Director of Music

Energy BBDO, Chicago



December 2016

Daniel Kuypers is a 17 year music industry veteran who has been producing music for brands for the past 9 years.  Prior to joining Energy BBDO to start and run the music department, he was at Music Dealers, where he led the creative department focusing on the Coca Cola account, working on multiple award winning campaigns.  Getting his start as a musician, and establishing EV Productions & EV Records, an umbrella of Chicago’s most well respected indie labels, distribution companies and recording studios, Daniel released over 100 records across three labels and toured the globe as a DJ and performer.

As the Director of Music at Energy BBDO Daniel works with internal teams and clients to use music in new, innovative ways while creating value for both the artist and the client. Daniel’s duties include music supervision, music strategy, partnerships, licensing, negotiation, editing, writing and final music production for a varied roster of clients including PepsiCo, Wrigley, Bayer, SC Johnson and more.


At what point did you decide that you wanted to work in music and advertising and what has your career path been to date?

Oh man, is there a word limit?  I will try to keep it succinct and pretty basic, there are a lot of stories and color that could help in illustrating this journey.  Basically, I dropped out of college with half a year remaining to go on tour with my band.  I was 20.  I then started a record label and distribution company to release and distribute my records and other musicians who I was working with and admired.  That was 2001-2008.  In 2008 I joined a start-up called Music Dealers and was there for 5 years before accepting the position at Energy BBDO to start the music department.  That was October of 2013.  It's now 2016 and every day I am reminded how lucky I am to be doing this work.

What are the main considerations for the team when deciding on music for an ad?

I look at every spot as a puzzle: picture, script, VO, SFX and music.  When they are all fitting together and telling the story / imparting the information we want to impart, it’s finished.  

Have you noticed a shift in trends in terms of what type of music is being licensed / commissioned?

I don’t think so / am not currently paying attention to trends.  In this moment, if it works, it works.  

How do you go about sourcing composers and bands?

I reach out to a network of people I have met through the years.  I try to pair projects with people who I think are set up to succeed at that particular project.  I also try to challenge people who I think can create surprise.  

Can you give us a rough idea of the ratio of original compositions to existing music in the ads you've worked on over the last year?

I would say right now I am doing 80 existing, 20 original.  

Can you think of any ads that are perfect examples of creative excellence in music or sound?

Oh, there are a lot.  Not off the top of my head unfortunately…  I will say I thought the TV show 'Stranger Things' and the movie 'Stand By Me' were both examples of creative excellence in music and sound.  I may be more informed by TV and film than I am ads.