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High Five: The Soundtrack to Advertising


Managing partner at Wavemaker UK, Isobel Jordan, brings music to the forefront with five incredible soundtracks to adverts

High Five: The Soundtrack to Advertising

I’ve just experienced one of the best musical experiences of my life; watching 'James' at the Royal Albert Hall with a full gospel choir and orchestra. I laughed, I cried, I simply felt alive. At Wavemaker, we naturally spend a lot of time thinking and talking about great storytelling, about evoking an emotion in people to make them feel something about the art and science of advertising. This experience reminded me that there is simply no art form that makes me feel more than music does. And when I think about the great ads that end up sticking with me for years, they all have one thing in common - a brilliant soundtrack. Everyone has their top movie soundtracks, so what about the top advert soundtracks of all time!?

Nike - 'World Cup 1998: Airport'

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Sergio Mendes' 'Mas Que Nada' - a song that has been sampled countless times (Freed from Desire!?) - is now so synonymous with football, chanting, togetherness and celebration it's almost like it was written for the ad itself. This ad came at a time when brands didn’t go crazy at football tournaments; it marked the start of a behaviour which is now so heavily anticipated and expected from Nike, it makes it truly iconic for me.

IKEA - 'You Will Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties'

Agency: Mother

If there was ever a song that was written for an advert, it’s this one. And Mother couldn’t have done it better for IKEA by literally creating a new music video (at a time when music videos were everything) to Jona Lewie's 1980 hit 'You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties'. A great tune, a brilliant ad, one of the first brands I ever worked on, by an agency I have huge respect for.

Cadbury’s - 'Gorilla'

Agency: Fallon

I don’t think this needs any explanation. A rare stroke of genius which came from a discussion about the best drum solos of all time on a different ad shoot, rather than anything to do with trying to crack the brief. Sometimes the best ideas come from well outside the box.

Levi's - 'Flat Eric'

Agency: BBH

Absolute brilliance here from Sir John Hegarty, inspired by a music video released by the French electronic musician and filmmaker Quentin Dupieux (Mr Oizo). I love the story behind the ad as much as the ad itself. The furry yellow puppet inspiration comes from a glove puppet he had found at a flea market and fell in love with instantly. Classic Levi’s - uber cool and totally unique.

Three - 'Pony'

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

When I think about soundtracks in ads, I can’t get away from this one. Mobile phones, social media, dancing ponies. It does the job. Fleetwood Mac - everywhere.

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Wavemaker UK, Wed, 24 May 2023 11:30:03 GMT