Regular WFMU listeners will be no doubt familiar with the concept of “industrial musicals”, where a company promotes themselves or their products with a single, a full album, or in extreme cases a full-blown musical production. The album Product Music: Vol 1 is a collection of memorable examples of the industrial song. Because if you’re not buying a company’s product, perhaps a few listens to their new dance tune will change your mind!
I just came across an excellent cultural studies inflected post on WFMU titled “Product Music: music to shop by” . As the quote above suggests, Listener Jim offers up an assortment of 20 songs produced by various corporations to market their image in quite interesting ways. Below are three samples from the article that I found particularly inciteful. The first is “The New Generation” by Squibb Pharmaceuticals which is shamelessly attaching its product to the “new hope” that embodied the promise of the 60s (more evidence that this period in American history never happened!). The second is a little diddy from Exxon that scaffolds a brief history of oil. Finally, 7-11 dances the slurp -great stuff!