The News & Observer

Raleigh, N.C.

March 12, 1995

A piece of our hearts

Copyright © 1995, The News & Observer

Our favorite line in a story about Mercedes-Benz using the voice of the late Janis Joplin in a new television commercial came from one of Mercedes' ad guys. He said the ad "takes Mercedes off its pedestal."

Whoa there, Bud. As down to earth as Janis might be, $31,000 to $41,000 is still a pretty high pedestal for most folks. That's the price on the E-class and C-class units the commercial is advertising.

It's understandable why Mercedes would want to use Joplin. The baby-boomer rock 'n' rollers who fancied her music are through the hippie stage now and into the bond trader stage. They're over that "back-to-the-land" thing and into owning high-rise condominiums with nary a blade of grass in sight.

The Mercedes people are looking for that upscale customer, and that's most definitely not, for example, your country music crowd. Country songs deal with trucks and Mama, and Mercedes owners don't drive trucks, and wouldn't admit to Mama what they paid for the Mercedes.

How would Janis feel? Her brother and sister say she wouldn't mind, and they ought to know. For those who remember the song from their youth, however, there's a bit of a twinge of sadness here -- in the thought that the tune is now 25 years old.

Used with permission.
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Copyright © 1995, The News & Observer.

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