Have you seen it? Chase has a new business credit card commercial out for entrepeneurs. It’s a typical pitch, nothing terribly earth shattering in the presentation except for one disturbing detail – the band Yes apparently authorized Chase to use its classic song I’ve Seen All Good People to plug its new plastic. I say apparently, because I would guess the band, or at least Chris Squire and Jon Anderson the band members who wrote the song would have had to grant Chase the rights to it for use in an ad campaign. Permitting Chase to use the song is disturbing enough; Chase using the song to reap financial gain is deplorable and perhaps not the wisest of strategies.
The song is not about profit, rather it has a strong anti-war message which is just as relevant today as it was in early 1971 when the The Yes Album was released. The lyrics suggest chess as a metaphor for the war then raging in Vietnam and calls for a truce. The alternative as John Lennon warned in his 1970 anti-war classic Instant Karma! is that continued involvement in war will guarantee negative future returns.
Chase is taking extreme liberties with the message of the song, which could lead to bad karma for the company, a company that already got a loving second chance 25 billion government bailout.