Imagine Dragons talks about the backlash the band received from their nearly $8m dollar advertisement for Target during the Grammy Awards in Billboard’s cover story this week.
During the music awards show on 8 Feb, the band promoted their album "Smoke + Mirrors" in an untraditional way – by performing their song "Shots" live in a four-minute TV ad for Target. After the performance, critics were quick to point out the commercialism of it all.
The band initially partnered with the company last July for the brand’s All-Star concert in Minneapolis, pegged to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.
“It never feels like an artistic compromise as long as it’s about spreading the music,” singer Dan Reynolds told Billboard, adding that cross-promotion exists everywhere: a song in a movie promotes the film, while a Grammys appearance helps the Grammys and CBS brands.
Target’s VP of marketing William White told Billboard: "We studied the Grammys, and people want more music. Everything about ‘Shots’ felt right for us.”
After the performance, Target released a behind-the-scenes video and interview with the band on its YouTube channel.