Posted in music on March 23, 2009

by Ryan Barkan

Smashing Pumpkins @ United Palace Theatre, NYC(more by Chris La Putt)
Smashing Pumpkins

Lately it seems all Billy Corgan wants to do is either get involved in political battles or license his music for entertainment purposes. Case in point, the Billy Corgan avatar is playable in Guitar Hero World Tour, released last October. That was followed by a three-song Smashing Pumpkins GH track pack becoming available for download as DLC in December. Then, on the biggest advertising stage of the year (i.e. the Super Bowl) a new single "FOL" was dropped in a spot for Hyundai. The Super Bowl one-upper came recently when Billy decided to let loose...for the first time...arguably the band's biggest song ("Today") on a Visa commercial. Visa was not done there however, as Billy and the Pumpkins just weren't enough music for the brand to express itself via 30 second spots.

The credit card company dusted off '70s rock band The Moody Blues' classic jam "Tuesday Afternoon" for a spot dubbed "the Aquarium". To finish off, the coolest of the recent Visa spots has creative direction around the Brooklyn-based performance artist known as "Crutch", Bill Shannon. The commercial sees Bill dance through city streets with his patented crutch dance technique to the Don Thomas song "Come On Train". Watch the Smashing Pumpkins one below.

Other Notable Licensing News:

The Magnetic Fields song "Underwear" appropriately provides soundtrack to an artsy, dream sequence-esque commercial for Puma. Watch it below.

Both Vampire Weekend (about 8 seconds of "Campus") and Beck's "E-Pro" were enlisted for this commercial trailer for the new Paul Rudd film "I Love You Man".

continued below...

Vanilla Ice is very, very sorry he inflicted that song...you know...."Ice Ice Baby"...on the masses. He apologies for the 40 million units sold in a current campaign for Virgin Mobile....Australia. The campaign, Right Music Wrongs, even has a website. Watch the spot below.

Chips. Dips. They go together. They were made for each other! Or so that's what Frito Lay is trying to get across in their two most recent commercials. One features "East End Blues" by artist Leon Jean-Marie, one has Rabbit!'s "Color The World", both have overly fun animated story lines and imagery. Both can be seen below.

Be careful, if you don't have your volume up you might miss The Sea And Cake's "Jacking The Ball" in a recent Citibank commercial (see it via Stereogum).

Earth Hour, the global statement against climate change, was started two years ago by the World Wildlife Federation. It is back again this March 28th with already 1,200 cities across the world committing to turning off their lights for one hour. For more info, check out this promo commercial with Coldplay's "Fix You" in it and/or head over to the event website.

Social statement + Chemical Brothers song "The Pills Won't Help You Now" = new commercial for Aviva. See it below.

Skating legend Bob Burnquist teams up with filmmaker Ty Evans for a new Hershey's spot featuring "ABC" by The Jackson 5. There's a two part interview with Bob and Ty plus (!) a facebook page for more fun if you are interested.

Ratatat provides the soundtrack to an animated Nike Women's apparel commercial. Watch it below. Nike also synched The View's song "Wasteland" for a UK soccer spot featuring famous footballers including Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres and Joe Cole. That 30 second commercial can be seen below.

Honda and Mickey Factz, yes Mickey Factz, collaborated on a web series for the Accord. The series features mutiple clips and money-saving tips from MF and DJ Gomez Warren IV. Watch the spot below.

Lou Reed teamed up with Supreme NY for a photo t-shirt as a part of their Spring/Summer 2009 collection.

Who wouldn't want to walk around with sweet green Adidas shoes with "FINE MALT LYRICS" emblazoned on the side? If you are a House Of Pain fan, you'll be doubly excited as they are a collaboration shoe with Adidas. (via Hypebeast)

I'll see you on the darkside of the...shoe? Yes, especially if you wear the Pink Floyd x Converse Chuck All-Star High Top that just dropped. (via Streetthing.com)

Over the past couple weeks, Bones used Nikka Costa; Brothers & Sisters had Bon Iver, Alison Krauss, Coldplay, and Brett Dennen. NBC's Chuck licensed a number of songs including Blitzen Trapper, Bloc Party, The Bangles, The Puppini Sisters, Toto, Jane's Addiction, and Chromeo. Duffy was used in Criminal Minds; Cold Case had Bad Company, Jason Mraz, Heart, Peter Frampton, Lynard Skynard, Foghat, Ted Nugent, and The Killers. CSI had a T-Pain song, one by The Guillemots, and one by Taylor Swift. CSI Miami used Flo Rida, TV On The Radio, Beyonce and AC/DC. ER is winding down its run on TV - it recently went with Pete Yorn and Earlimart. Grey's Anatomy mixed it up with Metric, Rachel Yamagata, Snow Patrol, and 50 Cent Fleetwood Mac's "the Chain" was used in Heroes. Kyle XY used Broken West, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Augustana, Earlimart, 16 Frames, Nada Surf, and Bloc Party. New Fox show Lie To Me placed both Johnny Cash and Ryan Adams in recent episodes. Life had Weezer, She & Him, Keane and Calla; NUMB3RS used The Faint and She Wants Revenge. The L Word was chock full 'o ladies - Lykke Li, Kate Nash, Sade, Lee Ann Womack, and Duffy all lent songs to the storyline. Lastly, Ugly Betty used Brett Dennen.

And here are the videos...


Visa Commercial with Smashing Pumpkins

Virgin Mobile Commercial with Vanilla Ice

Frito Lay Commercial with Rabbit!

Frito Lay Commercial with Leon Jean-Marie

Puma Commercial with Magnetic Fields

Aviva Commercial with The Chemical Brothers

Nike Women Commercial with Ratatat

Nike Commercial with The View

Honda with Mickey Factz

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Comments (13)

I'm glad to see so many of my favourite songs being used to make their creators some cash. Bravo.

Posted by Owen | March 23, 2009 9:43 AM

back it up
back it in
let me begin
i came to win
battle me
that's a sin

Posted by Sacred Absolute Hipster Cow | March 23, 2009 9:46 AM

"The credit card company dusted off '70s rock band The Moody Blues' classic jam 'Tuesday Afternoon' for a spot dubbed 'the Aquarium'."

Didn't the album which includes that track, "Days of Future Past," (or "...Passed"?) come out in the late sixties? Also, I wouldn't call that track a jam.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2009 10:33 AM

no more billy corgan pictures, please?!

Posted by scott | March 23, 2009 11:50 AM

corgan should license a song to summer's eve. get it?

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2009 12:23 PM

this column needs Summer's Eve

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2009 1:33 PM

Paul Rudd and Jason Segel doing Rush's "Limelight" is hilarious:
"THe Underlying THEME!!"

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2009 1:40 PM

Licensing is done for a reason. If you really want the right to your product you better stick to it. You can't have the best of both worlds.

Posted by John Lennon | March 23, 2009 7:48 PM

Please don't ever speak for John Lennon again ,you piece of shit. At least he made sense.

Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2009 11:47 AM

Fine, you can call me...

Posted by John MEHnnon | March 24, 2009 12:37 PM

I loved seeing "Said So What" by the French Kicks on the show Damages...how about a BV "This Week in TV show placements" segment?

Posted by taylor | March 27, 2009 10:48 PM

I was personally pretty thrilled to hear a sneak preview of the new Great Northern song "Driveway" on Grey's Anatomy last week.

Posted by halleh | March 29, 2009 9:46 PM

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