A question for U2 fans re: the iPod ads

The phrase “sold out” has been bantered about whenever an artist(s) do commercial endorsements.

Do you consider Bono and company sellouts for whoring the iPod?

In a word: no.

I’ve only seen the ad with the sound off, but it appears that they’ve letting iTunes offer the album the same time it’s out.

Bono’s not wearing the iPod and he’s not promoting it directly.

Has U2 ever sold their songs for commerical use? I don’t think so. That’s a clear sign of selling out.

Have their changed the content of their songs? I don’t think so.

So, no.

No, I really don’t think so.

The iPod is a device used to deliver music, and U2 makes music. It’s a pretty natural pairing.

Besides, I think the days of crying “sellout” whenever someone’s music appears in a commercial are over. Some of the best music on the airwaves in the last ten years or so has been in commercials.

So, out of the goodness of their hearts, U2 is not accepting any money from Apple for this privelege?

Bono holding a specially designed iPod and promoting it (but not in the video)

I don’t Bono’s definition of “sellout” is the same as everyone else’s.

And before you get the flamethrowers out, I am neutral on the band. It’s just that I find it odd that you’d see their name associated with ANY product for any reason.

I’m about as dedicated a U2 fan as you’re gonna find, and I despite some initial qualms I don’t really have any problems with it - in fact I’m trying to figure out if I can justify spending the $500CDN for the iPod. As DoctorJ said, it’s a natural pairing, and though you answered your own question about money changing hands, they have made it quite clear that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship with Apple and U2 promoting each other to different segments of the population rather than Apple just paying U2 $x million to appear in a commercial. Now if the next album (however many years down the road that may be) contains a song with Bono singing the praises of his iPod or some other product, then I’ll join the sellout bandwagon, but until then I don’t really see the big deal.

Emmmm why exactly are they selling out They’ve been an mini-industry now for more than a decade.

This is a way to promote their stuff in an original way. It will go well with the rest of the official merchandise

Don’t see the issue really. :confused:

As others have said here, they make music. Then they play and sell that music. iTunes and the iPod are ways of selling and playing music. There’s no disconnect here.

“Selling out” is a meaningless phrase. The notion that an artist that sells his art for money is somehow committing an artistic sin is stupid. Artists have been selling their art since the days of Michaelangelo and long before.

Unless you can find someone who played all your music in a basement somewhere and never took a dime for it, all artists are “sellouts.” This “avoid the sellout” baloney is a recent invention, a make-believe, nonsensical nobility that musicians try to apply to themselves to put themselves on a pedestal.

If U2 is pitching iPods, how is that in any way different from them charging $20 per CD, or charging $100 to see them live, or using free advertising on a terrible comedy sketch show, broadcast on a for-profit network, to jack up album sales? What - they weren’t “selling out” when they sold their records for millions and millions of dollars, but they become sellouts when they get a little more imaginative in marketing themselves? Give me a frickin’ break.

The bigger problem is that people are already sick of their oversaturated song before the album even comes out (which is tomorrow).

The first time I saw the video, I just thought they liked the “silhouette” look of the iPod commercials and wanted to use it.

When I heard the song, I thought to myself, what’s this a commercial for?

The question is: what is selling out? And more importantly, how can you spin it so you look okay as a musical act?

  • if you “do it for the money” you are considered selling out.

  • if you do it “as a new way to reach your fans in today’s world of corporate controlled radio where older and newer artists can’t get airplay” then you are innovative.

for the latter, see: U2, Sting in the Jaguar ads (couldn’t get airplay, licensed to Jaguar, CD sales when through the roof), Moby licensing almost all of Play to companies, new bands getting songs on video games, etc…

Unfortunately, it is a question of degrees. To me, U2 seems to be trying to reach fans. Sting? I thought of him as a sellout…YMMV.

Apparently, the term artistic integrity has gone by the wayside. Bands sell music, that’s for sure, and promoting your music isn’t a sellout. But seriously, punk bands with their own clothing lines? Kind of brings the definition of punk back to its pre-punk rock origins.

I guess U2 having their own iPod or being in the commercial isn’t a sellout, technically, because they’re already successful. I still like U2, but this and the fact that you can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting Bono diminishes them in my estimation.

Slight hijack here…

Is the opening of this song a reference to something or just plain stupidity? I’m referring to the countdown - uno-dos-tres-quatorze??? one-two-three-fourteen??? Am I out of touch with reality or everyday life and missing some cultural reference here? or is this just a stupid mistake? I’m having a hard time believing U2 would make a mistake like that, it’s not like they never heard spanish

I disagree. Artists should make money from their work - it serves a vital function in a lot of people’s lives. When you use your “art” to sell a product like Coke or cars, you’re basically saying that you couldn’t care less about your art; you’re only interested in money. To sell a song to a corporation for the express use of hawking its wares, to me, devalues the song and strips away any meaning it had; now all it’s about is Coke or a car or a corporation - in short, greed. It’s especially disheartening when artists who aren’t exactly starving (Sting) feel no compunction about doing it.

I’m not saying this applies to the U2 situation, BTW. I’m just saying that selling your CDs or concert tickets is a different beast than selling shampoo.

Damn it. Should have said, “a different beast than selling some company’s shampoo.”

…oh yeah, has anyone noticed that the vocal line verses in that song sounds too much like You Keep Me Hanging On not to be considered a ripoff? I guess I’m showing my age presuming that sort of thing matters…

I hate that commercial.

I haven’t particularly liked U2 since the 80’s but the song in that commercial sounds like they still have a lot of talent… right up until the end when Bono starts going “Yeah Yeah yeah Yeah!” It sounds really out of tune and irritates my nerves to no end.

I think the term “selling out” refers to a band that previously eschewed the commercialization of music and then accepted it when they were the ones to benefit.
Some people go into the business with an eye to make a lot of money. They are not changing their values for the sake of expediency.