Macy’s Ad Dissonance -or- How Rent Sold Out

Have you seen the latest Macy’s commercial?

It is absolutely touching. Sweet imagery married to a lovely song about remembering the past year. How could they go wrong?

The song in the commercial, “Seasons of Love”, is from the musical Rent,  based on the opera La Boheme, about the lives of starving artists in New York fighting the good fight for art over profit (and the horror of AIDS). The way the song works in that context is by first questioning if you can quantitatively measure the true worth of a year (daylight, sunsets, midnights, cups of coffee) but ultimately settles on the qualitative (love). It is not a matter of things but feelings.

When I think of Macy’s, I think of things rather than feelings. It is perhaps the epitome of materialism. I think Jonathan Larson, if he truly believed in his message, would turn in his grave if he knew his family turned him into a sellout by allowing the song to be used this way.

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About Gospel X

I am a major mediaphile as well as a social researcher. My ultimate belief is that the media can be used to teach children prosocial behaviors and teach adults how to access paradigms. And I think that Mega Man is an amazing example of proteanism. Add me on Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113795848855477334599

Posted on November 22, 2010, in commercials, music, musicals, Rent and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for introducing this song to me though. I’ve never heard of it before and I like it : )

  2. It’s almost like Macy’s is trying to appeal to a younger demographic. “Hey look, we used a song from ‘Rent’, we’re cool now…right?” And I love that song, too, but I don’t exactly think of love realized when looking at cookware and perfume.

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