Creative Music Consultant, Lizz Harman, gives us her top 5 ad picks of January, based on the most creative, effective and innovative uses of sound and music.
Gousto – Give It Some
By Mother & MJZ/Labhouse.
Move over, Hello Fresh, because Gousto has seriously stepped up to the plate in a bid to become the nation’s favoured recipe box subscription brand with this full-of-life, music-centric spot.
Bursting with life, colour, sound and some seriously slick SFX work, this spot packs a serious punch. Never again will I be able to whip up a stir fry without an infectious 80s synth melody careening through my pschye! Or perhaps you prefer some Rock with your Wok? Some electro with your… anyway, however you like to soundtrack your cooking time, Gousto have you covered – because the campaign also includes a partnership with the nation’s already favoured streaming service; Spotify (no Apple Music users, I simply won’t hear of it) – who are matching customer behaviours to music playlists such as “Pop Suey”, “Bangers and Mash” and, my personal favourite, “Wok’n on Sunshine”.
BBC – Backing Brilliant Creativity
By BBC Creative and Somesuch.
BBC Creative have been absolutely smashing it with their campaigns of late (please see recent spots for iPlayer and BBC Sounds), and the latest, ‘Backing Brilliant Creativity’ is no different. Sound tracked by the classic ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronettes and cleverly using the famous BBC acronym as a way of reflecting relative aspects of the content on-screen, the viewer is taken on a journey through some of the BBC’s latest and greatest hits. Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby and Fleabag’s Hot Priest feature beneath the title ‘Bad Boy Charm’, whilst Paul Mescal of ‘Normal People’ fame twinkles above the ‘Bringing Back Chains’ banner (great to see the BBC is in tune with internet meme culture here).
This campaign is a brilliant example of how synching classic, recognisable songs simply never fails. You can’t help but feel like you’re being wrapped up in a warm blanket when you hear the sweet sound of an authentic, vintage recording. So, I guess what I’m really saying is – thank you for your service to the music supervision industry, Levi’s.
Intuit – Quickbooks
By Wieden + Kennedy London & Blink.
Okay, so technically this spot was put out in December, but the tiny, aggressively assertive office workers really make me laugh. So, if nothing else, hats off to the casting director. Also, the composed tune that rounds off the ad is an absolute head-banging belter. It would serve as great motivation to accomplish my daily tasks if I knew the “taking care of business” hook were to burst forth like a Greek chorus at the moment of said-task completion.
Kudos to Quickbooks for emphatically dispelling the notion that accounting is boring. In fact, all accounting-related businesses should look to Quickbooks for ad (and songwriting) inspiration.
Ikea – Fortune Favours The Frugal
By Mother & MJZ.
Please see my above comments re ads using classic, vintage recordings + accompanying warm hug feels. ‘Making It Better’ by The Barons is a much rarer find than ‘Be My Baby’ but yet another stellar example of how you simply cannot go wrong with synching an old soul track!
As a frugal millennial with a deep-rooted fear of the ever-nearing catastrophic events climate change is likely to bring (plus a long-standing IKEA stan), this one stuck out as a proper good’un. Let’s keep the topic of sustainability front and centre, ad-land!
MacMillan – Whatever It Takes
By AMV BBDO & Iconoclast.
Beautiful work. Max Richter’s Spring 1 adds perfectly nuanced depth, supporting the intended emotive response whilst aptly reflecting the delicate and tender nature of the subject matter.
An important note: according to studies conducted on behalf of Macmillan, as many as 50,000 people in the United Kingdom are missing a cancer diagnosis due to the disruption caused by Covid-19. A number which could double by this time next year if cancer referrals and screening do not catch up.
Link to donate in support of Macmillan’s crucial services here if you can.
Quorn – Helping The Planet One Bite At A Time (big ups the sustainability theme and BRILLIANT music choice)