client login

maim that tune… or… not maiming that tune…

Recently, a couple of TV ads stood out for us.

They’re fine ads all round, but the main reason we’ve singled them out is the choice and use of music.

The first example is from a recent Virgin Media campaign entitled ‘A More Exciting Place to Live’ by DDB. The TV ad combines spoken lyrics (from Our House by Madness) with the track Symphonies by Dan Black (which we like as it uses a sample from 80s sci-fi weepy ‘Starman’ starring Jeff Bridges. Yeah that’s right. Geeks.)

The second example is the Bupa TV ad ‘Helping you find healthy’ by WCRS&Co. This campaign takes the Marina and the Diamonds track I Am Not A Robot but uses it re-sung.

In both of these examples, the use of music stands out because the tracks haven’t simply been licensed to run under the visuals as a box checking exercise (we’re thinking of you, BMW 6 series.) The music actually forms an important part of the texture and message of the ads.

In the case of the Virgin Media campaign, the creative team have inter-woven two different pieces (the lyrics by Madness and the track by Dan Black) loosing the Dan Black lyric, reinventing the Madness lyric and reassembling the music stems to follow the new copy and images.

As for Bupa, the choice of track, especially bearing the lyrics in mind, is perfect. Having it re-sung by a soloist and then bringing in a chorus (from an individual to many voices representing the number of individuals who could be and are Bupa members) helps to convey the notion that whoever you are, Bupa has something for you. Again, the creative team responsible didn’t settle for just using a licensed track as is, and recreated the music in a bespoke fashion for the campaign.

This is great work, and not just about plucking a track out of thin air because it’s popular or memorable (although both of those qualities count), but making sure that the music and the execution of the music in particular, complements the brand. If that means that a very good fit can be made better by taking a track in a new direction, then that’s what should be done.

back to top ↑