When this ad by Cadbury came out in Britain in 2007, it won several awards for best TV commercial and film. Fairly speaking, its success is attributed to the combination of great directing, acting, costumes, and animatronics that costs approximately £700,000. However, to me it is the soundtrack that steals the show. The haunting melody of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight and his signature drum fill were so epic that I remember playing the 90-second-long ad over and over again just to feel the passion “in the air.” This passion alone, without any explanation or plot, matches Cadbury’s slogan: “A glass and a half full of joy.” This was one of the first videos that got me thinking about the power of music in advertising, and it still hasn’t lost its magic on me after all these years. Has it on you?
I have never met a person who doesn’t like music. No matter what type of music we listen to, it can have an incredible effect on us, sometimes in ways we don’t even expect. It can instantly change our mood (or intensify it) and bring back memories that we have long forgotten. Music is so powerful it would be horrifying to think that people can use it to control others. Well, the truth is: that horrifying scenario is happening every day with advertisers being the villains and us the victims. Yes, I am talking about the commercials that we are watching before and after and in between the shows. Think about it. With the picture effect, we sometimes ignore the soundtrack of the commercials, but it is still there, familiarizing us with the brand, attaching a feel to the product, luring us into thinking “Ohhh this deodorant makes me feel so intellectual, I have to check it out!” Back to the villains – victims scenario, I was just being dramatic. Advertising to me is an art, and obviously, so is music. Therefore, I will dedicate this blog to analyze the impact of music in advertising with a focus on TV commercials.