Chindon’ya (チンドン屋) are companies of street musicians engaged primarily in advertising for shops, stores, cabarets, and game parlors. Their development is closely linked to the economic and cultural development of Japan since the end of the nineteenth century.
Although once a common sight in urban Japan, the number of chindon’ya has greatly decreased since the late 1960s. Recently, however, some signs of a new interest in this nearly obsolete profession have appeared.
Their profile has changed somewhat; job offers from rural communities are increasing, and engagements as main attractions in large hotels and at festivals have begun to be booked. The music has even influenced some pop music groups, who are taking up the chindon’ya repertory.
This according to “Chindon’ya today: Japanese street performers in commercial advertising” by Ingrid Fritsch (Asian ethnology LX/1  49–78; RILM Abstracts 2001-24360).
Above and below, chindon’ya in action.
In 1946 the Hormel company created a unique organization to employ World War II veterans as musicians to market food products.
Over a seven-year period the Hormel Girls, a drum-and-bugle corps, conducted door-to-door sales, worked with local retailers in cities and towns across America, formed a professional orchestra and a choir to enhance their stage shows, and produced a weekly national radio broadcast.
This was possibly the most successful musical-marketing strategy in the history of partnerships between music and industry. The women received outstanding pay and benefits, the company doubled its profits during the group’s existence, and the performers were professional-level musicians on a par with members of other professional ensembles of the era.
This according to “The Hormel Girls” by Jill M. Sullivan and Danielle D. Keck (American music XXV/3 [fall 2007] pp. 282–311). Top, the group ca. 1947; center, in 1952. Below, Elisa Korenne’s Hormel Girls, illustrated with vintage photographs.