Loverboy Pulls In Generations X, Y and Z with Full-On Marketing Blitz (Video)
Taco Bell and Radio Shack use iconic band’s music and image to reach those who came of age in '80s.
Never mind working for the weekend... Loverboy are everywhere you look these days, as major companies such as Taco Bell and Radio Shack use the band’s music and iconic red leather jackets and bandanas imagery to promote their products to the ‘80s generation which grew upon the group, and others who are just being introduced to their anthems. These days, Loverboy's "Lovin' Every Minute of It," as regards their new-found visibility.
“This shows me that Loverboy’s music and lyrics were indeed a big part of people’s DNA all over the world,” says vocalist Mike Reno. “The fans love the music and I love the fans. We’re all in this together.”
It started with memorable mentions on 30 Rock in which Scott Adsit's amateur musician Pete Hornberger revealed he was actually Loverboy's original bassist, photo-shopped into vintage footage of the band wailing away on "Working for the Weekend." The song was also used as the soundtrack for a classic Saturday Night Live sketch in which the late Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze played Chippendales dancers who performed to it at an audition.
Now, corporate America is taking notice, first with Radio Shack's Super Bowl commercial in which "The '80s called... they want their store back," and some of that decade's most popular groups take over the retailer, set over a soundtrack of Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend." CNN praised the spot, calling it "pure commercial genius... a spot-on piece of creativity," crediting it with "saving a lame" game.
Then there's the widely-seen Taco Bell spot promoting their breakfast waffle taco, which features a prominent mention of a consumer "taking down his Loverboy poster" as part of an unabashed pitch to those who grew up in the '80s and are now smack in the middle of the desired advertising demo. Check out the Taco Bell commercial here.
“It’s always a thrill to see our music or likeness in an ad,” says guitarist Paul Dean, who founded the band with Reno in Calgary in 1979. “These days, it’s the equivalent of having a radio hit.”
“It’s been an organic development,” adds the band's manager Jonathan Wolfson, who also handles the era’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Daryl Hall and John Oates. “Music supervisors and advertising creative directors who have grown up in that period are re-connecting with this music and finding it strikes a strong emotional chord in that demo, which translates that allegiance to their product, be it electronics or fast food.”
Loverboy's just as relevant today as they were three decades ago, and they maintain a hectic touring pace. They have been delighting audiences around the world since forming back in 1979 when vocalist Mike Reno was introduced to local guitar hot shot Paul Dean, both veterans of several bands on the local Calgary scene, at that city's Refinery Night Club. Loverboy has four multi-platinum albums, including the four-million-selling Get Lucky, and a trio of double-platinum releases in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983's Keep It Up and 1985's Lovin' Every Minute of It. Their string of hits includes such arena-rock staples as "This Could Be the Night," "Hot Girls in Love," "Heaven In Your Eyes," "Turn Me Loose," "When It's Over" and "Queen of the Broken Hearts."