Not many people know this but I studied ‘Music Placements’ on television for my dissertation. The point was to determine if it was an appropriate method of promotion for music artists. However my study only looked at tv shows. It didn’t look at adverts. I can’t help but notice, a lot of the adverts today (literally- today) have popular music in them so, I thought it might be worth some pondering. I guess that happens when you watch as much tv as me.
Personally I think it works best when an independent, upcoming artist is used because their songs have a degree of flexibility with regard to their perception and understanding. They can be easily manipulated by the cinematography and imagery to depict a particular feeling or story.
This is my favourite at the moment. It’s the new (and very early, in my opinion) christmas advert for Matalan. The spot features ‘What I Wouldn’t Do’ by A Fine Frenzy in the background and it works so well. Its warm, it’s natural and it’s baked full of christmassy goodness. Alison Sudol’s voice can only be described as beautiful, which only enhances the feel.
The same goes the BT ‘Infinity’ advert. The song in this is ‘Corner’ by Allie Moss. Similar music and feel.
In contrast, the ad for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is awful. Not just the music but the whole presentation just lacked that element of finesse that makes an advert shine. Tinie Tempah was a poor choice for it. It’s a great game and good song but it doesn’t fit and I think part of that is due to having a song that listeners have already heard an interpreted with their own meaning.
I personally would have used something like ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ by Philip Glass as it creates more of an epic atmosphere that Assassin’s Creed deserves.