So According To Ad Age, We’re Not Crazy 927 words · 5 minute read

It seems that we are not nuts. Ambitious and sexy? Guilty. But, crazy? Not a chance.

We’ve all experienced the following: your observations lead you to form a belief, a belief you clutch dearly, you talk about it everywhere you go, but the entire time, you entertain the notion that you’re the only believer. You wonder, “Is it just me?”, or, “Am I crazy to think…?” Then, some wise soul hears your belief and says, “Oh, totally. It’s been like that for years.” And like a madman you exclaim, “IT’S NOT JUST ME! I’m not crazy!” Validation parts the gray clouds of doubt, and a vibrant rainbow of sanity streaks across a beautiful blue sky of truth.

That’s exactly how we feel after reading this article from Ad Age, “Agency Music Specialists Look Past the Big Score to Soundtrack the Big Spots.” Since business birth, Music Dealers has lived and breathed the brand and music principles lauded in this Ad Age article.

Our CEO, Eric Sheinkop, has traveled the globe trumpeting these beliefs before vast throngs of industry experts until becoming Papa Smurf blue in the face.

To have some of the industry’s most respected music creativesGuia Iacomin from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Nick Pacelli of Translation, Glenn Minerley of Momentum Worldwide, and Dave Rocco at Deutschchampioning the very principles upon which Music Dealers was foundedwell ladies and gents, that feels pretty damn good.

Music today plays a bigger role than it ever did [in the creative process]. Guia Iacomin

Oh yes, so wonderful!

A new day dawns. Birds fill the early morning with song. The sun breaks over the horizon, and creatives are waking up to a world where music is key to their projects. With the hooks of traditional marketing catching far fewer fish, it’s essential that we leverage major passion points, especially music, to build better bonds with consumers. Guia has embraced this new day; she was up early making eggs and pancakes waiting for you to join her.

But Guia Iacomin, the music director at TBWAChiatDay who worked on the campaign, was mostly just dismayed that Adidas didn’t tap a lesser-known artist.Max Willens

Guia said more than enough with her first quote, but her disappointment in the choice to leverage the major artist instead of an up-and-coming international artist is a disappointment Music Dealers knows all too well. As admirers of great content and champions of the indie artist community, we’re frequent guests at the funerals of opportunities lost when independent artists aren’t tapped for great campaigns.

“With budgets shrinking, many music directors are looking past the big score. Instead of trying to draw on the cultural power of established songs, agency music specialists are trying to get in on the ground floor with younger, up-and-coming artists where there is ample opportunity to build campaigns and partnerships that work for both brand and artist.”

Oh, Ad Age you’re spoiling us now.

Among the many positives associated with leveraging independent talent, the financial benefits bubble to the top. As we have long pitched to our clients, you could spend half a million on the ordinary, or you could take a risk and invest a fraction of that cost into a band on the rise and ride their wave of success toward the beach of strong consumer engagement.

“In 2014, we’re equally, if not more, important than the program director of a major radio station,” Mr. Rocco said of agency music supervisors.”

For years, Music Dealers has crowned supervisors and creative directors as the new A&R; dubbed advertising, television, and film as the new radio. Paramount to assuming this new responsibility, supervisors and creatives should leave no stone unturned when sourcing rising talent, all the while ignoring the small, nagging voice beckoning them to reprise the old habit of simply procuring the biggest artist available.

“But a hit song, whether a brand helps launch it or not, still belongs to the artist. For music supervisors, the holy grail is a song the client can truly own. “I think the big opportunity and the big win for brands within music is to create songs,” said Mr. Pacelli.”


It warms our drum-beating hearts to read these words. Music Dealers is grateful to have played a major role in helping several brands use custom music to shape fantastic, music driven campaigns, leverage owned music assets to build a deeper consumer connection, and as a result, create publishing revenue that would otherwise not exist.

We see the creation of original music as an offense executed by the most advanced organizations with eyes fiercely locked on victory. By owning their music, brands free themselves from the sticky legal confines of normal sync licensing. As well, brands can create more opportunities to leverage their owned music content, from streams to downloads to derivative media in other territories. And of course, being recognized by consumers as a brand behind the creation of cool, new music ain’t too shabby either.

Now, if only there was some super cool music agency that fights for independent artists, that has meticulously amassed an astonishing catalog of artists from around the globe, with pre-cleared songs to license, that’s custom music capablesome mysterious agency where creative titans can look to turn these beliefs into reality. If only such a company existed. Hmmm.

Please check out the original Ad Age article. A special shout out to the author of the original piece, Max Willensthank you for your words. If you believe what these creatives believe, which means you believe what we believe, then we should talk.

By: Christopher Rucks, Music Dealers