Outrage over Chris Brown-Wrigley's deal smacks of ridiculousness
OMG, have you heard? Chris Brown has betrayed an innocent nation’s trust! You see, he’s taking part in a Wrigley’s promotion where pop stars record new versions of classic gum jingles — CB took on the Doublemint tune, Ne-Yo got Big Red, and country singer Julianne Hough is singing my personal favorite Wrigley’s jingle, the Juicy Fruit song. And here comes the shocking, scandalous twist: Word got out this week that Brown’s current hit “Forever,” which has been on the charts since May, is in fact itself a crypto-ad for Doublemint! (Sample lyric from the hook: “We only got one night/Double your pleasure/Double your fun/And dance forever…”)
That “pop!” you just heard was the Internets collectively blowing its gum-chewin’ top about this. Cranky old Gawker is actually calling for a boycott of all Wrigley’s products! Er, am I the only one who really, truly does not see what the big deal is here? “We don’t want to appear as if we invest the music of Chris Brown with any meaning whatsoever,” Gawker snobbily notes, “but now would be an appropriate time tobegin boycotting Wrigley, if you would like to have the option oflistening to songs that aren’t sponsored by mega-corporations in thecoming decade.” News flash: Chris Brown is a talented dude whose music I enjoy, but he definitely already works for a huge multinational mega-corporation. It’s called Sony BMG. Every time you hear a Chris Brown song on the radio, you are hearing a work of popular art which is also an ad: A catchy piece of sound designed to convince you to hand over your money to a rich executive somewhere. Same goes for every artist on a major label. Meanwhile, Gawker goes on to claim that the real problem with Chris Brown’s Doublemint deal is that it was arranged in secret, revealed to the listening public only once they already knew and liked the song. Ooh! Secrets! Those are bad, sometimes. But come on. If you legitimately liked listening to “Forever” before, why on earth would it be ruined for you once you know that Wrigley’s had a hand in it? It’s still the same exact song, for crying out loud!
Furthermore: Gum is delicious and fun to chew. (No, Wrigley’s did not pay me to write that.) As commercial products go, Doublemint just doesn’t seem like a particularly offensive one to shill for. Am I missing something here? You tell me. But wait — before you answer, watch Chris perform “Forever” below, and tell me seriously if you can stop grooving long enough to care that Wrigley’s commissioned it.