Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed listening to music of all types while I work. And while it’s no shocker that music inspires us, it can have a profound and magical impact on what we create while listening to it, and when those ideas translate to video or film. Simply choosing the wrong music or creating original compositions that miss the mark can completely change the emotion you hope to evoke from the viewer. Again, I admit, this is not news. But I do feel that music is often overlooked in the sense that it can have such a significant role in a spot. Here’s some examples I think really illustrate this well. One of them was a Publix spot I did years ago and I felt using a piece of music by a band called The Album Leaf would be the difference between a spot that evoked real heartwarming emotion and one that made you roll your eyes.

To prove my point, watch this spot:

Now find some piece of music that is a little happier, turn the volume off the spot and watch it again.

Here are some other examples I feel do a tremendous job with music.
1) A funny spot for Hockey Canada but the music really brings it around to be extremely emotional.

2) A classic from Nike.

3) Halo 3 Believe.

4) Gears of War.  How can you go wrong with Mazzy Star?

Another method I find very interesting is juxtaposing a piece of music to what you are seeing. For example, a spot or clip might show a very serious topic and use a piece of music that is at the opposite end of the spectrum. That unexpected choice of music can be very jarring and completely change the context and power of the ad itself by that one simple music choice. Steeler’s Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” during the ear amputation scene in Reservoir Dogs, for example.

That’s it. I shall now turn on some more music and get back to working on our clients.

– James Rosene