After getting into a bit of a funk after watching a few hours of streaming with ads programming, it took me a bit to catch why.
“Forever Young” cover by firewoodisland, as I woke up this morning told me the why, it’s not a song I think of often and more often than not accompanies some rather pain filled memories.
And it features as one of the four sound tracks to Airbnb’s new four commercial (please don’t tell me there are more than that), ad campaign.
“Forever Young” by Alphaville, the original from which the cover derives, is a song from 1984 and is a Cold War era anthem that deals primarily with the fear of death as growing tensions between the United States and Russia seemingly inch ever closer to total world anihilation. Okay, not quite my choice for a commercial soundtrack, and I do understand it’s half-heard lyrical appeal as “one of those slow dance songs” that no one ever bothered to understand.
Not quite the level of half-heard and less understood “Because of You” by Reba MacEntire that was dedicated to so many mom’s, which is wow do you not want to do that unless you really are sure this is not the song to celebrate your amazing mother because it’s a song about domestic abuse and the pain and trauma it inflicts from generation to generation.
In the commerical, a group of friends are effectively seen in snapshots creating, and as taglines by Airbnb, “that weekend,” a weekend that is talked about for years to come. But somehow it also feels like the weekend that you remember much more wistfully in a, hopefully, more distant future when everyone is gone or after a horrible tragedy brings a group of friends back together to pay final respects.
Then there is 1974’s “I Always Love You,” by Dolly Parton.
Oh that’s not getting better. Though the cover by Whitney Houston became more memorable, not that a whole movie attached to it with that song as the centerpiece for walking away from a relationship was an explanation someone ought to have needed to “get it,” the song is about a painful breakup.
Before The Bodyguard, before Whitney Houston, Dolly made this song quite clear in what it was about, and the go to jukebox special for the heartbroken.
In the commercial we see a dog, and the combination makes it feel like this is a last goodbye to their beloved pet. Either a pet memorial video with photos of better days, or a last trip before euthanizing a dying pet.
Two out of four, okay….
A cover of “Landslide” by Robyn Sherwell, a Fleetwood Mac, and Stevie Nicks specifically, go to for anyone at critical junctures in their life, people who, backs against a way with waves of unrelenting stress beating down against them are seriously reevaluating their choices and are litterally ready to walk away from everything. Okay, better, but considering that it is a song so many people turn to in crisis and heart break, it still seems like a continuation of a theme.
In the commerical, we see a growing family and what seems like an annual vacation. But again, and seemingly assisted by the music, it feels a bit off, like a final family vacation before mom died or before parents divorced.
“Sweet Child I’m Mine,” a Guns and Roses ballad that can have ambiguous meaning, feels more bittersweet here as a Taken by Trees cover, and could easily go either way as the original.
In the commercial we see a mother and daughter and again, it doesn’t quite tell a story of a weekend as much as it just feel like it could be a reflection to better days and times.
All in all, it seems like an ad campaign whose inspiration, if it is inspired, is in severe need of an intervention. Half the image and song compilations feel more at home a disc that your local mortuary would hand you, and the other half could just as easily be used to describe divorce or death as a good trip.