Monday, August 11, 2008

BMW's Guitar Score

If you have been watching Mad Men season two, you have heard the quiet clarity of the guitar picking in BMW’s We Built commercial (Bimmer: We Built). It was composed by Singing Serpent (their blog) a San Diego music house that does elegant and attractive work. According to creative director Rafter Roberts, SingingSerpent provides "as wide an array of Musical/thematic concepts as anyone could ever want out of a spot.”

The We Built score is reminiscent of Christa Päffgen’s work in the mid-60s (see Nico) especially her These Days track on the Chelsea Girl album, if you can get through the violins . These Days is emblematic of the pop music of that time (Amazon_30_sec) and it has “lasted for decades as a classic of [blue] introspection made even more remarkable by [Jackson] Browne having been only 16 years old when he wrote it.”

Arrangements similar to We Built would seem effective appeals to baby boomers of higher income and education levels (see Music Audience). The demographics of this style pop music has a bias for higher income and education levels. Likewise for BMW’s demographics (for example see BNet).

Dr. David Allan (2006, p 435, in Effects of Popular Music) says the value of syncing music into advertising campaigns is increased involvement through a heightened arousal. However, his research also shows that

“The individuals in this experiment processed songs and artists they considered high in personal significance differently from those that were low in significance”

BMW has a song cycle of commercials to reach its various publics, including these:

Advertisers seem to pull out the stops for Mad Men and showcase their talent. SleepingSerpent is a persuasive best for BMW.

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