It’s no secret.
Wilco’s scragglefaced, gravelvoiced, drug-defying, member-firing, secret-cutting (eh? eh? maybe!) frontman Jeff Tweedy might seem like a cool guy when he’s throwing up in toilets, cracking-wise on stage during solo performances, and squaring-off against the dreaded (no seriously, dude’s got dreadlocks) Jay Bennet in 2002’s I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, but come on, people! We all knew deep down that under the rough-and-tumble, ‘band vs. the world’ exterior, Tweedy and co. are nothing more than... well, a bunch of cantankerous older men trying to pay the bills and secretly worrying about the size of their prostates. Now, granted, they might be a bunch of supremely talented dear-ol’ dads who hold down some pretty extraordinary jobs in one of the most storied and well-respected rock bands working in the genre today, but still... the sweaters and relaxed-fit jeans don’t lie. Young, idealistic upstarts they ain’t.
So, it should come as no surprise to any of us that Wilco have decided to more fully-embrace the EZ Indie-Yuppie lifestyle they’ve helped perpetuate for so many years now by licensing several of their songs for use in a new television ad campaign for Volkswagen (personally, I can’t think of a more Wilconian automobile company, can you?). Wilco have licensed half of the songs on Sky Blue Sky, their newest studio album from Nonesuch, to the hipster-friendly V-Dub company for use in a series of six new television ads sporting the oh-so Tweedy-esque tagline “When you get into a Volkswagen, it gets into you.”
Heady, isn’t it? I guess the slogans “Jesus, don’t cry; you can rely on your Jetta” and “I am a German Petroleum-distillate drinker” didn’t do so well in marketing.
Ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (Bogu-sky? Blue sky? Coincidence?!) is responsible for the ads, each of which features a different song from the album and, well, presumably some city folks doing city things. The first commercial, which features the track “The Thanks I Get” is currently airing, and all six of these V-Wilco songs are currently available for streaming via the company’s german-engineered webpage.
Already catching heat from angry single-parent fans for their participation in the campaign, Wilco decided to fight tepidity with tepidity and recently issued a statement on their website stating that they “feel okay about VW’s. Several of us even drive them.” The Beetle-buying band also stated that they “see this as another way to get the music out there” in a world where commercial radio play is “getting more difficult for many bands.” So back off, mom and dad! You think that the rent for that Wilco loft comes cheap?!?!? Shoot!
Oh, but good news! Despite all the Euros their pullin’ in now, Wilco are keepin’ it real and hitting the road this summer... just like a POOR rock band would! Fancy that! Will they roll-up in a Volkswagen hippie van? Only time will tell...
Muzzle of Dates: