Songwriting Trends in TV Commercials

My Song Coach

Lately I’ve noticed a whole lot of TV commercials using a similar sound. It’s generally acoustic and organic with a singer-songwriter feel. Some of the selections are taken from songs by known artists like Katie Herzig, others from unknown artists like The Hunts, and still others seem to have been created for the ad. Click on the YouTube videos below to listen to three of the dozen or so I’ve found.

If you play acoustic rhythm guitar and can put together a warm, energetic vocal blend of layered “ooo”s and “ah”s this could be a style you want to pursue. It not only works for TV commercials but it’s a popular part of many of today’s successful singer-songwriter songs.

Macy’s

Hershey’s

Carnival Cruise Line The song is “Lost and Found” by Katie Herzig. The ad uses an instrumental section with the vocal” ooo”s at the end.

Pitching songs for commercials
It can be difficult to reach ad agencies directly. The person you need to get your music to is the Creative Director.  You can use Adweek, the industry trade magazine,  to get familiar with the major agencies and pick up the name of a Creative Director or Head of Music Production. Pitch services like TAXI.com regularly run opportunities to pitch to ad agency listings.

Be sure to do your homework first. Listen to today’s TV commercials and notice trends like the one in these spots. Write a few tracks in the style and add them to your catalog. Then you’ll be ready when the opportunity comes along.

In my book Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV I interviewed Peter Greco, longtime V.P. of Music at Young & Rubicam, a major ad agency. His insights can help you successfully break into this market.

by Robin Frederick

Robin's books at Amazon.comThis post is based on my songwriting books: Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting, Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV, Study the Hits, and The 30-Minute Songwriter. Find out more about all of my print and eBooks on my Author page at Amazon. In each book you’ll find dozens of useful, real-world shortcuts that will show you how to craft songs that work for today’s music market, plus dozens of hands-on exercises to get your creative ideas flowing.

Reprints of this article by permission.

Author: Robin Frederick

Robin Frederick is the author of Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting and Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV. She has written and produced more than 500 songs for television, records, theater, and audio products. She is a former Director of A&R for Rhino Records and Executive Producer of 60 albums. Visit Robin's websites for more songwriting tips and inspiration: www.RobinFrederick.com and www.MySongCoach.com.