Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, collectively The Beatles, were one of the biggest bands of the 1960s.
They recorded nearly 400 songs, many classic hits. The group broke up in 1970 and bandmembers went separate ways. Their music catalog was sold several times and finally ended up in the hands of singer Michael Jackson.
The pop superstar paid $47.5 million for the rights in 1984, outbidding McCartney, who had passed on previous offers to buy the songs. Three years later, Jackson infuriated McCartney by licensing the song “Revolution” for an advertising campaign by sports clothing maker Nike.
In 1995, Michael sold half the catalog to Sony for a cool $95 million, creating the world’s largest music publishing company. Jackson died in 2009 and his share of the songs became entangled in his estate.
Jackson was more than $500 million in debt when he died, and had pledged his share of the catalog as collateral for several loans. The situation has made it open season on Beatles songs for all kinds of commercial purposes.
But using one of their classic hits, “All Together Now” to sell pots, pans and other household goods seems beyond the pale.
McCartney largely wrote the song and shared a co-writing credit with Lennon. It was recorded in 1967 and was released on their album Yellow Submarine, a year later. McCartney described it as a childrens’ song.
Khol’s, with 1,166 stores across the country, is the nation’s largest department store. It plans to use the song for a “family-focused holiday” campaign, according to Ad Age, which broke the story.
A series of spots will begin airing tomorrow (Nov. 12) featuring family members from multiple generations talking about Christmas.
One spot features a man dressed up as Santa; another shows a boy excitedly finding a Star Wars Storm Trooper under the tree Christmas morning.
The point of the campaign is to show how Kohl’s is “bringing modern families together in unexpected ways,” Will Setliff, exec VP-marketing told the advertising trade magazine.
The store also has tie-ins with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It hits theaters Dec. 18.
This isn’t the first time “All Together Now” has been used in a commercial. In 2011, Sprint used the song to promote its wireless services.
McCartney is still playing the song on tour. Check out the video below.
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