Song Has Double Role

A trend could be developing where, rather than licensing existing songs to commercials, artists write music explicitly for them.

That’s the case for the new Chris Brown Top 10 hit "Forever," which is an extended version of a Doublemint chewing gum jingle written by Brown. The campaign is expected to air next month in 30-second spots, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. company is employing similar strategies for other products as well. Big Red gum’s "Kiss A Little Longer" jingle is getting a treatment by Ne-Yo and Juicy Fruit’s "The Taste Is Gonna Move You," which has been around since 1983, will be remade by Julianne Hough, the paper said.

However, Brown’s 4.5-minute version of "Forever" is the most ambitious endeavor for the company. It commissioned Brown to write and sing the song, and paid for Brown’s sessions when he recorded it in February.

The concept was developed by Steve Stoute, CEO of Translation Advertising. Stoute is a former senior exec of Interscope Records and told the WSJ that the idea was to connect the hit song to the 30-second commercial in listeners’ minds by the time the ad was released.

Wrigley had a flat sales year in 2007 and the company chose the R&B phenom for the campaign in part because consumer research showed black consumers preferred Doublemint to other brands, the paper said.

Paul Chibe, Wrigley’s VP for North American gum marketing, declined to tell the WSJ how much Brown was paid for his role in the campaign.