Following on from my last post on the subject of music used in advertising, I decided to take a another look through all the ad briefs I’ve been sent, since they were what sparked my interest on the subject in the first place.
These briefs detail the brands and products, then lay out the specifications for the type of song they’re looking for, the effect they want it to achieve, and/or – most commonly – the original song they want to rip off. In the interest of something akin to benevolence, I’m going to leave out any identifying details.
Here’s one that stuck out a mile, for an alcoholic beverage:
“…they’re looking for a replace for Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’…something with a similar ‘slightly bittersweet tone’. (It)…tells the story of a paralympian pushing himself as hard as possible to be the best triathlete in his field. All very emoting.”
Leaving the concept aside… No, wait. Really? An ad for alcohol about a paralympian pushing himself to be the best? Last I checked, every single ad that has come before involving both an alcoholic beverage and a paraplegic was doing the opposite of advertising alcohol. Did the dudes think this one through? If advertising actually has the effect on us that those in the field suggest, then paraplegic + alcohol = inspiration & motivation to improve skill is not a compatible equation to most people. More like alcohol + inflated sense of skill = paraplegic.
It was at that point, owing to the sheer ridiculousness of the concept (at least on paper), my mind started wondering and – in a chain of thought I doubt I’ll need to explain – found myself on a site called Bitstrips…
Alcohol¹ + internet + a list of ad briefs = inflated sense of comedic ability and literally minutes of time wasted on creating characters & comic strips.
So here’s the
“What we are looking for is an undiscovered gem. Somewhere out there is the next big thing/track and that is what we’re after. Something cool, contemporary and fresh. In a nutshell – fresh, hot, undiscovered, next big thing, unknown genius – we are open to a wide net of options”
Unknown Genius knows no bounds
“They’re basically looking for a track that sounds like I’ll Be Your Mirror by The Velvet Underground. They like it as it’s haunting and moving“
Mouthwash haunted by the ghost of Velvet Underground past
Product: Home Furnishings
“This brief is for a new piece of [product name] music for the next 2 or 3 years. We are looking for an uplifting track with a positive feel. The music needs to have a relaxed pace and in some part (or throughout) be distinctive, engaging and emotionally resonate with people too. It is imperative that it contains a distinctive hook that can be used as the signature opening/ending or part of the radio 10” Ad or 30” TV commercial. We need the hook to become the signature of [product name] communication over the next 2 to 3 years.
(It)…should be available for re-composition depending upon the time of year (allowing a Christmas version or summer feel to the track). A ‘whistle’ in the track would help with continuity but is not a pre-requisite of the music. The track must work equally well on a 10 second radio Ad as on a TV commercial and be memorable even when used alongside a packed voice over.
…they are after something a little more “emotive” than the current track… They would like something with a build for the longer form TV ads.”
1. Ok, so there was no alcohol comsumed during the making of this post. I’m sorry. I know they’re lame, but I couldn’t help myself and I promise I’ll never do it again, I’ve got it out of my system now…. Probably.