Despite their worldwide popularity, Coldplay has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for product endorsements. In the past, Coldplay turned down multi-million dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke, and Gap, who wanted to use the songs “Yellow”, “Trouble”, and “Don’t Panic” respectively. According to frontman, Chris Martin, “We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs’ meanings like that.” The song “Viva la Vida” was featured in a commercial for the iTunes Store, advertising its exclusive availability of the single as a digital download on iTunes. Additionally, Chris Martin appeared at an Apple Inc. Special Event on 1 September 2010, playing a number of songs, and also thanked Apple for their assistance in marketing “Viva la Vida”. After the death of Steve Jobs, Coldplay performed four songs at Apple’s Campus in Cupertino, further thanking Jobs for the support he gave them.
Coldplay supports Amnesty International and performed for them at The Secret Policeman’s Ball fundraiser in 2012. Martin is regarded as one of the most visible celebrity advocates for fair trade, supporting Oxfam’s ongoing Make Trade Fair campaign . He has been on trips with Oxfam to assess conditions, has appeared in its advertising campaign, and is known for wearing a “Make Trade Fair” wristband during public appearances.
During the early years, Coldplay became widely known in the media for giving 10 per cent of the band’s profits to charity, which they continue to do. Bassist Guy Berryman said, “You can make people aware of issues. It isn’t very much effort for us at all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it.” The band also asks that any gifts intended for them are donated to charity, according to a response on the FAQ section of Coldplay’s website. Martin spoke out against the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US, UK and other forces during the Teenage Cancer Trust show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 24 March 2003, where he encouraged the sell-out crowd to “sing against war”. He would later endorse the US Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
In June 2009, Coldplay began supporting Meat Free Monday, a food campaign started by Paul McCartney which attempts to help slow climate change by having at least one meat free day a week. From 17 and 31 December 2009, Coldplay auctioned a quantity of significant band memorabilia, including their first guitars. Proceeds went to Kids Company, a charity which helps vulnerable children and young people in London. A month later in January 2010, Coldplay performed a slightly modified version of “A Message”, entitled “A Message 2010”, at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon special, raising money for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In November 2014, Martin joined the charity group Band Aid 30, performing alongside current British and Irish pop acts on the latest version of the track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in Western Africa.
In June 2016 the band supported Vote Remain in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. Following the Brexit result which saw 52% of the UK voting to leave the EU (despite the majority of younger people voting remain), Chris Martin stated: “This decision does not represent us or indeed most of our generation and the generation following us.”
ADVANCED TRAINER (more…)