John Mayer's entry on his blog on May 14, 2007:
2.) I just saw a commercial for Lexus featuring Elvis Costello, and as I like to pay attention to my reactions when I'm being sold something, I thought this was an interesting one. Here's the order of impressions made on me.
a. Oh look, there's Elvis Costello.
b. Man, that guy looks cool. I hope I look that cool someday.
c. How old is he? He's just plain cool. And it's got nothing to do with age. I'd like my cool to have nothing to do with age.
d. Do you just decide to do that and you can? I hope so. I'm deciding right now to be that cool.
e. He's talking about Beethoven. Interesting.
f. He's in a Lexus. Cool looking car.
g. Oh, it's a Lexus ad, centered on the stereo system.
h. THAT STEREO SYSTEM SOUNDS GREAT, I BET.
Two things here interest me - number one, at no time during the commercial did I have the response of "Oh, look, Elvis Costello got paid to do a Lexus commercial. Times must be tough!" The words "sell-out", "shill", "hock" also never came to mind. Just how cool I thought Elvis Costello was and how that stereo system looks like it sounds great. And that's where number two comes in. How difficult must it be - and subsequently how impressive is it - to sell a sound to you over a TV commercial? The car looks like it smells like brand-new upholstery and that stereo looks like it sounds great. Elvis looks cool, the car looks cool, and everybody goes away happy. Maybe I'll re-think my stance on things...
My Thoughts: His wife Diana Krall just had twins, they probably need to pay for the nursery and college now. But would Elvis Costello circa 1979 sell out by doing a car commercial. The man has always flat-out refused to allow his music to be used in any television commercials. He’s stubborn, he’s pure, he’s valuing his music more than his wallet, and bully for him. But now he doesn't have a problem exploiting himself and the virtues of Beethoven's love of classical music. In more Elvis' sellout news, if you wanted to attend the Elvis Costello and the Imposters’ show touring the country, you could only have bought tickets with a Visa Signature Card, no AMEX, Discover or MasterCard. Either way, both are blatant sellouts. And from a paparazzi/fan stance, they are the most unfriendly pair in New York City. Rarely do they pose or sign for fans, and on the Red Carpet there are no smiles.