August 7, 2023

Yacht Rock4the Win

Sometimes you hear a song and realize, hey I know that. 

Melodies jump into our brain and then what is commonly called an “ear worm” takes over and there is no way to make it easily go away. Sometimes those songs are for advertising. Maybe it’s a musical branding piece done specifically for a company. Often, it’s a remade song that is newly incorporated into a campaign. 

First, let me say that using music in your advertising can be extremely effective in driving your message. It can help cut through the clutter better than others. You hear the first few notes of a “tune” and immediately recognize the advertiser. 

On the other hand, some music used in advertising is annoying. Case in point is the“Yacht Rock” song “Magic” made popular by the British band “Pilot” in 1975 and by Selena Gomez in 2009. “Oh, ho ho – it’s Magic.”  Well, no doubt you’ve heard this in the campaign for the diabetes (and weight loss) drug Ozempic where “It’s Magic” is replaced with “Oh-zempic.” I don’t know about you, but every time this commercial hits the air, I hit the mute button. 

Listen2the Music, but BeCareful Using It

For them, the song use is all about name recall, since that’s the biggest concern for drug companies primarily because their drugs have such weird names. Big Pharma pays Big Money to firms that specialize in the process of coming up with stupid names.  

After all of the images of happy people doing slice of life things, this mind-numbing, overplayed, 60- or 90-second television commercial takes more time talking about the “side effects” than it does to sell the product. And, all the while, that irritating music – “Oh-Oh-Ohaaw-ful” - is going on in the background.

So, my advice is to be mindful as you plot your next campaign.

Using music in your advertising can enhance audience emotions and make your ad memorable. Used wisely, it can help you differentiate and set your advertising apart from the crowd.  Should you opt for pricey well-known music? Perhaps. Sometimes the extra cost is worth it. But remember you need to obtain permission and the rights fees can be staggering.

Music in advertising can be beneficial, but be aware of the annoyance factor when considering an original “one hit wonder” song. Save the 70’s and 80’s tunes forMusic Trivia night at the local bar or for Final Jeopardy.

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July 24, 2020
Creating a Connection
December 20, 2016
Not-So-Background Music