MUSIC+SOUND AWARDS TALK TO...
2017 Jury Member +
Executive Creative Director
BIG SYNC MUSIC, LONDON
Having worked with over 400 brands across six continents, Andrew has been attached to a huge array of campaigns. From Cannes award winning films, to monumental Super Bowl spots, he has applied his expertise across licensed and specifically composed music projects in addition to developing sonic logos for some of the world’s biggest brands.
Andrew is regularly invited to speak at industry events and to take part in panel discussions and was recently filmed by WIRED magazine for a special feature on audio branding. Alongside a growing collection of awards for creative work, Big Sync Music was last year proud to receive an International Music & Sound Award (Best Sync) for Magnum 'Be True To Your Pleasure, which features Mechanical Bride’s eery version of ‘Umbrella’.
With Big Sync quickly expanding into offices in London, New York, Amsterdam and Singapore, Andrew is immensely proud that he now helps lead one of the biggest and most celebrated supervision companies on the planet.
How do you help agencies and brands think about what music is right for them?
If it’s for an ad campaign, the first two metrics I personally want to know are; who is our audience and how do we want them to feel? Music is totally unique in its ability to palpably massage our emotions but it affects people differently.
To give a simple example, if we want a viewer to experience an air of sentiment or ask them to remember a certain time, we might want to select a song that was popular during their youth. It seems obvious but this means we need to know exactly who they are - because age affects how we interpret music. Through our research we are able to find out a multitude of different traits, orientations and persuasions that will help us find music that will fit that audience no matter where they are in the world. In much the same way that a Google algorithm works, the more we know, the more likely we are to make a connection.
Have you placed anything in the last year that you’re really excited about?
Jack White’s ‘High Ball Stepper’ for the global Magnum campaign Release The Beast <http://www.bigsyncmusic.com/work/magnum-4/, which people have likely seen all over the London buses, was a real favourite. Jack has always been on my personal bucket list, so, selfishly speaking, it was also an absolute pleasure to finally work with him.
Thankfully, we were working with a great advertising agency that put together a fantastic execution, with a brand team that understood that music is an investment and not a cost. It was one those perfect projects where everyone; brand, agency, music supervisor and rights holders were all extremely pleased with the result. Well done all.
What are your plans for 2017?
Big Sync have huge ambition, which I think is evident in our rapid expansion. Last year we did some truly great work not only in Europe, but also in our North American and Singapore offices who had a great year too, winning awards across the board.
Obviously we want to build on that excellent work this year but we are also very focused on extending our client base and bringing our expertise to even more brands and agencies.
Have you noticed a shift in trends in terms of what type of music is being licensed?
Emotional advertising is still very much the dominant trend and music plays a pivotal part in connecting these stories with audiences. We’re answering more briefs for longer, three minute films or series of films that tell a bigger story than the traditional 30 or 60 second spots. From a music perspective, this is great because we can be scoring nine minutes worth of music, which really allows the music to breathe and for composers to write fully fleshed out, filmic pieces.
Music goes through cycles and trends by nature but the biggest shift I have noticed from an industry perspective is brands taking a much more proactive interest in the benefits a well thought out music strategy can bring. Brands such as Coca-Cola and John Lewis have been doing this for years but we are now being asked by an ever-increasing client base to help develop fully fledged music strategies. We are now creating more sonic logos, aesthetic guidelines and single releases than ever before, which is not only great for us but for the industry as a whole.
Are you seeing more clients wanting to focus on developing partnerships with bands / composers?
Absolutely. But it has to be done well and it isn’t always the right strategic approach for every client. We will spend time working with the brand and creative team to identify the brand’s music personality and then apply this to artists to get the best fit. We use brand and artist empirical data and research to match audience profiles and geographical demand. If a brand is thinking about working with an artist we will consider what the artist, the brand and its partner agencies, as well as the track can contribute to a great campaign on-screen and off and all contributors need to be really committed to make it work.
What advice would you give composers these days on getting their music placed?
I get asked this question a lot and my answer is always the same. Don’t focus on getting your music placed. Focus on being the best writer you can be and put the craft first. Great music is naturally magnetic and connects with people.