Wednesday, April 30, 2008

5416: BB King Of Beers.

Received the following comment for Essay 4281 that’s definitely worth sharing…

Wow, reading that article by Tim Arnold brought back some frightening memories of ad men. I was the recording engineer on the BB King Budweiser radio spot. That session was the single most embarrassing moment of my career. Having to spend 6 hours in a room with completely out of touch advertising executives and “creatives” trying to tell BB King just how to play the blues. I only wish I had it on videotape.

Anyone who has ever listened to BB King knows that he never plays over his vocals, though the “passionate” blues enthusiast seemed to have no clue to this. I remember cringing whenever they pressed the talkback button to say something like, “BB…babe…I want to hear Lucille wail over the entire spot…Give me some Lucille, BB.” Of course they also had him singing “Bud” lyrics throughout the entire spot with no holes left for his guitar work. Mr. King was, however, gracious and accommodating throughout the arduous process and I’m sure the entire band got a good laugh afterwards. Check please.

They never did get him to play over his vocal until I sent a number of 4 bar vocal refrains to magnetic heaven.

The fact is that having celebrities hawk a product is neither groundbreaking nor creative…it’s Marketing 101. People are suckers for “if HE or SHE uses it, it must be great.” The only tough thing about it is prying the money to pay the celebrity out of the budget.

One thing Ad Men are VERY good at is tooting their own horn.

1 comment:

RFB said...

I was a room service waiter at the San Diego Hilton and BB's room ordered up some food. The door was answered by an assistant, but BB was in the other room where I was directed to bring the tray. And while I'm sure there are many Lucilles, there she was, sprawled across the king size bed like a groupie, as sprawled as a guitar can be.

He didn't say much other than maybe grunt a "thanks," but it was a special moment for me.