Youtube has gotten over 32,000 hits asking “What is that song???” – the bright and inspirational little number that Target is currently using in their back-to-school media blitz.
The song is the first four lines of the Ms. Foundation’s 1972 anthem, “Free to be you and me” which was a series of songs and programs targeted (ha) at young girls in the early 70s.
Presumably all of these young ladies are moms now and Target’s advertising pitch is headed straight at ‘em. They may or may not consciously recall the song, but it’s a huge hit as well as the media blitz.
I would take an educated guess that the children who grew up with “Free to Be You and Me“ songbooks and videos are right about now an impressive purchasing demographic. Something that marketeers and advertizeers have seized upon. TARGET ads have hi-jacked their “Free to Be You and Me” anthem so that these (now) grown up (power buyers) children will associate their product with childhood songs of agency and independence.
So my question. Did the Ms. Foundation willingly sell rights to their signature song or has Target stolen the first four lines (The “four line rule” where advertisers can use four lines of a song without obtaining rights).
Note: In the early 1970s, a faux-rock group called “The Hill Top Singers” created by mad men recorded some of the very first coke ads. You may recall those ads co-opted folk songs from the 1960′s and created the faux-folk song,
People thought that the song was “real” so the group eventually recorded it and lifted out the advertising line, “I’d like to buy the world a coke” and replaced it with “I’d like to build the world a home…”
Let’s do the math. Coke=peace on earth, good will toward men + 40 years = Target.