Croon Pleasers

FOB-Croon PleasersSince the moment artists first put lyrics to music, brand names have found their way into songs. Back then it just happened. Now, it's called song lyric product placement.

Chicago-based Constellation Spirits recently announced plans to develop a premium rum with country crooner Kenny Chesney. And yes, Constellation Spirits president Marty Birkel was quoted as saying the rum could find its way into one of Chesney's future songs.

"Kenny is an artist first and foremost," explains Jim Sabia, executive vice president of marketing for Constellation Brands. "But if he feels that the name of this rum fits into one of his songs, of course it is going to be good for the overall brand."

Chesney joins the likes of Sean Combs, Jay-Z, Sammy Hagar, Jimmy Buffet and Dr. Dre, who have attached their names to liquor brands and eventually found a way to sing about it. And in country music everyone from award winning trio Rascal Flatts ("There's a wet Corvette-red lipstick-grin on a Coors Light cup") to Brad Paisley ("There's this Coke can and a Playboy no one else would know you hid") have called out brand names. But Chesney is different in that he's got a promotional deal; Rascal Flatts just like Coors.

"I doubt most singers include brands in their lyrics because they want to promote a certain brand," says Starcom USA senior vice president/entertainment director Tom Weeks. "I think it speaks more towards how the brand relates to the tone of the music and its listeners."
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