PLEASE! No more ‘Uplifting’ and ‘Anthemic’ 

As Music Supervisors, we understand that writing music briefs is inherently difficult. A music brief demands that creatives find words to describe their own personal and emotional responses to music. It needs to provide exact instruction to a third party to find music for a target audience that is different from not only the author of the brief but the supervisors themselves. Words like “anthemic and uplifting” do not cut it.  Believe me, if I had received £5 for every brief containing those words I would be extremely wealthy.

To compound the issue, Microsoft advises us that in 2017 the average attention span of a consumer has fallen from 12 to 8 seconds. With tools like recorded television and Skip Ad buttons available, an advertiser has about four seconds to convince the viewer to stay with the commercial. The brutal truth is that today’s advertisers are up against the most powerful consumer we’ve seen yet.

We know that agencies spread bet and send out the same brief to five or more music supervision companies, as well as the many rights owners. They then have to trawl through literally thousands of disparate ideas that may fit the vague brief that has been circulated. If that brings no joy, they will go to another five with the same or similar brief.  As Albert Einstein used to say, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

So how can you write a music brief that will provide the level of insight and information that will hit the right creative note and ultimately connect to the heartbeat of the consumer?s

soundlounge’s five ways to write a great music brief:

1. Provide reference tracks – With two or three tracks that work for you and a couple that are the polar opposite, we can begin to see where you are coming from and where you want to go.

2. Send over a storyboard or animatic – With a description of the ambition of the Is it a rebrand, a new product, raising awareness in a crowded marketplace, etc.? Providing guidelines on the target market is a real plus.

3. Do you have music specifics? – Are there genres, musical eras, moods/emotions, lyrics that are really key? Do you prefer a male or female vocal or would an instrumental or choral piece work better? Then we can get you nearer the desired music much quicker.

4. Be honest about the Budget – Are we shooting for a Lady Gaga track or something not so well-known? It doesn’t help a brand or agency or supervisor’s creds when we talk to rights owners about licensing a track at the very lower end of the spectrum (‘they have no money!’) and then the commercial settles on an A-list song from a major star. If budgets are limited maybe a re-record or production music would work better?

5. Provide Usage Guidelines – A rough idea of your usage terms will enable us to have a sensible conversation with rights owners.

Give us as much information as possible and we’ll be able to find which “uplifting” you need.