Brit Awards: the ads, the brands and the music

As the great and the good of the music business struggle bleary eyed into work (at some point this afternoon), after one of the most important nights in the UK music calendar, just what have we learnt post event? Other than the fact One Direction can’t tell one radio station from another; Blur acceptance speeches make us thankful for TiVo; and that Adele’s 6 Grammys and 2 Brits still doesn’t guarantee her a moment in the spotlight.

Oh, and that Bruno Mars is really quite tiny.

For me at least, (watching from the comfort of my sofa) the biggest revelation of the night came not during the production, but during the ad breaks – where the music, ironically, seemed noticeably lacking.

Out of the 47 ads from 40 separate brands that featured during the Brits (excluding movie trailers and commercials for radio stations and albums), only 16 utilised any form of music – with 31 void of any soundtrack at all. Which seems somewhat bizarre given the nature of the programme.

There were naturally some notable expectations; including great work from Coca-Cola with their Olympic-focused ‘Move To the Beat’ commercial featuring Mark Ronson and Katy B, Virgin Media’s hijacking of the Yeo Valley boyband, T-Mobile’s use of Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ and MasterCard’s series of fan-focused bumpers.

However, on the whole the ad breaks were something of a missed opportunity with 66% devoid of a vital music element.  In fact the final ad break was almost entirely silent, bar the retro sound of T Rex during Carling’s new Chrome beer ad.

Millions of viewers are tuning in to the Brit Awards because they love music, and brands that fail to tap into this passion are missing a vital opportunity to connect with consumers on a highly personable level. With the right song and the right sentiment, a brand can turn a traditional ad break into a memorable, viral hit using it as a launch pad for a wider, long-term engagement with consumers through music.

But don’t take my word for it. Brands questioning the validity of music in their ads need look no further than Adele herself. The multi-award winning singer’s emotive performance at last year’s Brits was the catalyst to her ground breaking global success. Why? Because it spoke to people. It touched them. It made them feel something.

Which is what music – and ultimately effective marketing – is all about.

  • Carli Kapff

    Good point Giles. Though we found the Coke advert over-busy and bloated, whereas the Mastercard bumpers were simple and effective (despite being a wee bit cheesey)