RETRO Music Placement Spotlight: “Bittersweet Symphony”-The Verve, Nike Ad 1998
Though sampling battles happen constantly in our current culture, let us not forget about the 90s! As my college graduation date looms, I can not help but feel more nostalgic than normal recently. It is almost as if every sight and sound triggers a distant boxed-up, fleeting flash of a feeling. As I was avoiding sleep once again last night via whatisthatsong.net, I came across a commercial music placement of one of my favorite songs combined with Mia Hamm footage that contributed more to this consuming condition.
The 1998 Nike “I Can” TV commercial used The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”, airing during the NFC Championship at the time. Though this song made the commercial, with its soundtrack-esque strings accompanying inspirational sports scenes, The Verve had previously lost their publishing rights over the song in a battle with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Allen Klein/Abko Music. The Verve sampled an Andrew Loog Oldham orchestral version of The Rolling Stone’s song, “The Last Time”, making it so The Verve only gained a small profit from the commercial through its Virgin Label recording synchronization. Apparently this placement would not have happened if The Verve had made money through publishing rights since the band’s style is not about commercial advertising of their music. I suppose I have the sampling battle to thank for this gem! MTV