If you're anything like us and you're a musician on the outskirts of culture, trying to find your very own, least commercial way through the thickness of the woods of the art form - you may have been advised by a logical parent or friend that writing music for commercials may be an easy and quick fix route to making some money in the music industry. All while you let your creativity develop at it's own pace. Is this as easy as it sounds? Is there no creativity in the art of making music for commercials? That can't be.
The ability to know and be able to write within a multitude of genres and moods is crucial when it comes to writing for commercials. When you're writing for yourself, the freedom within that is that you aren't trying to paint a picture of what music means to someone else within a certain context .However, in music for commercials, it's the exact opposite. As the composer, you are working to create a soundscape as an atmosphere that supports the visuals, the product, the overall mood and what they are selling.
From one perspective, this could be creatively stifling but in another, it could be freeing, as you are able to support someone else's vision and you aren't relying on your own creative desires.
We are loving Music Mag's thoughts on this, as they say "Brands can be creative with their pitches to customers, but not always with music selection, so picking a familiar song helps their brand feel familiar to the consumer. Don’t copy those songs because then you could get sued and artistically, you aren’t likely to get picked for an exact replica. However, you can emulate the song using similar chords, recording techniques and presets. Set a similar mood."
The timing of a typical TV spot is important to note. Nevermind having 3 minutes and 30 seconds to communicate your message. If on television, the commercial in 30 seconds, if it's in a streaming format, it's usually 15 seconds. This can be both negative and positive. In the positive perspective, you only have to write 30 seconds worth of music. Yet, on the flipside, you only have 30 seconds to communicate an entire message, mood, state of mind. That's not an easy task!
At the end of the day, writing for commercials can be liberating both financially and creatively - whether it's the end of your dream or the means to an end. There's something lovely in being able to collaborate and have it be plastered over every TV and radio nationwide!