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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