Veritonic was fortunate enough to be a part for the SyncSummit in Hollywood, CA last week. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the SyncSummit is a series of networking events held in New York, Hollywood and Paris that brings together top executives in music and advertising. Attendees include the top music supervisors, heads of music in visual and interactive media (TV, Film, Video Games, Advertising, the Internet and Mobile), label executives, publishers, music libraries, composers, artists, technologists, lawyers, accountants, brand managers, and other service providers.
The event is full of productive networking opportunities along with discussions and case studies. Much of the content covers how music is discovered and used in advertising and marketing. Creative and promotional considerations were also the subject of in-depth discussions.
Other than learning how to drive 3.5 miles in 2hrs (thank you, LA traffic!), here are 3 things we thought were worth sharing:
1) We should all listen to Socrates
The saying, “I know that I know nothing” is generally attributed to Plato’s Socrates. While there is some debate around who should be given credit for this quote, for the purposes of choosing which music should be used in an Ad, we should all live by it!
During an interactive session, we played 3 choices for the audience. Audience members had to pick the winning track for a given advertisement. They were provided with the target audience demographics and goals for feelings, emotions and intent.
Out of a room of about 75 people… only 2 guessed correctly! Ah, if we could only make the right choice 2.67% of the time. Imagine how successful our marketing efforts would be.
One thing Americans learned from our recent Presidential Election is that we couldn’t accurately predict how millions of people were feeling. The American people elected Donald Trump, in spite of virtually every poll beforehand showing a strong lead for Hillary Clinton. In fact, it wasn’t until the electorate actually voted that their preferences became clear. We all know how powerful music can be, but the only way to truly know if a piece of music is working for an audience is to ask them!
2) People buy from People
I have a friend, a consummate sales professional, who always uses the phrase “People buy from People.” The general premise of this quote is that when you’re buying a product or service, the person or brand/company that you’re buying from is much more important than the product itself. For example, we might buy anything the late great Steve Jobs pitched. And how can you possibly resist buying Girl Scout Cookies from the little girl next store even though you can’t bear to eat another Samoa?
After speaking with attendees and listening to presentations from music supervisors at ABC Family, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, it’s obvious that the lion’s share of music being used in advertising, TV and movies is chosen based exclusively on having a relationship with a publisher or composer. Sure, it’s great to work with people you trust. However, what if those same people could be selling you a better product?
Since the foundation of how music is cataloged is still manually entered, static, metadata, there’s no way for the buyer or the seller to know what they’ve got. It would be like buying a new Apple Macbook Pro without knowing the processor speed or the hard drive storage. Would anyone do that? Probably. But that would be foolish. If you’ve got thousands of 4k videos of cats wearing headphones, you’ll want to make sure there’s a 2tb hard drive in your brand new $3,000 laptop.
The same goes for music. If your job as a marketer is to elicit a certain feeling, generate more product sales from TV ads, or simply to engage an audience for a full minute, you should always be using music that has been proven to accomplish your goal. With better data sellers can thrive by providing a superior product and buyers can be sure they’re getting exactly what they’re paying for and what they need to be successful.
We’re excited to be part of the movement that’s bringing better data to the music selection process and this conference was yet another step in the right direction.
3) Can you hear me now?
Just like the that annoying “Can you hear me now” guy, whose simple catchphrase seems to never go away, or how “Ho, Ho, Ho Green Giant!” is still successful at selling veggies, I’ll never stop being fascinated by how long music can stay with someone. Music has a unique ability to rattle around our heart, soul and brain for years, whether we like it or not! One of the themes that permeated the SyncSummit was how music serves as the foundation for all multimedia content and is the key driver for influencing an emotional reaction.
In one session about the Netflix series The Get Down, it was abundantly clear, like other projects from Baz Lurhman that the music is the main character. In another session with Kyle Hopkins, Music Supervisor from Microsoft, he talked about how music is such an integral part of a gaming experience that it is given as much thought as gameplay and graphics. In fact, there have been many studies like this one showing that gamers who experience optimal background music in their games played better and played longer.
After spending time with everyone in Hollywood, you could feel the energy and the promise of what’s coming next for music in advertising, film, TV and beyond. It’s so exciting to be part of the wave that is bringing music even closer to it’s rightful place as a quantifiable powerhouse at the core of multimedia.
We hope to see, and hear, everyone out there at future SyncSummits in Prague, Nashville and NYC.