Jewish Music Blog

May 8, 2006

AKA Pella Ads

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 11:26 pm has two quite interesting ads for AKA Pella. The one on the home page says that AKA Pella is “so good it should be ossur” (prohibited). Cute, but not very intelligent. Did these guys actually ask a shei’lah before releasing with this album to determine whether it complies with halacha? Unlike a regular album, this album was made to be listened to during Sefirah and the Three Weeks, both times of mourning in which music with instruments is generally prohibited. AKA Pella pushes the envelope of Jewish acapella and some of the methods employed to create this album are little more than playing a keyboard vocal patch.

Be careful what you wish for.

The second ad is a video, and although creative and well put together, it’s really, really long for an ad, and pushes the obscene envelope. If the point is to be effective, I doubt it will be. If the point is to be cute, they’ve accomplished that worthy goal.

Update 5/09/06: I just want to make clear the fact that this post is not at all directed at the group Premium Blend, but at the agency or those in the group who decided to print this ad campaign. The ad campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of those in the group, and should not reflect on the album as a whole.

Update 5/10/06: Sameach Music writes:

Sameach Music neither confirms nor denies any plans on any future AKA Pella albums through Sameach.
Sameach has not pushed for anything. We also want to make it known for the record that Sameach had nothing to do with the creation of the website, ads and video.
We apologize if anyone was offended.


  1. Although considerably lengthy, the AKAPELLA video ad is actually pretty funny. I found myself laughing outloud more than once. And while AKAPELLA’a ads do push the envelope as far as the jewish market is concerned, I dont see any real problem with it. It’s clever advertising and people should just lighten up a bit. I would imagine that the people who have a problem with the ads are not likey the people who would buy the album “Premium Blend.” But that remains to be seen. The album is amazing… it should realy sell itself.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 9, 2006 @ 8:17 am

  2. I agree, it’s not supposed to be a typical 30 second spot. Its a clever and original way to promote Jewish music. Its not like there’s an MTV for Jews. And what’s more obscene – making light of a ridiculous riot or the actual Chilul Hashem?

    Comment by HeyNow613 — May 9, 2006 @ 9:30 am

  3. What I meant by obscene is that the song the Chassidish guy is listening to in the car stops at just the right moment, and his whole attitude is a combination of in-your-face and nothing-else-matters-but-me.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 9, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  4. Personally, I think you should stick to music reviews. I check this blog out to read your reviews on jewish music, not “jewish music group” marketing techniques. The idea of critiquing the actual music is bordering on loshon horah (because it can reduce sales.) The idea of directly attacking a groups advertisement strategies, well that just screams of loshon horah (because why else would you critique it if NOT to attack sales.)

    Comment by Shlomo L. — May 9, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  5. Does anyone who produced this video? It looks real professional.

    Comment by HeyNow613 — May 9, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

  6. It’s obvious you guys are part of the group. I whole heartily agree with Aryeh’s post. This video is exactly that, obscene. Using goyish rap music to promote a Sefirah CD??

    They make Chassidim look like animals in this video. Reckless driving, parking in a handicap spot, bumping into people on purpose, dropping yarmulkes on the floor, making a big joke out of the riots in Boro Park.

    You’re right, the riots were a big chillul Hashem, and for the people who made this video to use that Chillul Hashem as a marketing ploy is disgusting. You want to promote the chillul Hashem of that day?

    This flies in the face of everything having to do with the concept of mourning and being in Sefirah. If your just trying to make a few bucks off Sefirah you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Don’t bash Aryeh, he is 1000 percent right.

    Loshana Hara?? Don’t try to defend it with that typical card. This video and the techniques used to make this video are reprehensible.

    Comment by Chaim — May 9, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

  7. shlomo-

    I don’t see how this is loshon hora.
    Also, the point is clearly not to affect their sales, it’s to bring up a discussion about whether the ads are appropriate and effective.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 9, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

  8. First of all chaim, I am not part of the group. I am however a fan. I am not going to get into a argument with you here, as we all saw what happened with a previous post. However, when you explain to me how this post is NOT loshon horah, perhaps I will speak to your other points. Even assuming you are correct about the video being obscene, is that an excuse to say loshon horah? Do two wrongs suddenly make a right. Finally, don’t try to shut a valid point of mine up, by claiming I am a biased member of the group. That makes about as much sense as me claiming you are Steiner’s father.

    Comment by Shlomo L. — May 9, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

  9. I was NOT shutting down your point, I was claiming that you are one of the group members.

    If anyone is shutting down points it’s you. I brought up some very valid points and you “shut down” those points by trying to deflect them by saying “I’m not a member, how dare you accuse me” and “Loshan Hara … Whaaaaah!”

    This post is not Loshan Hara because this video has some serious Halachik issues with it. People should be alerted to them. That’s not Loshan Hara. That educating people to a potential problem. There is nothing wrong with this post or the review of this CD (which funny you don’t mention, is pretty flattering.)

    At the very least this video has goyish rap music on it. Which people who don’t listen to music during Sefirah should know about before they watch the video. The makers of this video should put a warning that this video contains actual goyish music.

    Let’s say for the sake of argument you aren’t part of this group.

    Now, why don’t you address my points from the?

    Oh, and Aryeh, don’t forget to bring home some milk and eggs. We’re getting low.

    Comment by Chaim — May 9, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

  10. Chiam now that is funny! Can you make mine scrambled please? The ad is seriously a problem I don’t think any Rabbi would give the go ahead and show some chassidim spray painting a wall. It’s out of control.

    Comment by Jewish Blogmeister — May 9, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

  11. All I can say to Shlomo L. is CHILL OUT!!

    Really, it’s possible to have a discussion without inflammatory and personal attacks.

    Please keep it respectful.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 9, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

  12. Chaim said…
    It’s obvious you guys are part of the group.

    You got me, Im really part of this group… Cant someone compliment something without being part of it?

    Comment by HeyNow613 — May 9, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  13. JB, I only make eggs for my wonderful son Aryeh. Didn’t you know? The secret is out, Aryeh is my son.

    HeyNow, There is complimenting and then there is defending. This video and the ad can’t be defended. It’s completely inappropriate. Not just for a CD meant for Sefirah, but for any Jewish CD.

    Just because something is made well doesn’t take away from the halachik implications. So Kudos to a video made well, and shame on the makers for creating something so offensive.

    Aryeh, You said your problem is with the people who created the ad, but it wouldn’t have be released if the people who made the CD AKA Pella wouldn’t have approved it. So in the end the blame lays with them.

    Comment by Chaim — May 9, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

  14. 1. i have to say that over the past few weeks this album has caused more controversy than any other album i’ve seen blogged. Aryeh, i’d say that you owe akapella a big thanks for spicing up this blog.

    2. One thing is for certain, different people have different impressions and takes on just about everything. I’m sure e/o realizes that this ad is just a cute joke – nothing more. While the riots were a chilul hashem, it’s almost as though mocking it brings home a point – just how ridiculous we look to the outside world when we behave in that manner. As far as the rap music – perhaps it would be wise to put a warning. But i doubt that 10 seconds of music is problematic otherwise we’d have to turn the radio off everytime we hear a jingle on a radio commercial. think about it ppl – nothing on that video was realy that outrageous – they poked some innocent fun – thats all – never e/o take a deep breath…hold it…and relax.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 9, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

  15. You havta give them points for originality. Who else in the Jewish music industry has done anything like this (in terms of marketing their album)?

    Comment by HeyNow613 — May 9, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  16. Hayoh!
    How was last night?

    The chassidim video rocks.Who’s the choosid.He’s kinda familier.Nee Minche Minche

    Comment by g sheft — May 9, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

  17. I dont know but he deserves an Oscar.

    Comment by Mendel — May 9, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

  18. I agree with R’ Chaim here. The video was horrible! First of all you could tell that they forced that chassid guy to act in it. There is no way he did this voluntarily. I think if you look closely, you can see shackles on his feet. Also, the statement that they make that “ALL chassidim push people, drive recklessly, drop yarmulkas, park in handicap spots etc.” is horrific. I mean if they had said that only the specific guy in the video did that, I would be OK with that. But for them to make a statement that every chassid behaves like that?? What chutzpah!! We are all right not to have a sense of humor about this!! I suggest we riot and attack AKA pella! Are you all with me?

    Comment by lipa schmeltzer — May 9, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  19. I heard the guy from the “not so hot” cd, Geshmakapella, is thinking of sueing AKAPella. His sales have been declining since this video has been released, according to my sources. Its one thing to promote a your cd in such a disgusting manner, but why mess around with a legend like Geshmakapella?

    Comment by Geshmakapella Fan — May 9, 2006 @ 6:42 pm

  20. It definitely is a creative clip, I’m just pointing out that its creativity pushes the bounds.

    Dad said:
    “Aryeh, You said your problem is with the people who created the ad, but it wouldn’t have be released if the people who made the CD AKA Pella wouldn’t have approved it. So in the end the blame lays with them.”

    I spoke to one of the AKA Pella guys, and he emphasized that this ad was not necessarily approved by all the guys. The “main guy” may have put this ad out mostly by himself, without necessarily consulting the rest.

    anonymous said:
    “i have to say that over the past few weeks this album has caused more controversy than any other album i’ve seen blogged. Aryeh, i’d say that you owe akapella a big thanks for spicing up this blog.”

    Well then, I officially give a shout out to the guys of AKA Pella for putting out an album with such personality that it caused a ton of controversy and discussion.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 9, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

  21. i for one have launched a partial boycott of the akapella album… i now only listen to it on my morning drive and have cut it out of my home-bound commute all together. I intend to return my cd (after sefira) and demand a full refund… this entire marketing campaign has been a travesty for me and my family… my daughter keeps asking me if dinner is “hot” or “not so hot”… when i walk into judaica stores my son grabs 50 yarmulkas at a time and scatters them throughout the store…my wife now thinks its ok to park in handicapped spots… my childeren riot at home everytime they’re not happy with they’re vegetables… its maddness… and all b/c they saw that meshuganeh clip… akapella is a poraya on society… i say we all boycott (but after seferia b/c i need s/t to listen to for teh next couple of weeks…

    Comment by Anonymous — May 9, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

  22. Hello everyone,

    I would like to make it known that I am a member of the singing group, AKA Pella. Aryeh knows who I am, but outisde of him, I would like to remain basically anonymous.

    I am not here to respond to any critiques of our album, marketing methods or even to answer general CD questions. I am only responding to the suggestions that it is members of our group who have been posting on this blog. To the best of my knowledge, outside of a post or two of mine (as mitch117), this is the only post on this blog by an AKA pella group member.

    We have not and do not plan on responding to blogs, webpages and the like.

    Baruch Hashem, as we are a large group, we have a number of different friends(including Aryeh)who appear to provide support for us on the internet. We appreciate this support.

    In closing, we did not intend to offend anyone with our music, video, etc. Those who know us are aware that we are a group of laid-back individuals who don’t take some things as seriously as others do. Maybe this is a chisaron in us. (It most probably is.)

    Whatever the case, we hope you enjoy our music. If you don’t, we appologize and hope we can please you in the future.

    Aryeh, shcoach on the site!

    Comment by mitch117 — May 9, 2006 @ 9:27 pm

  23. Raboisay,
    You may find this funny among all this contoversy – but my understanding is that CD Eichler and the “AKAPELLA 8” have already begun working on their next album – I dont have details but it looks as though it will in collaboration with another “big” name – it seems the cd has done so well that sameach is pushing for the next installment… stay tuned – i’ll keep u posted as i get more info.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 9, 2006 @ 9:47 pm

  24. dont you know, that once something is banned or deemed assur, the sales go up not down

    Comment by The Town Crier — May 10, 2006 @ 8:59 am

  25. Someone please tell Sameach music how offended i was and still am of that stupid lipa shmelzter video (where he sings the lion sleeps tonight) its a goyishe song, but what offends me the most is the baal tashchis at the beginning of the video. why did they have tio waste food like that? why did they have to get eggs smashed all over the parking lot? its offensive and they could have gone to poor people who cant afford food.

    Comment by The Town Crier — May 10, 2006 @ 9:01 am

  26. Town Crier, settle down… If you didnt like the Lipa Schmeltzer song because he used a “Goyish Song” you probably shouldn’t listen to 99% of Jewish music out there which is mostly inspired and imitated from “Goyish” music and lacks true originality.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 10, 2006 @ 9:14 am

  27. Allright, my plan was foiled again! The information i gave you all last night was not true. I just wanted to create some hype and buzz about a new project. The truth is that akapella is not working on a new project (or at least not as far as i know). Sameach Music – you party poopers! why do you always have to stick your noses into our blogs – don’t you guys have some CD’s to sell or something. Anyway, I apologize for the misinformation – it was a moment of weakness on my part – it wont happen again (at least for today).
    In other news – it seems that the akapella video hysteria has finally subsided and many bloggers have gone back to their familes and regular lives devoted to blogging about significant issues such as the epidemic in africa and the price of gasoline. These have been trying times for the jewish music industry, jewish music bloggers and sameach music. I believe that with if we all stick together and support e/o we can get through this. We WILL get through this…

    Comment by Anonymous — May 10, 2006 @ 10:26 am

  28. i was being sarcastic, specifically referring to the inconsistency of those who are upset by the allusions to popular music in many of the akapella songs (just like for instance lev tahor).

    Comment by The Town Crier — May 10, 2006 @ 11:40 am

  29. I had to delete the last few comments due to the fact that AKA Pella nor CD Eichler actually said them (I spoke to them on the phone).

    If you have something useful to say, please don’t hide behind someone else to say it, and most definitely do not go off masquerading as someone else. That’s just wrong.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 14, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  30. my uncle always says “those who can, do. those who can’t, critique.” I don’t agree with my uncle though. your knowledge of music is superb! why don’t you put out an album?
    while I understand your musical knowledge supports your critique of music, but on what canons is your review of advertising based on? i thought the video was a success in an advertisement’s forum.

    Comment by eric burnes — May 23, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  31. eric-
    The reason I commented on the ad (as did several other Jewish blogs) is because it’s related to Jewish music. I agree that it’s creative, but I still think it’s a bit over the top.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 23, 2006 @ 12:39 pm

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