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What can music make us feel.... and buy?

So you need to sell something?

Step one: find an awesome song that isn’t widely known (yet). It can be old or new, just make sure it’s awesome. Step two: film some cool images. And no, they don’t have to do with what you’re selling. Now combine these two steps and viola! You’ve got yourself a sweet commercial…at least that seems to be the formula of the most recently popular ads.

The trend seems to be moving away from descriptive, knowledge-based advertising towards a creative experience, bordering on music videos.  Apple should get a fair amount of credit for this trend, but it’s not magic…it’s just good music. Remember those Apple ads that launched the popularity of Feist’s 1,2,3,4 and Yael Naim’s New Soul? What more did you learn about the product after seeing them? I’m guessing not much, other than that you could put a Macbook Air into a large envelope.

But the point isn’t what you know, it’s how you feel. With the wealth of products and services that we have access to these days it’s hard to make a decision on which computer or brand of shoes to buy simply based on the product specs.  But if the product comes with a good feeling built in, that makes it that much more compelling of a purchase.

As if you didn’t already know it, music doesn’t just make us think, it makes us feel. And advertisers are finally starting to figure out that feelings might in fact be more powerful than knowledge.

Below are some of my favorite ads that verge on music videos. Some use recent songs while others found older, more unfamiliar songs, but the common thread is that these songs move me—and when I’m moved, my wallet apparently starts to loosen up.


Nike, featuring Candy Man by Cornershop


Apple, featuring 1,2,3,4 by Feist


Apple, featuring New Soul by Yael Naim


Captain Morgan, featuring Passenger by Iggy Pop


Heineken, featuring The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour