The Ding Dong, the Jingle's Dead panelists (l-r): Marisa Mastroianni-Davis, Shane Hutton, Eric Fawcett, ASCAP's Brendan Okrent, Paul Schultz & Gabe Sokoloff
Commercial music has evolved considerably in the last few decades, and that was illustrated in this panel, Ding Dong the Jingle's Dead. Pull up YouTube and take a ride with us through some milestones in commercial music:
1926: The first song + ad combination: Wheaties cereal used a jingle in a radio ad.
1973: The song "Teach the World to Sing" was written for and featured in a Coca-Cola television commercial, and it stole the show! The song itself charted and became a hit, blurring the lines of what exactly is promoting what.
1987: Nike uses the Beatles song "Revolution" in a campaign, stirring up a bit of controversy. The campaign was a success for Nike, but later George Harrison publicly commented negatively about using music to sell products.
1991: One of the longest running song + brand relationships, Chevy uses Bob Seger's "Like a Rock." It runs through 2004.
1999: Gap begins commissioning various artists to write for their advertisements, notably, LL Cool J. Hip hop was huge in making it cool to align with a brand.
2007: The tables turn entirely and ad campaigns begin breaking new artists and bands. Think Apple featuring the Feist song "1234" in their huge iPod Nano commercial.
The panel advised three steps to open the door into the commercial music world:
- Write, arrange and record five to ten great music-to-picture pieces. This business moves lightening fast, so the more you can do, the better. If you can't produce your own tracks, work with someone who can. Be sure the recordings are at a professional level - they need to be ready to go right into a campaign.
- Post them on simple, easy to use website. Learn to work with picture - choose a few clips to attach your music to, so you can show how it fits.
- Reach out to commercial music companies like Egg Music and Emoto!
Ultimately though, it always comes down to authenticity. A quote from panelist Shane Hutton summed it up: "Like your mother always said - be yourself and everything else will fall into place."