Why Music-Led Advertising Rocks

Why Music-Led Advertising Rocks

Using music in advertising isn’t a new thing, and yet for creative director Ben Coverdale, it’s helped his work beyond belief. Here’s what he’s learnt.

Spotify, Apple Music and Audio Network have revolutionised the way I tackle big briefs. They’ve opened me to creating the best ads of my career including my agency’s latest – which went viral with over 14.5 million views.

There’s an experiment at the end of this post that will show you what I mean.

How does brainstorming with music libraries work?

First, you have to think about them in a new way.

For music libraries to guide your creativity you must first see them not only as a tool for passive listening but also as a tool for collecting emotions.

Like good advertising, good music connects with people’s feelings. If you can find a song that ‘feels’ right, well, your brief is 90 per cent cracked. And you’ll know it too – it’ll feel the way it’s supposed to and you’ll probably get a vision for your campaign.

…second, you visit the library first.

Putting music before sketches, scamps and headlines awakens your emotions about the product or industry you’re selling.

When you ask yourself ‘does this music feel right?’ your brain opens every relevant memory or experience to see if it fits. It may seem you’re following your gut, but you’re not.

Again, you’ll know if the song is right. Plus, your brain has now opened all the files it needs to create an idea based on your real experiences and emotions – the bedrock of any great ad.

Finally, you use music to sell the client.

The final piece of the puzzle is using music to win your client over. Music is the most important part of this presentation. I’d rather go in with the right music and a shabby script than the other way around.

Remember, your client’s emotions are as easily plucked as yours or mine. The right music has a deep impact on how they feel. It tells them what kind of ad you want to create – chilled, warm, energetic, nostalgic or sad. They’ll get your vision instantly and engage in what you have to say.

NB: music libraries can be used to guide clients too. Share your selection of music with them. See what they feel is right for the campaign. They’ll love it and it’ll save you time.


I’ve written a quick script below for a fictional small car. Out of the three songs supplied, my bet is you’ll know which one I wrote the script to. (Hint: it’ll be the one that gives you a vision). If over 90 per cent of people choose the same song, my point will be proven.

Songs (for the audionetwork one’s, click the highlighted song to play):




A young couple are racing through the streets of Melbourne. He rides a fixie. She’s drives her zippy new car – sleek black. He speeds through a park and jumps some stairs – an old lady drops her coffee.

Our young girl zooms in the background. We follow her through backstreets –the car looks great at these angels – other young girls take note.

The two emerge at the opposite ends of a funky alleyway. There’s a short stand off before they drive/ride towards the other head-on…only to skid to a stop at their favourite café. Laughing, they both walk in.

We look up to see graphitised on the building behind them: It’s hip to be Zip

Logo: Holden Zip.

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