LONDON Bob Dylan has allowed U.K. mass merchant the Co-operative Group to use “Blowin’ In The Wind” for a new advertising campaign. It will be aired next month.
The campaign is the culmination of a two-year re-branding process of its entire operation, including 4,200 outlets. The group has interests in food, funerals, travel, pharmacy outlets, financial services and legal services.
“It is rare for Bob Dylan to license his recordings to TV ads, the decision to do so with the Co-operative and ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ shows a willingness to embrace fresh ways of reaching a new audience through an ethical and fair trade organization,” said Mike Smith, U.K. managing director of Columbia Records, in a statement.
Dylan will also appear in a PepsiCo commercial during the Super Bowl.
The Co-operative Group is a business in which members, who can join for $1.42, have a say in running the operation and receive a share of the profits. It has 1.5 million members, making it the largest U.K. co-op.
Patrick Allen, Co-operative group director of marketing, said: “When we put the ad together we were astounded that no-one had ever used ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ in this context before. We felt the sentiments expressed in Dylan’s masterpiece summed up the optimism we have for the Co-operative, so when Columbia Records told us Dylan had agreed we were delighted.”