Monthly Archives: June 2012

great minds on music: an interview with mark tutssel

Armed with a laptop and a digital recorder, Uli Reese, President of iV2, traveled the world in pursuit of some of the top names in the business of advertising. We’ve edited and compiled his conversations with these innovative thinkers into a series we’ve dubbed “Great Minds on Music.” If you’d like to read more of these conversations, selecting this link will aggregate all the interviews for easy viewing. 

“Since I’ve been in the business, it’s always been about: here’s a great idea, here’s a great director, here’s a great story board, here’s a great editor, and, oh yeah, we need some music. Music’s usually been at the end, sometimes unfortunately more of an afterthought rather than front and center, inextricably linked to the idea. ” – Mark Tutssel

GREAT MINDS ON MUSIC: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARK TUTSSEL

Reese: Are you a music lover? How do you feel about music in terms of its marketing potential?

Tutssel: I’ve been looking at some of the work we’ve done at Leo Burnett around the world in the past two or three years and it really demonstrates the many ways of solving a problem using music, or applying music in an interesting fashion, which gives us an insight into music and human behavior. But the first question you asked was, “Do I love music?” And I defy anyone to say “no” to that question. I think music is loved by every human being on the planet. It’s in our system, it’s in our DNA. Think about it: our first introduction to sound is in our mother’s womb. Sound is the first connection people have with humanity, with each other. I grew up in Wales, which is renowned for singing. It’s home to some of the greatest singers in the world. I grew up in a family where music was everywhere: every aspect of my life had music as part of it.

Reese: Is that still the case today?

Tutssel: Well, my nephew Kristian Williams is a musician, under the stage name Eugene Francis Jr.. He’s toured with Coldplay. And my son literally lives for music. He’s the product of the iPod generation, where you can immerse yourself in a vast choice of music. Now he plays the piano, he plays guitar, he plays saxophone, he writes music. He’s one of many that have the ability to create. They write songs, they sing songs, they post them on YouTube, they get their music out there. That ability to be heard, to share it globally, it’s never been easier…Geoffrey Latham once said that “music is the vernacular of the human soul.”  I’ve always thought that was a fantastic quote. Music has the ability to touch you, to move you, and to connect with you…In terms of music in advertising over the years, where do you begin? There’s been so much great work. From signature stings like Marlboro Country right through to Honda GRRR.  And the beloved jingle, which is beginning to resurrect itself.  Richard Russell, my former partner, a copywriter who worked on Honda GRRR — every single day in the office he used to say, “The jingle will be back. The jingle will be back.” Continue reading

great minds on music: an interview with chuck porter

Armed with a laptop and a digital recorder, Uli Reese, President of iV2, traveled the world in pursuit of some of the top names in the business of advertising. We’ve edited and compiled his conversations with these innovative thinkers into a series we’ve dubbed “Great Minds on Music.”

“‘There is no learning without emotion’, and one of the easiest ways to evoke emotion is with music” – Chuck Porter

GREAT MINDS ON MUSIC: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHUCK PORTER

Reese: Let’s start with a question I ask everyone who takes part in this virtual round table: how does a big idea feel? Do you recognise it immediately when it arrives?

Porter: In my experience it varies dramatically. Someone might come into the room and say: “What would happen if Burger King stopped selling Whoppers?” and instantly you say, “Wow, that’s an interesting way of talking about the brand – that could be big.” Other ideas percolate for a while. We had an idea, also for Burger King, called “The Subservient Chicken”. It was a guy in a chicken suit you could control online by typing instructions. “Chicken the way you like it,” was the inspiration behind the campaign. It was one of a few ideas we batted around for while. But it went massively viral – it was huge. I wish they were all instant “wow”, but in my experience they’re not. Sometimes you come up with an idea you think is going to be gigantic, and the response is just so-so. Other things seem kind of interesting, but they explode.

Reese: Let’s move on the big question. How important is music in your work?

Porter: Oh, it’s huge. Music creates emotion. On the wall in my office there’s a quote from Plato from about 350 BC which is: “There is no learning without emotion”, and one of the easiest ways to evoke emotion is with music. Scent is actually easier, but it’s hard to get your audience to smell something. Getting them to listen to music is the next best thing. No matter who you are or where you live, I guarantee I can play a piece of music to you that will take you back to when you were 15 years old. Continue reading

five measurable parameters for successful audio branding

One of the fundamental questions to consider when you’re standing at the intersection of audio and advertising is this: What criteria do I use to inform and guide my audio choices?

Traditionally, agencies and brands have considered audio the realm of “the creatives.” Voice over talent is auditioned, music tracks are selected, creative briefs for composers are written and editors begin editing in post production. As a result, choices are often driven by how well the audio supports the creative vision of a particular campaign, rather than how the audio is communicating the essence of a brand identity.

Audio that supports campaign creative and audio that communicates brand essence need not be mutually exclusive, but both are better served if decisions can be moved away from simply trusting our instincts, and towards developing a more objective set of criteria to guide our choices.  Continue reading