QC Blog: All You need is Love, not a Blackberry

Friday, October 16, 2009

All You need is Love, not a Blackberry

Based on the searches that led people to my blog yesterday and the Twitter messages expressing disgust over Blackberry using All you need is Love in their most recent commercial, let me explain just a little further why this upsets me specifically. Although I would hate the use of any Beatles song because I know how much they didn't want to be used commercially, this one is particularly offensive.

My kids tell me this is not their favorite Beatles song. I try to explain to them the significance of this song in a historical context. The Beatles wrote this song to represent Great Britain in the first ever World Wide Satellite hookup. What better message could they think of to send than All you need is Love. It may not be the most complex of their songs, but it's simple and to the point.

There are several reasons it irritates me personally. First I hate that Alan Klein was such a terrible manager that he let the Beatles catalog slip away from their control. Second, I hate that Michael Jackson was such a terrible friend that he stabbed Paul McCartney in the back after getting advice on where to invest in music, by buying the catalog out from under him. I hate that Sony owns a piece of it because Michael Jackson was too deep in debt and lost control of the catalog. I hate that every time one of these commercials air it pays money to Michael Jackson's estate.

But most of all, I hate that Beatles music, that somehow stands by itself in an iconic sense of time and place, is sullied in this commercial way. The Beatles would probably never have agreed to using their songs in an ad. Who knows? I just feel better knowing I'm not the only one who hates it.

What ever happened to jingles? Are people so lazy they can't hire someone to write a catchy tune? It would be a lot cheaper than using a Beatles tune.


Anonymous said...

While I'm not vexed over The Beatles specifically, I do not like pop songs in ads. It is quite annoying to have our personal narratives toyed with over fascinating items like hamburgers and laundry soap. Please, someone bring back the jingle. Jingles make sense. Get one stuck in your head and you probably remember the product. Get a pop song stuck in your head and you might be remembering the first time you did 'it.'

Anonymous said...

Great post. I totally agree. I graduated high school in 1994 and thus helped to introduce the Beatles to my peers. The moment I saw this commercial my first thought was: "Paul and Ringo must have indigestion; Harrison and Lennon must be turning over in their graves!" O well...guess it's just another day in the life...

Rob said...

Well, I assume that Paul McCartney has the clout to say if he doesn't want one of his songs (though he didn't write it, it's credited to him and Lennon) in a commercial, they (music publisher) would acquiesce to his request.

I'm sure Paul is grumbling all the way to the bank.

The Quilting Crusader said...

It's my understanding the Beatles have a say over their performances of the song, but as for other people's performances (which the publishers would control) they don't.

Anonymous said...

I'm 49 years old and I actually like that these songs from my youth are being covered and used in ads. Kids hear a tune they like and then search out the original. It helps keep the original tunes alive. Don't take this so seriously.... let others find the music and enjoy.

Mimi said...

I totally agree with you. And as for the anonymous person who said, "Don't take this so seriously.... let others find the music and enjoy." This has nothing to do with sharing, mate.

I didn't mind when Phillips used "Getting Better".

But a company/product that feeds into people's egocentrism ironically using a song about love is outrageous. The cover in and of itself is awful, and it's blasphemous, really.

Anonymous said...

"Getting Better" is definitely not the song that "All You Need is Love" is and Phillips is not the company that Blackberry is. It's like "Revolution" being used for Nike, it's just so so wrong.

Mike said...

I think Blackberry spent A LOT of money on these commercials and didn't get much for it.

On a philosophical note, is anyone else annoyed at huge multi-national corporations claiming to be providing love, community, etc. I mean, they're all selling fulfillment - with freakin' religious overtones almost. See Coca-Cola's new campaign. I believe its something like: "happiness in a bottle".

Just tell me how good the new Blackberry is.

Anonymous said...

my guess is that the craven jackson estate pushed this through and nobody wants to raise a stink because of the newly "sainted" jackson's recent passing.

never mind the fact that this song of all songs does not belong hawking products.

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