Dust back in the wind for Subaru

Subaru_1Kansas’ song “Dust in the Wind” is making a comeback as the soundtrack of Subaru’s new ad campaign. But there was a time when the song was silenced by radio impresario Clear Channel Communications. After 9/11, “Dust in the Wind” joined 149 other tunes on the voyage of the banned, apparently because of their potential for misinterpretation or, perhaps, over-interpretation. Lyrics such as “All we are is dust in the wind” and “All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see” no doubt contributed to the song’s landing in the no-play zone. Others on the list included Neil Diamond’s “America,” The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and Peter Paul and Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Imagine that. (Oh, yes, “Imagine,” by John Lennon, was also banned.) Chances that Clear Channel would keep “Dust in the Wind” off the air as a Subaru song were slim to none four years after, considering the client’s $200 million in measured media spending. The radio version of the commercial has a pair of dudes talking about what you can hear when you play the vinyl version of the record backward. Lo, and behold! It’s a pitch for the new Subaru Tribeca! If you want to buy time for your product on Clear Channel, here’s one line from the song you will probably never hear repeated: “. . . all your money won’t another minute buy.”

—Posted by Richard Williamson