Today, sites like Animoto make it easier than ever to build a promotional video for your company. It allows the user to quickly upload images and video, and layer one of thousands of pre-canned songs behind it all. However, according to Tanvi Patel, CEO of CrucialCustom.com, the days of using generic pre-recorded tunes for your brand are over.
Patel knows music. Her company is a custom music commissioning site for video and TV. Patel's job is to "find, create, hone, and license custom music for Internet advertisements." She considers music library offerings "the fast food of the music world." By contrast, "commissioning custom music is like sourcing gourmet fair-trade fare -- it better meets the distinct specifications of video creators, while being inherently unique."
She offers five reasons why opting for a commissioned song for your company's next ad spot is an obvious choice:
1. No one else has used or even heard the music.
This is obvious, but still very powerful. "How many times have you heard the song 'Home' by Phillip Phillips in a commercial or promo?" Patel asks. "For a very long minute, it felt like it was used everywhere. Do you remember the brands? No, but Phillip Phillips' label and publisher walked away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees. Meanwhile, target buyers thought, 'I wonder where I heard that song before,' rather than, 'I want that product.'" By contrast, Patel explains, "When you commission custom music, it's fresh to everyone. If it's a great song, it will be forever locked in collective memory as the brand's calling card -- think Oscar Meyer's 1973 bologna spot. We can still all spell it to that melody, can't we? This is also the case for late 1970's McDonald's and Sugar Free Dr. Pepper campaigns, which re-used the same infectious jingles over and over again."
2. It's affordable and accessible.
It was not that long ago that your only music option was what was playing on the radio. The music available for companies to use was as limited as the technology transmitting it. As a result, explains Patel, "Some music houses charged tens of thousands of dollars, because they knew alternative options were few, and they had more overhead than we do today." But now, with creative crowdsourcing sites, agencies can affordably source everything from voice talent to briefs to directors. Sites like CrucialCustom.com, ScoreAScore.com, and Audiodraft.com offer a whole menu of budget-friendly choices. With little or no up-front demo fees, agencies can choose from hundreds of great online submissions from around the world -- and license custom music for approximately 70% less than traditional music house pricing."
3. It fits your ad perfectly.
The goal of an ad is to leave a lasting visual and audio impression. "Either can be lost with a mediocre music bed," Patel warns. "When a composer creates something to picture, it fits like a glove. Every edit is powerful, and emotions are intensified, note after note. And if you need lyrics to enhance a spot without voice-over, nothing delivers your message better than poetic, tailor-made lyrics to a strong hook." For example, she points to the University of Phoenix's new campaign "More Than Brains", featuring new lyrics to the familiar melody of Wizard of Oz's 'If I Only Had a Brain.' "It spins a poignant and memorable tale of what a college education can do for the ad's target audience," Patel observes.
4. You can get more creative.
"Need Tibetan throat singing? No problem. Need a classical track infused with dubstep? Say no more. Need the first 10 seconds of the track to be understated, with a resonating bassline building into an exciting, driving beat, climaxing into a rock orchestral masterpiece? Easy-peasy," Patel says. One of the nice things about custom music is that you can direct the composer to think outside the box and deliver your vision, no matter how outrageous it may appear to be.
5. You're a rock star instead of the messenger.
Patel points out one last benefit: custom music is good for the ego. "You also never have to tell a client that the artist denied clearance...or you can't afford a track...or what you are looking for doesn't exist...or what you've found is 'probably close enough.' With custom music, you can always deliver precisely what the client wants to hear, and at the same time make an indelible impression on their customers."
With a virtually limitless audio palette at affordable pricing already available it is easy to see why Patel is upbeat about the future of customized music for advertising.