Choosing music for an advertising campaign is somewhat different from curating and picking music for a film or a television programme. While both have their challenges and require curatorial skill and a depth of popular music knowledge, the dynamics of marrying a specific piece of music with a product or brand may differ. While storytelling still applies, the role of music and lyrics may have more power in how it relates to the brand.
In our fourth interview with world leading music supervisors, we are pleased to present Jenny Ring who specialises in music for advertising.
Jenny Ring, who is based in Stockholm, Sweden, has worked on many award winning campaigns through her role as music supervisor for Swedish advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors. In January 2017, Forsman & Bodenfors was ranked No. 7 of Top Agencies for Creativity in the world by Directory Big Won.
midemblog: What makes a track ‘sync-able’? How can you tweak a track to improve its chances of getting licensed?
Jenny Ring: I think that there is no such thing as a more sync-able track than another. Or, ok, some topics are of course a big no. Otherwise it all depends on the film and the idea it is going to be used for. Because of that you always want to have an opened mind. The most unexpected song can sometimes make the most magic sync.
> What recent sync projects are you the most proud of, and why?
I am very proud over H&Ms Fall fashion ad that we made (above). It’s important to change how we look at people and who is beautiful and not. Who is a ”lady” and who is not. To change our narrow-minded way of thinking.
And we wanted to take this old song, with its old meaning, and make it in to something modern. The lyrics work as a voice over in the film.
> What are the best ways people should pitch songs to you?
People can pitch songs to me in any way they want! Always in the search for great music, so bring it on ☺
> What are the worst ways/tactics to avoid?
Just be patient if I don´t get back to you immediately, it just means that I am a busy bee.
> Targeting is key when pitching your song. What are the key specifics to bear in mind when pitching for TV ads?
Even if we might just use 45 seconds of a song, and that part is perfect, the whole song needs to be representing. And be as close to the brief as possible.
> What can labels do to improve their chance of achieving sync licences for their artists?
Keep me in the loop with new material and invite me to live gigs. Gigs are a perfect place to discover new music and artists!
> What sort of deal conditions should artists/rights holders expect to obtain?
It depends on the project basically. You always write an agreement for each project.
> How much should they expect to make from a successful sync deal?
It is so different from project to project. My budgets vary a lot, and I am always transparent with the music budget. And of course it depends on how big or limited the buyout is.
> How has your working process with the music industry evolved in recent years? Do labels, for example, now understand your needs better?
I think the music industry have evolved with the changes. They need too! I mean, a couple of years ago, doing a sync deal was seen as signing a contract with the devil. Now, a lot of artists and labels, sees a value of it in an other way and want their music to be synced. That has to do with a lot of things, changes in the music industry, changes in the ad industry etc.
I think the publishers have taken a new position in the industry as well, I work really closely with them when it comes to music briefs, composers etc.
> Who are the different intermediaries you work with? How do they work?
Publishers, labels, sometimes managers. I send them a music brief and based on that they pitch music to me. Which is very helpful!
> How do you decide whether a project requires original or pre-recorded music? How do you find the right composer for a given project?
It is so dependent on the film. Sometimes you need an exciting song for different reasons, for example nostalgically and/or lyrical reasons. And sometimes you want to create something unique for this particular film. And of course it is a matter of budget sometimes as well. I work with a lot of different composers and know their sounds, so depending on the brief I often know who to contact.
> How have recent technological evolutions changed the way you work? Does streaming, for example, make it easier than ever for you to discover new artists?
Definitely! It has opened up the world of music, to find and explore much more than before. Both songs and artists.
Jenny Ring is just one of the world-leading music supervisors taking part in Midem 2017’s Global Sync & Brands Summit. More info here…