Sci-fi indie-psych band Grandaddy may be gone, but the band's songs live on, particularly this one, "AM 180," featured in a new Dodge Journey ad. Here, the track is distilled down to its unusual hook, a sticky synth melody juxtaposed against a layer of fuzzy power chords and a beautifully clear drumkit. It plays well against the globular CGI adventurers piling into their crossover SUV for a day of monochrome fun and completely shakes off the creepy associations we got from hearing this song in "28 Days Later."
Okay, we know that Matchbox Twenty has sold a gajillion albums and is therefore critic-proof or something, but we've never taken a liking to singer Rob Thomas' quavering soft-pop nonsense. Seriously, these guys will be on 'Yacht Rock' if it's still running in 20 years. But this spot celebrating 20 years of NASCAR hits the right notes for us, mostly because it sloughs off the worthless stock verses of "How Far We've Come" and leaves behind the decent bits.
This is really a mess. What does it do for anyone involved, really? Trying to get the singer of Three Doors Down to cram all of these boring messages into 30 seconds is a waste of everyone's time, even for agency Creative Presence Partners, who probably spent less time coming up with it.
Finally, after a week in the French capital, this Courtyard Marriott ad has a pitch that we can really appreciate: free wi-fi. As the laptop-toting guy's surroundings are switched out like he was in a sketch on Nickelodeon's "Round House," the instrumental interlude from Kelley Stoltz's "Memory Collector" (mp3) plays. We don't get to hear the singer-songwriter's glammy singing chops, but the "Mr. Blue Sky"-esque piano chords and wordless vocals more than make up for it.