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  • Writer's pictureKanhaiya Maheshwary

5 Iconic Ads that used famous classical music pieces!

Background music is one of the most underrated aspects of any advertisement. Music is that binding thread that carries the emotions of the ads right from the screens to the viewers' hearts. And despite all the great writing, cinematography, and acting, when an ad finally sits on an edit table, finalizing the music is one of those key decisions that consumes the creative directors' minds. After all, one wrong note can change the mood of the ad and end up conveying something else to the viewers.

Directors and Producers are fortunate that western classical musicians have left behind an extremely rich treasure chest of pieces that have an air of familiarity to them, yet sound fresh every time someone plays them. More over, a lot of those pieces can't be claimed by record companies since they were composed well before any of these commercial entities existed. This makes using them fairly easy from a copyright point of view because these musical pieces live in the public domain.

Let's take a look at 5 iconic ads that used famous classical music pieces.

Raymonds - The Complete Man

Musical Piece: Traumerei

Composer: Robert Schumann

Raymonds has used this piece across its ad campaign over the years. The instrumentation and arrangement gets modified slightly according to how sombre or joyful the situation is in the ad, but the piece remains the same.

The purpose behind these 'The Complete Man' campaign was to project the image of men in a softer, more caring and wholesome way. It was done by showcasing men in various situations outside of work (because the stereotypical notion was that of them only taking charge of the office) where they indulge in heartwarming behavior. The music piece Traumerei by Schumann worked so well because the piece is dreamy, nostalgic, and warm.


Musical Piece: Symphony No. 25 in G Minor

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a.k.a Mozart

When a 17 year old Mozart composed Symphony No. 25 in G Minor back in 1773 in his hometown Salzburg, little would he have known that it would be playing across TV sets in India over 210 years later and would be used to sell wrist watches. But it did, and did so successfully to an extent where Titan kept re-arranging and re-using this for their ads. Our own 'Mozart', the Mozart of Madras AR Rahman is said to be behind the re-arrangement.

The Titan ads show various slice of life moments between family members, romantic partners and so on. Over the years, the music has just stuck so incredibly to these commercials that it just feels right!

Pantene - Shine (Thai Commercial)

Musical Piece: Canon in D

Composer: Johann Pachelbel

This incredible (and incredibly long) ad features one of the finest uses of classical music in any commercial ever. What's special about this one is that Canon in D is not just the background music, but also forms an integral part of the narration and climax as well. This commercial is about 4 minutes long, and shows the story of a deaf and mute girl trying to learn the violin. Throughout her period of struggle, Canon in D helps in advancing the story by creating a warm, and even poignant mood. In the end, the girl ends up performing Canon in D on stage at a high stakes competition. The interweaving of the story and music is done really well.

Advertisers still love utilizing evergreen, classical music for their commercials. We've had some famous commercials in the past couple of years that have used classical pieces. Here are my two picks from among the recent ads:

Coca Cola Mural

Musical Piece: In the Hall of the Mountain King

Composer: Edvard Grieg

The ad shows various building murals roaming all over the city on a specially hot day in order to find a cool drink (Coca Cola). Grieg's classical piece adds that bit of suspense, mystery, and drama in a fun and positive way.

Durex Play O Opera

Musical Piece: Queen of the Night's Act Two aria

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a.k.a Mozart

Warning: NSFW (Not Safe For Work)

Mozart, an advertiser's favorite, saw his work being used again. Surprisingly, this time it was for a women's intimate product (lubricant). While there can be a lot to talk about this product, I'll only say one thing - Mozart was a genius! Let's leave it at that.

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