You remember the Del Fuegos, right? Who doesn’t? Famous for such hits as “I Still Want You” and “Don’t Run Wild.” And Miller used the fame of the Del Fuegos quite deftly to sell High Life in this memorable pitch…
That’s Dan Zanes doing the bulk of the talking. He was the front man/songwriter/steve-marting-looking (in face only)/big curly-haired guy for the Fuegos. Interestingly, even though they didn’t quite make it, Dan Zanes did. And he seems to have done it by sticking, somewhat, to what he says in that ad.
Here’s Dan now…
He stuck with his philosophy that rock is for folks and that it’s about dancing. And he’s currently touring to support his forthcoming album “Nueva York,” which comes out on May 17.
We saw him last night at the Overture Center in Madison, WI, and his show was great. The twist on the normal folk/rock show dynamic is that it is now geared for kids… about 3-8 year olds. But at the same time, it is geared for parents.
Unlike the Wiggles and other children’s music delivered at their level, Zanes seeks to create music that can be enjoyed equally by parents and kids. If you have any folk-rock tastes at all, you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught listening to any Dan Zanes CDs (unless you hit one of the infrequent songs on the disc included specifically for kids – Polly Wolly Doodle or (cringe) The Hokey Pokey).
The Overture Center cleared the first four rows to make room for a dance floor, and it was full of kids doing exactly that. Of course, the parents were all hovering around trying to keep an eye on their kids (it is, after all, 2008, not 1978). But, as Zanes pointed out, “go ahead and let ’em dance… the doors are closed, so your kids can’t go too far.”
My favorite part about the Dan Zanes phenomena is the lesson for musicians everywhere. He didn’t give up, and he didn’t sell out. If you listen to his music now, it’s a pretty logical extension of what he was doing with the Del Fuegos. And, he’s clearly comfortable and having a great time.
There’s also a lesson for marketers… he didn’t scan the market and decide what it needed. He created a product that he believed in and that he thought that parents and kids would enjoy, and he sold it.
Good for him on both fronts.