For a while now, I’ve been intermittently paying an interest to the music used in advertising – everything from the briefs sent to agents/musicians to articles on the goal of advertising (I bet you thought it was complicated. Turns out they’re trying to raise awareness > interest > money), and some good ol’ fashioned research by the way of watching television. Subverting tradition, however, by getting up to make myself a coffee and snack every time the program comes back on so I don’t miss any of the commercials.
The problem with this, aside from the fact that I have no idea what to do when infomercials come on, is that it often takes me months to go from the seed of an idea to having something I think is complete and cohesive enough to post. (When I’m actually tackling an issue where insight, research, a point and a conclusion is required, anyway). My drafts folder currently contains about a dozen half-finished articles of approximately 2000 words each that meander all over the place and don’t reach any conclusion, some begun six months ago.
It’s because I have this habit of allowing my point of view to be variable and concentric – I start out like Frodo on a great quest, covering vast areas of terrain, but unfortunately – just like he – I then take on the characteristics of Gollum, coveting newly acquired information and secreting it back to my cave (that’s not a euphamism by the way, you should see this lair my landlord calls a “unit” – t’is a dark place indeed). I’d like to be able to say that after mulling over all my gathered things, at least in the end I emerge, blinking into the sun, with something resembling an original, informative article. But – surprise – I also have this habit of ending up in totally weird places that have nothing to do with where I started and maps of Middle Earth never seem to aid my navigation back.
So, anyway, music in advertising… While I’m still tackling exactly where that’s going, I thought I’d share something kind of interesting that I stumbled across, as it doesn’t look like it’s going to fit in with any of the other topics I’ve been exploring at depth. Perhaps it may even be best to continue with these random, bite-sized pieces of (lets call them) “information”. At least it will keep me away from the fridge when something good is on, like Antiques Roadshow. (That’s not a joke, AR is awesome).
The following two clips contain exactly the same commercial, which was for tourism in Yarra Valley, Victoria back in 2004. First up is the original, using a song called Run, Rabbit, Run. (NB Yet another YT clip that can’t be played anywhere but on-site. Click here for the direct link).
I wonder what kind of impression that leaves most people with? Cheery? Playful? Inviting? A nice touch of romantic nostalgia? I’m quite sure that was the idea, and it probably achieves its goal well enough for most, but here’s what I think is a prime example of just how powerful a role the music used in a commercial plays (which is primarily a visual medium…obviously). The second take instead features music from the score to Donnie Darko.
Credit for the second edit goes to Bland Canyon writer, PetStarr.
I don’t actually have a point to close this with, other than (as exemplified above in paragraph 4) getting back to the point is as easy as using an ellipsis…¹
1. Hopefully it makes it easy to get away with not having one, too.