13 August 2012

Is Advertising Killing Dubstep?

Ad industry publication Adweek posted a video gallery of TV commercials  featuring dubstep as background music. Though a capitalist news outlet, the  magazine regrets the co-option of underground music by big brands, while complaining about its formulaic use in mainstream media. The Adweek article is suggestively titled "10 Ads that Killed Dubstep".

Given the variety of EDM genres, why dubstep, one can ask. Maybe sounding a bit tautological, dubstep has gained popularity in recent years by being absorbed in pop music while keeping an urban edgy hip-hop vibe. (British creators have complained that Americans have deformed dubstep with aggressive unsynch overtones, pejoratively called "brostep"). Whether in milder or edgier forms, dubstep currently is one of the most popular EDM genres among the global youth generation, termed Millennials in marketing parlance: anyone born between late 1970s and early 2000s.

Indeed, dubstep is played in commercials promoting products for this youth segment: cereals, alcohol, candies, electronics, and video games. Though people of various ages consume these products, big brands must define a “target audience” working as the core demographic segment to be courted by marketing strategies.

Check the ads featured at Adweek to assess how congruent (or dissonant) dubstep is currently used by big brands in their messages to connect with Millennials. Is advertising killing dubstep, or, maybe, the excessive play of dubstep will eventually turn off Milleanials as "uncool"?  Feel free to leave your comment.


  1. I wouldn't say it's killed it, but it is certainly annoying to see sometimes.

  2. Marketers just want to plant their seeds in the youth. Hats off to them though, they are smart by jumping on the dubstep bandwagon to attract their target audience of the younger generation. I think the outcome is that they will make dubstep less cool. Great post, really enjoyed your writing.

  3. I wouldn't say advetising is necessarily killing dubstep. Although it may be drawing more attention to it, this is not a bad thing. It could even potentially more people to pursue a career as a artist. This would be great as it would ultimately result in more music. Besides, there will always be plenty of good underground DJs left.