Here's a first from mike's totally free jeep news - we're referencing a story found in the Christian Science Monitor about musicians "selling out" to corporations - and it specifically makes reference (here's where we come in) to the Smash Mouth/Jeep relationship...
Any band worth its tour bus knows alternative marketing is essential, and promotion by an advertiser is a no-brainer way to get extra exposure. It's particularly useful if you've been out of the mainstream for a while and want to get back in.
Steve Harwell, lead singer of the rock band Smash Mouth ("Walkin' on the Sun," "All Star"), embraces the concept of cross-promotion for building or maintaining awareness of the band's existence. "We market ourselves a lot. So if you are not, like, in the public eye, at least you're still out there," he says.
Smash Mouth and Jeep parent company DaimlerChrysler have made a deal similar to Madonna's, though without the cash payout and without the apparent incongruity between artist and product.
After Smash Mouth agreed to perform at Camp Jeep, a June event in Charlottesville, Va., Jeep vice president Jeff Bell offered a Wrangler for use in a video for its new single "Get the Picture?" Jeep then decided to place the song in a TV ad campaign it launched just before the album's Aug. 5 release.
The co-branding setup gives the band an opportunity to let its catchy sound hit more ears, while Jeep gets more exposure to a desired demographic. The company also avoids paying royalties for the song in exchange for the extra plugs.
The intriguing - some might say distressing - aspect of this marriage is that the story line for Smash Mouth's video changed slightly to accommodate the Jeep. But because the action occurs on a beach, the product placement isn't exactly a stretch. Already burned by an unhappy commercial alliance within General Motors, Smash Mouth agrees with Mr. Bell's assessment that its 'brand identity' - fun, sun, and parties - "(are) a good fit for the Jeep brand."