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Will BMW need to pay up for 'appropriating' local muso's song for Gusheshe ad?

29 September 2020 8:42 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
BMW
Advertising
Kwesta
Andy Rice
Rap
branding
cultural appropriation
Gusheshe
heroes and zeros
BMW 330is
igusheshe
'Spirit'
Spiritchaser

BMW's Heritage Month campaign features a Kwesta hit which samples another band's music. Advertising expert Andy Rice weighs in.

BMW capitalised on Heritage Month by releasing a limited edition 330is in tribute to the original 325is model (Gusheshe) which reached iconic status in Mzansi.

No problem there.

RELATED: BMW pays tribute to SA fave 'Gusheshe' (325is) with limited edition 3 series

But the ad campaign for the BMW 330is is causing an outcry on social media.

It features a track which has perceived similarities to Spirit, a hit song by local artist Kwesta.

The rapper pointed out how much effort it took to get the right to sample the original music by Spiritchaser and urged the car giant to "do the right thing".

Bruce Whitfield gets input from advertising and branding expert Andy Rice.

They ran this very evocative and beautifully shot advertisement on and around Heritage Day using the Gusheshe as the icon of stability and of progress... but many people pointed out that [the background music] was very similar to or almost identical with a track of some past success by Kwesta...

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

It was felt that BMW had culturally appropriated this music (which was raised on this feature last week) and it takes you into some fairly murky waters because it's not entirely clear how close you can get to the original music and still be clear in terms of rights.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

What makes it even more complicated of course, is the fact that Kwesta sampled a riff from another band.

BMW as far as I can see have acknowledged that they are in discussions with the Kwesta camp but have not made it clear whether or not they bought the rights or whether or not they needed to buy the rights.

Andy Rice, Branding and advertising expert

Usually the bigger and more responsible agencies and clients do end up paying the required fees, he adds.

Listen to the conversation below:


29 September 2020 8:42 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
BMW
Advertising
Kwesta
Andy Rice
Rap
branding
cultural appropriation
Gusheshe
heroes and zeros
BMW 330is
igusheshe
'Spirit'
Spiritchaser

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