Last night on American Idol, contestant Lauren Alaina sang Reba McIntyre's country music hit, "Turn on Your Radio." The song is supposed to include the lyric, "...blow the speakers out your Chevy truck." However, instead of singing "Chevy truck," Aliana sang "pickup truck."
What's more, the judges didn't say a word about the incorrect lyric. Idol judges are notoriously hard on contestants who forget or otherwise botch song lyrics and so this was especially surprising. Why the free pass for Alaina? I smell a conspiracy.
American Idol's largest sponsor is Ford whose bestselling product is the F150 pickup truck and whose chief competitor is Chevy. Starting to get the picture?
Changing the lyric to remove the word Chevy makes Ford look cowardly and weak. It's as if they would rather pretend Chevy didn't exist than go head-to-head. And, if Ford doesn't have confidence its truck is better than a Chevy, then why should we? Strong brands don't fear competition. They welcome the comparison because they know it ensures victory.
If Idol did this without Ford's permission, then Ford should be upset. If Ford knew about this change, then it should be ashamed.
If I were Chevy, I would quickly cut together a highlight of every famous song mentioning a General Motors product, set the whole thing to video, bleep out the reference to the products (E.g., "Drove my BLEEP to the levy but the levy was dry...") and then post it to the web as the "version approved by leadership at Ford."
Or, how about a television ad that shows Ford executives terrrified each time they hear the word "Chevy?"
Finally, Chevy should offer to pay Lauren Alaina a handsome fee if she'll sing, "Say My Name" in her next Idol performance. Every time Alaina sang the words, "Say My Name," in their minds Americans would hear the word "Chevy."
Spread the fire. GS