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June 17, 2019

The Role of Music – Alpha Romeo

Filed under: Life Is Media — admin @ 10:35 am

The Role of Music in Advertising – Alpha Romeo’s Ode to Joy

If asked whether music plays a pivotal role in generating excitement about a brand, it would be difficult to find a single person who would refute the claim. For example, regardless of your stance on Brexit, it’s interesting, and, for some of us, a sign of a deeper motive, that iconic Italian automaker Alpha Romeo chose “Ode to Joy”, the E.U.’s anthem as the soundtrack of their latest commercial.

Certainly, Beethoven is no shabby source of inspiration, but, given Brexit, could the selection of that song have meaning beyond that which meets the ear? With no disrespect intended, a Jaguar commercial set against” God Save The Queen” – would be quaint in comparison and relevant only to those persons for whom the Queen still holds nationalistic significance.

I know several years ago, when working freelance on an assignment for the Arrow shirt division of PVH, when a “theme” was being explored, I, among others, pushed Arnold Guthry’s ode to inclusion, “This Land is Your Land” as opposed to other, more obvious options such as “God Bless America.” Why? Need you ask? Given the opportunity, commercial messages based on respect and multiple levels trumps the more the obvious every time. To this day, I’m not entirely sure senior management grasped the full meaning behind the selection. My point: a song is not just a song. And, as often as not, in commercial communication, the details, like choice of music, supersedes prose with gravitas that isolated words would be hard pressed to achieve on their own. Is Alpha Romeo thumbing its nose at Brexit or did it choose a beautiful anthem filled with both majesty and cool? We will never know. The very fact that some of us question it is proof it was an outstanding selection.