I can feel the ground rumbling beneath my Vans. It's the slow, steady storm we've seen coming for a long time, and some of us have been dreading it for years. Unfortunately, it sounds a lot like Korn.
There hasn't been an abundance of flannel yet in these summer-deathbed days here in New York and Nine Inch Nails' last album tanked, but Cadillac knows that there are those among us who miss the big fat sludge of alt-rock. But... who, exactly are these people? Judging from this Modernista ad for the CTS, could it be luxury buyers in their mid-40s?
After former "Grey's Anatomy" star Kate Walsh drives the sleek car over a bed of ambient tones and a silly car-sex innuendo, 90s hard rock band Hum comes charging in with "Star" from their 1995 album You'd Prefer an Astronaut. Unless you lived in Urbana, Ill., during those years or couldn't get enough of the real Chevelle or Deftones at the time, this disbanded band is a mere footnote in the history of grunge. So why are we being dragged by our wallet-chains back in time?
As one can see from Cadillac's site for the $60 million campaign, they had better material to work with.... like the song "Robot Repair" by Miles of White that they threw away on the "making of" video. You can also see that "Star" was sadly used in another similar spot by Cadillac. Sigh.
Maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on 10 seconds of these 30-second spots, but if the Led Zeppelin song in Cadillac's 4-year "Break Through" campaign (that just ended) was so crucial to its success, then this song should have been given just as much thought. Kate Walsh was a nice touch, but throwing Hum onto the stage is like throwing the audience into a mosh pit while they were relaxing at a Brian Eno show. My prediction: This ad will turn off someone like my Dad, who would prefer to listen to softer -- but hipper and more thoughtfully chosen -- tunes from the "Grey's" soundtrack in the car he already has.