The role of songs in advertising

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MF
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The role of songs in advertising

Postby MF » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:24 am

As someone that works in the fringes of marketing/branding, I thought this was a really interesting position to take on the licensing of music for use in adverts. Here are the choice bits:
Advertising is supposed to deliver a clear and consistent message to consumers. To do that the elements of the commercial must be uniquely connected to the brand. Advertisers understand this idea as it pertains to elements like logos, wordmarks, and slogans (which are entirely sui generis, and fervently protected)...But they often neglect to apply the same principle when dealing with music. Licensed songs, by their very definition, cannot be owned by a brand, only borrowed. Therefore, unlike branded visual imagery, rented music negates any chance to create an exclusive link between song and brand. The end result is that consumers, when shown a Swoosh, will think of Nike, and when played a Kinks' song, will think of The Kinks ... not Converse.


As a music fan, I have to agree - I can remember songs, but I can't remember what the heck they were advertising. Case in point, I know M. Ward licensed "Here Comes the Sun Again" for a car commercial, but I have no idea what car or even car company was being promoted...

you can read the whole thing at Ad Rants.

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Postby Jake » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:26 am

Interesting, for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see more advertisers demanding longer periods of exclusivity.

Example: Outback Steakhouse and Of Montreal. That's been running for years now.

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Postby miss carol » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:15 pm

I'm in two minds about this. Sometimes I think, yeah they're targetting the demographic by means of nostalgic tunes. Recently, though, I wonder if anyone even recognizes the bands anymore rendering the song a non-branded jingle. I recently heard Weezer's "Island in the Sun" for a vacation-package company. (I wondered how long that would take, actually.) Just because I knew it was a Weezer song doesn't mean my demographic peers would.

Interesting, for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see more advertisers demanding longer periods of exclusivity.


Exclusivity of what: the song or the band writing for the brand? I wonder if the latter is route some bands/artists might go...once again. Ah the days of Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building call!

When I have a chance, I'll look at the article.

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Postby worpswede » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:29 pm

miss carol wrote:Exclusivity of what: the song or the band writing for the brand?

I was wondering this myself.
I would agree that a quick license of an established tune is pointless for advertisers, unless they're going for some kind of emotive/funny moment in the spot (think "Mr Roboto" and "Pink Moon" for Volkswagen). Other than that, I think you've got to get years of exclusivity before you start identifying the brand with the song. "Like A Rock" and "Lust For Life" are now permanently tied to the products they've been used for, simply because they've been used as such for so long.
On the other end of it, I think it's totally a win for an artist that can license a song for a product for a brief amount of time. The band pockets the dough for the usage and, within a year or so, the song becomes the fabric of its original intent again.

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Postby Jake » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:50 pm

worpswede wrote:I think you've got to get years of exclusivity before you start identifying the brand with the song. "Like A Rock" and "Lust For Life" are now permanently tied to the products they've been used for, simply because they've been used as such for so long.

That's exactly what I was talking about, but the idea of an advertiser exclusively licensing a band is an intriguing (if someone repellent) idea. Not sure many big companies would make an investment in new bands, but I can see established bands doing that kind of deal. E.g., Cadillac getting exclusive right to use Led Zeppelin songs for five years, or something. Maybe they already did that.

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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:51 pm

Using established songs for ads is just a result of the laziness that pervades every area of society today. Look at all the remakes, sequels and recycled ideas out of Hollywood. On the other hand a good original jingle can definitely make you remember the product. Off the top my fsleep deprived head y'all ....I like the recent Kool Whip jingles. Any others you sumbitches are fond of? Now enjoy this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwfMpSwS ... re=related

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Postby worpswede » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:46 pm

When I was a kid, my Dad took me to the A&P and told me to go get some Skippy peanut butter while he did some shopping in another aisle. They had a jingle that was so catchy that I grabbed that glass jar of Skippy and, literally, began skipping through the aisle singing that tune as I brought it back to my father. I dropped it and the glass broke, spewing peanut butter all over the floor.
My Dad heard the obligatory "Clean up in aisle four" over the p.a. and then yelled at me for being so clumsy.
As soon as I was old enough to buy peanut butter for myself, I chose Jif.
Fuck advertising.
It makes you skip, drop stuff, and get yelled at by your Dad.

Sven Killer Robot Spacema
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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:06 pm

worpswede wrote:When I was a kid, my Dad took me to the A&P and told me to go get some Skippy peanut butter while he did some shopping in another aisle. They had a jingle that was so catchy that I grabbed that glass jar of Skippy and, literally, began skipping through the aisle singing that tune as I brought it back to my father. I dropped it and the glass broke, spewing peanut butter all over the floor.
My Dad heard the obligatory "Clean up in aisle four" over the p.a. and then yelled at me for being so clumsy.
As soon as I was old enough to buy peanut butter for myself, I chose Jif.
Fuck advertising.
It makes you skip, drop stuff, and get yelled at by your Dad.


That's some funnny shit.

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Postby D. Phillips » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:50 pm

There are a couple reasons why you'd license a song for a commercial:
1) To leverage the association with the feelings, emotions, memories, etc. of a well-known song, especially one that has strong associations with your target audience (Fortunate Son, Smells Like Teen Spirit, etc.);
2) To enhance the experience of watching the ad. The point of advertising is to cut through to the consumer--get their attention. Good advertising does more than provide information, it leaves an impression. Music is just one element of advertising that helps get attention and leave an impression. It's like scoring a movie: sometimes you create new music for a scene, sometimes you use a Shins song.

As Don Draper says, "What [clients] don't understand is that their success is predicated on standing out, not fitting in."

So I don't think we'll see long-term exclusivity deals for music unless a campaign is being built around the song itself.

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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:29 pm

D. Phillips wrote:There are a couple reasons why you'd license a song for a commercial:
1) To leverage the association with the feelings, emotions, memories, etc. of a well-known song, especially one that has strong associations with your target audience (Fortunate Son, Smells Like Teen Spirit, etc.);
2) To enhance the experience of watching the ad. The point of advertising is to cut through to the consumer--get their attention. Good advertising does more than provide information, it leaves an impression. Music is just one element of advertising that helps get attention and leave an impression. It's like scoring a movie: sometimes you create new music for a scene, sometimes you use a Shins song.

As Don Draper says, "What [clients] don't understand is that their success is predicated on standing out, not fitting in."

So I don't think we'll see long-term exclusivity deals for music unless a campaign is being built around the song itself.


kind of text bookish


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