What Commercials Miss Without Composer Collaboration

Music must be part of the creative process from the beginning

From nails on a chalkboard to listening to your favorite song at a live show, we all intuitively know sound can cut deep. As advertisers, we are always aiming to hit that deeply relatable point with the consumer, but all too often there's a disconnect because the music, an emotional driver, is included only as an afterthought. The consequence is an unfortunately disjointed production and a lost opportunity to sell your brand. 

After 20 years at the helm of Personal Music, it's clear to me that the composer must be a partner in the creative process from the brief. Expanding the team by one is a simple change that can make a meaningful difference in the creative process and overall impact of the ad. 

Don't underestimate the sonic feel of the brand.

I've worked with General Motors, Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen—all of which are car companies and all of which have distinct brands. 

A lot of work goes into the visuals and messaging that separate a brand from its competition. When the composer is not involved from the brief, when the music is an afterthought, it will be much harder to get on the same wavelength as the other creatives. This is where the disconnect happens. The feel of the brand is not reflected in the sonic feel of the music. Instead of a deep cutting score, you get the tune of just another car commercial. 

However, by collaborating with your composer from the beginning, we have an opportunity to better understand the brand's needs, the choices of the other creatives, and embrace the sonic feel of the brand. 

Add diversity to your creative process.

In study after study, business scholars find that diverse teams lead to better results. The composer is another opportunity to increase diversity in background and talent. It's important to have different perspectives coming together to share what people are looking for today, to collaborate and solve problems, and to work to each other's strengths.

Neglecting the composer until the end simply stifles the potential for innovation. It's not just about bringing a musical perspective to the table, but also the trends, culture and pulse of the street. The creative process needs diversity in the sense of what people are looking for today. The team should be born diverse, which summons talents that print different perspectives of life in their work.

Allow music to be a storytelling element.

At higher levels of production, music not only sets the mood, it manipulates it. Music can drive the story forward by extending the depth and emotional complexity of what's on screen. But for this to be possible, the composer must be a collaborator from the onset. 

The collaboration between creatives gives room for a natural ebb and flow between visuals, messaging and music, so that each has room to carry the weight when they are most effective. Left as an afterthought, the score of your commercial can only do so much. 

Open the space for professionals to offer their expertise in the creative process. Ultimately, this brings clients the end result they really desire. 

Profile picture for user Alberto Slezynger
Alberto Slezynger
Alberto Slezynger is founder of music and audio production company Personal Music.

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