I always have mixed feelings when I hear bands I like in commercials. I try not to judge too harshly and immediately cry sellout, after all, sometimes it’s a good way for bands to get exposure and when done well even commercial art can be good art (Volkswagen used to be great at this). On the other hand I don’t really want my music co-opted by giant corporations, especially evil giant corporations and I’d like to listen to my music without having associations to brand names.
So I’ve seen the AT&T;/ Mates of State commercial a few times now and again I have mixed feelings. On the one hand my immediate reaction is joy when I hear “For the Actor” because it’s a great song and I love hearing it; I hope the band gets some exposure out of this (although their name is nowhere in the ad) because they’re a great band. On the other hand it’s not much in terms of art and not even a very good commercial. We see the band rocking out and zoom out to people in the crowd with the worlds “Wireless” above their heads, a voiceover tells us “You’re world is wireless, AT&T; is wireless. Welcome to America’s wireless leader, the new AT&T.;” Then with virtually no transition except to fade out and in we switch from Mates of State to an old Oasis song? Why do those people have Wireless above their heads? Their phones are wireless I guess? What does that have to do with a Mates of State concert? After all they’re not playing unplugged. I just have no idea what’s going on here, if anyone has any ideas please let me know.
MP3: Mates of State- For the Actor