Thursday 14 July 2011

What’s behind the weaving of a film song in the storyboard of an advertisement? – Part 4

Being associated with the publishing and licensing division of a music label during my professional journey, I had the responsibility to drive revenues from non-physical sources (non CD, DVD, & Music Cassette sales) of content monetization, e.g. television, brands, advertising agencies etc. However, driving revenues through licensing of music tracks for synchronization into TV/Radio/Internet/OOH advertisements is a long winded road.
One, you should know your catalogue well and second you should have the idea on how your catalogue of music can help a brand, or does it go well with the brand positioning and messaging. You need to be both a sales person and a creative thinker rolled into one. No brand or agency will entertain you if you are unable to understand the brand and what it stands for.
When I say you should know the catalogue well, it includes your knowledge of the catalogue (including regional languages) and parts of the specific tracks. I remember, I used to listen to each song many times to internalize the music, lyrics, rhythm, kind of genre, mood, emotions invoked, and the product category that it complemented.
Consider the track ‘khairiyat hai..sab khairiyat hai…’. (Meaning – things are well), according to me the lyrics are well suited to personal care and pharma brands. Even the song video showed the lead actor and actress (who played the role of husband and wife) romancing on the beach (with their clothes on :-)) and overall the song had a good feel. So it makes sense to send out mails to brand/creative agencies present in the pharma/personal care category with proactive suggestions on how the song could be tied to the storyboard/brand ethos.
Knowing the catalogue is one part, and the second and the most important part is the communication of the catalogue to brand owners/creative agencies. The agencies / brands should be made aware of any new releases. While communicating to the agencies, one important consideration is the accounts being handled by them so as to highlight the parts of the album that complement the brands handled by these agencies.
However, I think that this activity should be more clinical and the agency/brand owners should be able to sample the catalogue with added meta data elements of mood, genre, and emotions inherent to the song. Usually meta data tends to be factual or quantitative (e.g. Album Name, Song Name, Duration, Singer, Composer etc.), but what I speak of are qualitative elements that’ll aid decision making and requirement matching from a creative perspective. It’s important to understand your audience and audience’s audience!
Just imagine, if I have a password protected website with a neat graphical user interface, where the brand owner/agency can navigate basis the filters of meta data and listen to the audio file/watch song video, chances are that one will have more deal closures. According to me the offline method of sending CDs with a note about the album is not very effective.
Unfortunately low volumes of revenue from synchronization deals don’t make a business case for music labels especially smaller ones to go the high touch and high tech route. But I assume that for music labels that have digitized their entire catalogue for digital sales to consumers, it is an incremental effort to enable a B2B portal.
Indians being music lovers and India being a country with millions of songs released till date by music labels of all sizes, it presents an opportunity for third party cloud service providers to digitize the libraries of existing labels, including the small players and enable a presentation layer for such labels to showcase to brand owners/creative agencies.
This post concludes 4 part series of what’s behind the weaving of a film song in the storyboard of an advertisement?
As always, I will request the readers of this post if you have time, please drop a line.


  1. I read all four posts at one. I must say it is a very well researched and very well written series. Thanks and congrats

  2. Your enthusiasm for developing your talents is truly inspirational.I hope you will continue to share your post same in future articles too.
    NCC Green Province
    Urban Eco Space
    The Marquis


If you have time, please drop a line..!!