on $300 brandy was funded by you.