Bottled water awash in a sea of controversy

A:Electric Light Orchestra provides the upbeat Mr. Blue Sky for the retail giant's campaign that kicked off in May with an ad for Mother's Day gift ideas. The song, from the 1977 album Out of the Blue, has been used throughout the summer in other sales promotions for Sears. Ad agency Y&R, Chicago, picked the song to be one of several happy tunes for a new Sears campaign dubbed, "Sears, Where it Begins." Other tunes include Brendan Benson's What I'm Looking For and The 88's Coming Home.

"We have chosen upbeat pieces that help create a sense of energy and fun in the spots," says Becky Case, Sears' vice president of advertising.

If you think you've heard ELO's Mr. Blue Sky in an ad before, you're right. Volkswagen used it in 2003 to promote the New Beetle convertible. In the ad, a young man's daily grind drags on — until he spots a New Beetle ragtop.

The Sears license from Sony BMG to use the song expired this month, so you will no longer hear the song in ads — at least until another marketer wants to brighten up a commercial.

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