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A jingle?  A single? Song in Dodge ad is both

Ad agency to release rapper Chris Classic's track from Charger spot
/ Source: Billboard

Music is used in TV commercials on a daily basis to help sell products.

But now, in an industry first, an ad agency and a music production house -- BBDO Detroit and Joel Simon Music -- are joining forces to produce and release the song heard in the current ad campaign for the relaunch of the Dodge Charger.

The song, “Unleashed,” by rapper Chris Classic, is a mash-up of Nazareth’s 30-year-old song “Hair of the Dog” (newly recorded by the Scottish band for the ad) and Classic’s “Live and Loose.”

Created and produced by JSM, “Unleashed” became available as a digital download at the iTunes Music Store and Music Match the week of Aug. 8. It will be included on Classic’s debut album, due in October from JSM Records.

The “Unleashed” video, which includes product placement from Dodge, will be delivered to cable and online outlets early next month.

For Joel Simon, this partnership is a direct response to a record industry in crisis. “Labels are imploding,” he says. “There are no rules anymore. Our business has become the new music business.”

The partnership is also the result of an opportunity that presented itself, BBDO Detroit executive producer Michael Menlo says. In most circumstances, an ad agency hires a music production house to create music for a TV spot. Then, it’s on to the next project. But the Dodge Charger campaign, along with the featured music, took on a life of its own.

With a $30 million ad buy, the Dodge Charger TV campaign, which launched in May and remains active with three 30-second spots, has resonated with many. Though “Unleashed” is not identified in the commercials, Dodge has promoted the song (and Classic’s “Live and Loose”) at Between phone calls and e-mails, Simon received 25,000 inquiries about the mash-up. Because of this overwhelming response, JSM created the now-available full-length version.

JSM, Dodge and Dodge parent DaimlerChrysler shared in the financial costs of the track and its accompanying video.

Menlo views this music partnership between BBDO Detroit and JSM as a stepping-off point for similar joint projects in the future. “The door is definitely open.”