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Music played a major role in the parade of high-end commercial art, providing the televised spectacle with its soundtrack.
MUSIC’S OTHER BIG NIGHT
With 100 Million Glued to Their Sets, the Super Bowl Moved the Needle in an Super Way

The conventional wisdom went something like this: "Denver 31, Seattle 20. Sherman makes Manning's job harder but the Broncos have too many receivers and Julius Thomas." But as it turned out, sitting through Super Bowl XLVIII was like watching the family cat catch a baby mouse and proceed to torture it for the next three and a half hours—the little rascal’s just doing his job, but it’s still kind of unsettling to witness. The fact that the game was basically over by midway through the first quarter, when Malcolm Jones made his first interception, and unwatchable after Percy Harvin ran back the second half kickoff to pay dirt, put the focus on the commercials and the halftime show even more than usual during the latest iteration of the annual national ritual.

Music played a major role in the parade of high-end commercial art, providing the televised spectacle with its soundtrack. There was a lot of classic rock, including Loverboy’s "Waiting for the Weekend" in an ’80s-themed Radio Shack spot, Hot Chocolate’s "You Sexy Thing" (Chevy trucks), the Human Beinz’ "Nobody but Me" (H&M), and Dylan’s "I Want You" (Chobani yogurt). Beats Music once again went with Aloe Blacc, Hyundai played it safe with Bruno Mars, the backing track of Dylan’s "Things Have Changed" played under his narration in the controversial Chrysler commercial, and Super Bowl vets The Heavy reappeared in a Fox promo with "Ain’t No Place for a Hero."

U2 premiered "Invisible" from their upcoming album, thanks to a coalition of (RED), B of A and iTunes, which is offering a free download for a few more hours. Passenger got a huge lift from the heartwarming Budweiser commercial, as "Let Her Go" went to #2 and All the Pretty Lights jumped to #8 at iTunes.

As Howie Long and others noted, Bruno "delivered," making the most of those coveted 12 minutes of mega-exposure (said to be worth $100 million in publicity), the frequent references to James Brown and Prince confirming his instantly elevated status, in a proud moment for manager Brandon Creed, as well as for John Janick, who piloted Bruno’s ascent before splitting for Interscope. Not surprisingly, Unorthodox Jukebox is both #1 and #11 this morning at iTunes, while the first album is #4; several tracks are also presently in the upper reaches of the chart. What’s more, the Chili Peppers kicked ass during what could’ve been a gratuitous appearance in the middle of Bruno’s performance with a ferocious take on "Give It Away." 

It was surreal to see Dylan as a pitchman for, no matter how stirring the message. For the record, the payoff went like this: "Let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car."There was some disagreement about whether the move was inspired or wrongheaded. The two-minute spot was one of the standouts in a WSJ contest for best advertisements, based on a survey of consumers and ad buyers. Forbes, on the other hand, opined that the commercial "wasn’t a good look for Dylan, a counterculture icon, to become a car salesman," further noting that it may have been a good thing the spot aired toward the end of the blowout, after millions had tuned out. But as Forbes reminded us, this wasn’t the first time the Bard has shilled for an automaker: he starred in a spot for the 2007 Cadillac Escalade. Dylan wasn’t the only rock legend to mess with fans’ heads last night—did you see Prince, with an old-school afro, playing himself in the postgame episode of Zooey Deschanel’s The New Girl? The experience was like being stuck inside of Bizarro World with the Memphis blues again.

BLACKOUT TUESDAY: HOW THE MAJORS RESPONDED
(6/5a)
HARLESTON, HABTEMARIAM LAUNCH UMG TASK FORCE
(6/5a)
SONY MUSIC SETS UP $100M FUND
(6/5a)
10K OPENS FUND TO AID BLACK YOUTH
(6/5a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH: THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
(6/5a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
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