The Village People
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender to the advertising jingles of the Village People.”
The Village People is a successful and influential marketing firm established in the 1970s and headquartered in Greenwich Village, New York City. Since its inception, the firm has been involved in advertising campaigns for many well-known organizations. Its specialty is Advertising Jingles.
The Village People started life as the New York City Greenwich Village Tourist Information Group. Following the traditions of an Abrahamic Religion, no women were allowed to become members. To represent a cross section of society if it was only populated be men, the NYCGVTYG (or 'Villagers') advertised locally in their area. They became a barbers quintet of the 1970s. Quickly changing their name to simply 'The Village Men', the group toured all the gay bars of New York offering their commercial services.
One particular organisation took to the Village Men. This was the YMCA. Looking to upgrade their image of holy bachelors, the YMCA offered to pay the group for a handy jingle to encourage room occupancy. It was they who got the group to change their name to The Village People.
The song based on the jingle became a massive hit in the late 1970s discos. It was time when the American gay community was finally allowed out from their secret clubs located in basements. The YMCA were pleased, just as long as they didn't read the lyrics.
Since the band dressed up as as American (male) stereotypes they were popular with companies looking to recruit new customers. The band went through a few personel changes (easy to do since a lot of them liked to wear shades) until the novelty eventually wore off and the fear of AIDS drove the gay community underground again.
Selected Discography (Advertising Jingles):
- "YMCA": Used in advertising campaign for the YMCA.
- "Go West": Used by NATO to encourage Eastern Europe to break with the Soviet Union.
- "In the Navy": Used in advertising campaign for the U.S. Navy.
- "Action Man": Recorded for the US Marines. Not used.
- "Macho Man": Used in advertising campaign "Arnold for Governor of California".