From Jingles to Jams: Music in Advertising

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From Jingles to Jams: Music in Advertising

Recently, it was announced that Spotify is worth more than the revenue of the entire US Recorded Music Industry. The concept of simply selling CDs is no longer lucrative, and artists with entrepreneurial leanings have tried to adapt without much success (see: JAY-Z’s Tidal). But one industry remains highly profitable for artists that choose to go commercial: Advertising.


 Music is essential to branding. Imagine Google’s Parisian Love ad without the emotive piano crescendo, or try watching P&G’s Thank You, Mom spot on mute, it’s almost incoherent. To quote Steve Olenski: “Without music, a brilliant campaign can go unnoticed. With music, a subpar creative production can go viral.” And those are just atmospheric soundtracks- Apple’s ads have driven indie smash after indie smash, so much so that there are websites dedicated to compiling songs used in their commercials. The opening riff of Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” is recognizable to everyone, but not until this infamous Apple ad hit the airwaves.


 Music generates consumer engagement and identification, especially with major sponsorship deals like this Kanye and Pepsi partnership. Of course, the majority of brands can’t afford a superstar to endorse their product, or even the license to their songs. This is where jingles come in- don’t fool yourself into thinking they’re outdated. How long did it take you to get this Subway jingle out of your head, or Fanta’s funky tune? Even more recently, Metro Trains of Australia made a PSA a viral smash with their original “Dumb Ways to Die” jingle.


 Music and advertising have been paired since the beginning, and sometimes brands take this for granted. In reality, the same amount of attention to detail put into the visuals of an ad should be put into the audio. The wrong tune can completely skew your message, while the right tune can elevate it far beyond what you ever imagined. Choosing a song just because it’s recognizable or catchy can lead to unfortunate consequences.


Vidyard has some great suggestions for picking out the ideal song:


  • Consider the role of the music, should it be in the foreground or background?
  • Bookend music by using it to set the tone at the beginning and end of the ad, but bring the level down during the content
  • Use reference music; just because you can’t afford The Beatles doesn’t mean you can’t afford a Beatle-esque sound
  • Adapt to your target audience. If you’re appealing to millennials, Mozart probably isn’t the best choice. See if you can find the same sound in a modern genre, using a site like this for reference.


With that said, you’re best off leaving it to the professionals, like the talented, musically-inclined team at The Pod Advertising. We may spend our days writing copy and editing videos, but we love to go home and jam out on our guitars, drumsets, tubas, kazoos, flugelhorns, you name it! We’ve even won a Gold Addy for best original song. For evidence, look no further than this perfectly scored typography video, or the attention to sonic detail in this brand statement.