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Most television viewers do not normally associate local TV commercials with well produced ad music. But leave it to a local Austin Texas commercial to raise the bar on local TV ads with an infectious song called "Take Me to Reid's".

The TV commercial for Austin Texas based Reid's Cleaners and Laundry is an interesting mix of some old and new ideas for television advertising: The all but extinct ad jingle combined with the very modern trend of an indie female singer providing the vocals for the commercial's catchy song.

The "Reid's cleaner girl" singing and performing in the TV ad is Austin singer Erin Ivey, also known as "Austin's urban folk sweetheart". For Ivey, the commercial represents an effective way to reach new audiences, especially in the competitive Austin indie music scene. Erin Ivey, on the reaction to her Reid's Cleaners commercial:

The impact so far has been surprising. I've been invited on television and radio programs to talk about the commercial and then been able to perform or promote my own music to their audiences. Austin is an interesting town for musicians. There's great talent totally saturating a market that is growing and changing all the time. So, I'm excited about any boost in exposure that leads people to the music. Ultimately, that's my focus: creating and performing my own music.

Ivey announced on her blog: "I sold my soul to the sultans of clean." This tongue-in-cheek post prompted us to ask her how she felt about musicians performing in TV commercials and the antiquated idea that ad music is "selling out":

Great music makes anything better, in any medium, and co-branding introduces musicians to a wider range of possible fans than they might otherwise reach. I am all for making a living in creative work, but it is imperative that the musicians are fairly compensated and agree with the ideals of the company being promoted. Hopefully musicians are in a position to make wise choices that way, but when bills are due and Dinosaur Corp. is at the door with a check, that's a tough decision that each person has to make on their own.

The "Take Me to Reid's" song was written by songwriter (and Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at University of Texas at Austin) Dr. John Mills. "I've been pretty amazed at the amount of attention the Reid's spot has gathered, which is always what you aim for when writing ad music, of course," said Mills. "It's a little odd, but nice to overhear strangers talking about it, or even humming it."

The Reid's Cleaners TV ad campaign was created by the Lee Tilford Agency. According to Jamie Tilford, the reaction to the commercial has been extremely positive and Reid's has seen a "hugh increase in business" thanks to the spot. The Reid's commercial is the first in a series of commercials featuring Ivey, which promises to keep the TV jingle fresh in the minds of Austin viewers.

You can hear more of Erin Ivey on her latest release Sweet Little E.P..
Sweet Little E.P.
by Erin Ivey

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