Converse Will Get No Love for This Spot

Lay Off the Bob, Guys

By Published on .

Artist: Bob Marley
Song: "One Love/People Get Ready"
Marketer: Converse
Purchase: Bob Marley - Legend - The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers - One Love / People Get Ready
All I can say is wow. Is Converse serious? Not only does Nintendo currently have the reigns of the "Mii" and "Wii" pun, but "One Love/People Get Ready" has been inextricably linked to ads for Jamaica since the mid-80s. In fact, this song was used in one of their tourism spots this fall.

While I can't trash Bob Marley on musical or political grounds, the over-simplification of his message and impact by suburban bohemians and pop culture has rendered them almost meaningless today. For the sake of the guy and his work, I propose a moratorium on licensing his most popular songs in movies and especially advertisements; There's simply no way to repackage "I Shot the Sheriff" anymore and squeeze some sort of unique branded message out of it. It just comes off as a cheap cliché.

Not to begrudge his family and estate -- who pulled in $4 million this past year, making him the 12th most profitable dead musician -- but in the long-term, scaling back on licensing his songs will preserve his identity and make him more profitable. So please, Converse and everyone else: lay off the Bob for a while.
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