Turn On, Tune In
Pl8r: Does anyone know the song from the new Cingular commercial for the Pantech C300 flip phone? There are two different versions, one with a guy singing and one with a girl band.
kai_joshu: AHHHHHH!!! I just watched that commercial! Now I'm gonna be up all night trying to figure it out!
PhoenixFire31: I want it for my ringtone! :D
SunRunner: Anyone come up with this song yet??
So starts a typical conversation thread at Adtunes.com, an ad music Weblog and one-stop source for identifying the music heard in TV commercials and shows, on movie soundtracks, and in trailers and video games. A quick glance at the site proves what savvy advertisers have known for years: Marrying a product with the perfect song can equal marketing gold.
Adtunes members flock to the forum section, hoping to learn the name of the artist or band whose song they can't get out of their head. Perhaps it's one of the Verizon LG Chocolate phone spots featuring UK-based performers Goldfrapp or Lady Sovereign. Or one of the soft-spoken covers of Johnny Cash's "Walk the Line" in Levi's "Straight Walk" jeans ad campaign. Or maybe it's Hem's "Half-Acre," the haunting melody winding its way through the karmically pleasing Liberty Mutual Insurance commercial. Whatever their current ad music obsession, it's likely they're not alone. There have been approximately 120,000 posts on the site to date, according to Michelle Harlan, cofounder of Adtunes.
Music has always been an important factor in the advertising formula, explains Melissa Chester, BBDO's senior music producer. "Back in the '70s and '80s, there was a heavy reliance on original in-house jingles," she says. "Now, we have a major trend toward licensing music. Personally, I love finding unusual bands or ones that haven't broken yet."
Chester's taste led her to select some of the most sought-after songs on Adtunes. To promote Cingular Motorola's ROKR phone with iTunes, she chose the pop-punk band The Faders and their song "No Sleep Tonight," which at the time had yet to be released in the U.S. Her more recent selections, "I Woke Up" by French band One-T and "Won't Let You Down" by Urban Delights, were used in the popular Cingular spots mentioned above.
With brand new tracks flooding TV commercials and programs, it appears that TV has become the new listening medium. "How often do we rely on the radio in our car to find out about something new anymore?" asks Harlan. "Since we are a television-focused society, it's only natural that we go to the TV to find our next favorite band."
Says Vance Overbey, executive director of advertising for Cingular Wireless, "We have to make consumers not want to fast-forward through our spots or change the channel," he says. "Music can be that great attention-getter."