In a true indication of the widespread popularity of electronic dance music in the United States today, the Super Bowl telecast will feature the genre more prominently than ever before. The groundswell building around EDM has caught the ever-watchful eyes of the advertising departments of major corporations, who have come to realize the level of influence that this music holds over the much sought after “millennial” generation. There has been a smattering of dance music featured in Super Bowl advertisements in the past two years, such as Avicii’s cameo in a Bud Light Platinum ad in 2012 and Calvin Harris’s “Drinking From The Bottle” playing during a 2013 E*Trade commercial, but never before has it been placed as front-and-center as it will be during the 2014 telecast.
Perhaps the biggest indication of Madison Avenue’s vote of confidence in EDM is the upcoming Bud Light ad in which Afrojack’s next single, “Ten Feet Tall,” is the main focus.
In fact, this will serve as the song’s official release, with the first 500,000 people to Shazam the commercial receiving a free download of the track. “This is very millennial,” some ad-exec undoubtedly thought. And it is – I’m actually pleasantly surprised that we now live in a world where artists give away songs for free during commercials, and all you have to do is sit on your couch and press a button to receive it. By the way, what is Afrojack helping promote? Bud Light’s new “Cool Twist” reclosable bottle. Because nothing screams cool like not being able to finish your beer in one sitting. But I digress.
Next up we’ll see the precocious Zedd, fresh off a Grammy win and "aww"-inducing acceptance speech, jamming out in support of Bud Light Platinum. The ad features Zedd performing his new (soon-to-be) hit song “Find You” for a lively crowd, while managing the audio on his laptop that uses little tiny Bud Light bottles on the equalizer. “ZEDD” is also plastered across his DAW, just in case he forgets his own name during the performance.
Goofy advertising aside, it’s great to see a producer like Zedd being featured front-and-center in a Super Bowl ad, rather than being relegated to the background music. It shows the respect that these massive corporations have for the cultural significance of the EDM movement. Everyone’s parents and grandparents will be watching our Zedd rock out, which is pretty cool no matter how cynical you want to be about advertisements.
Filed in the “disappointments” category is Dillon Francis’s involvement in the new Beats Music commercial, featuring Ellen DeGeneres. The original story that broke informed us that Ellen would be dancing to Dillon Francis in a Super Bowl ad. It sounded a little too good to be true, and it was. Instead, Francis’s “I.D.G.A.F.O.S.” becomes the punchline of the ad, condescendingly portrayed as the “teenager’s” weird music.
I would like to say that I’m happy for Dillon getting exposure however he can, but the clip of his song doesn’t even last five seconds. This illustrates that while EDM as a whole is gaining serious traction in mainstream media, some advertisers still remain confident in getting a couple of yuks from the older set by poking at “that crazy computer music.” I do dig the bear with the Skrillex haircut though.
We don’t quite have Hardwell playing the halftime show yet, but it’s evident that mainstream, football-lovin’ America has officially been invaded by EDM. And even though it may be fleeting, the fact that tens of millions of people will simultaneously have Dillon Francis penetrating their ears brings a smile to my face.