Indie Rock’s Super Bowl Reign is Shortlived

Last night another record number of viewers tuned in to watch the year's greatest night in advertising... Super Bowl XLV. Today, those commercials were a hot topic at water coolers nationwide. We certainly discussed it here at the HeadCount office, and as music lovers, our eardrums noticed a distinct change from last year.

Indie Rock - after a brief run as Madison Avenue's musical genre of choice - has been quickly usurped by pop and its iconic figureheads.

You may recall last year's Volkswagon's "Punch Dub" commercial which included Stevie Wonder punching Tracy Morgan to the tune of Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks." Or the NFL "Best Fans on the Planet" ad featuring "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire (included below). Even a familiar guitar lick from The White Stripes was heard on an Air Force commercial (although it turned out to not really be the White Stripes playing the song, so the ad was immediately pulled).

To hear some bands near to my heart on the Super Bowl...  it seemed popular culture finally had caught up with America's burgeoning musical awakening.

Well, it lasted precisely as long as the New Orleans Saints' championship. This year, advertisers moved in a different direction, choosing to punctuate the sights and sounds of their commercials with major label millionaires such as Eminem, P. Diddy, The Black Eyed Peas, Ozzy Osborne and Justin Bieber.

A Coca-Cola exec once stated this about their SuperBowl commercial: "We view this as our own personal State of the Union." If that's the case, what does Bieber's omnipresence say about these times? Or Eminem appearing in not one but two spots? Could companies' willingness to drop loads of cash on so-called A-Listers be an indication that the economy is improving?  Or is it simply the end of a brief love affair with Indie music?

Super Bowl 2010: NFL "Best Fans on the Planet"

Super Bowl 2011: Best Buy Big Game Spot