You could well be forgiven for forgetting Babylon Zoo, a band from Wolverhampton who briefly went stratospheric when they provided the soundtrack for a Levi’s campaign way back in the mid-nineties. Sadly the band, which sank back into obscurity as quickly as they had appeared, is just one example of the fickle fortunes of the recording artists who have leant their talents to TV advertising. Cynical advertising executives would argue that with the right song and a bit of sensuality thrown in for good measure, you could sell coal to the good people of Newcastle and snow to the Eskimo nations of the north. It’s surprising just how many adverts have a subtle (or not so subtle) musical background. Here are some of the best and the worst.
IKEA, with their quirky Scandinavian take on all things cool can’t normally be beaten when it comes to digging out formerly obscure and utterly fitting tunes with which to decorate their affordable, stylish and sleek-lined domestic kit. Always in the Kitchen at Parties, the 1980 hit by Jona Lewie re-worked for the noughties and featuring Man Like Me became an instant hit. The canny combination of retro style/retro music and modern day backdrops all melded beautifully as Man Like Me duo danced their way through a house constructed of affordable, stylish and sleek-lined kitchens. The song got stuck in viewer’s heads and presumably could only be removed by surgical intervention, or a quick trip to IKEA.
EDF Energy’s latest offering is cute, adorable and decidedly obscure. This seems to be the way to go for utility companies but it is unclear why. They’ve taken on as their mascot a strange looking creature which appears to be an attempt to win over their main customer base, which from the advert appears to be children. In the latest version it is now riding around on a dog to the background track Together We are Beautiful and the gently, alluring tones of Fern Kinney. The pals for life wander through an average suburban backdrop, Fern croons and the voice over mentions things like coming home. The whole collaboration certainly makes me want to rush out and buy some energy. Not!
Dark Humour and Daft Tunes
IRN-Bru has long been a favourite of mine when it comes to the lighter, darker, funnier and slightly off the wall side of advertising. From their take on High School Musical to their to their lightly twisted re-make of the formerly too-saccharin-to-stomach Snowman or the deliciously twisted, whistling and funny Disney-esque troop of animals led by a merry, friendly butcher; IRN- Bru adverts definitely look for a response from the viewer in the content that they advertise.
The Crucial Link
Of course the prevalence of music in adverts is not about presentation as music can also be crucial in lodging the advert firmly into the minds of the audience. It helps to create strong brand identity and association, entertains as much as it sells and ultimately can be the strongest part of any advert. The right tunes can not only sit on permanent playback in the potential customer’s heads for weeks on end, but they create associations with style, image and personality. Audio post production firms play an important role in the advertising chain, providing the final and crucial link in that chain that can make all the difference to advertising effectiveness. The fact that advertisements appear to remain in our heads long after we have watched them plays credit to the importance of a great and catchy tune to advertise and promote your business and product. Success it seems is just a song choice away.
Jasmin Blunt is a writer who understands the importance of songs in advertisements to represent the product or service offered. If you want to advertise you product and are looking for information on audio post production, London experts recommend talking to specialists in advertisement.