2018 Jury Member +

Head of Sync + Licensing

Sizzer, Amsterdam


With 13 years of experience in the music business as a booking agent and talent scout, Ilana Goldstoff joined Sizzer Amsterdam in 2015 as Head of Sync & Licensing.

In her role at Sizzer Amsterdam, Ilana has synced tracks for Heineken, Opel, Volkswagen, Audi and many other brands and campaigns. 

Last year her sync for Heineken’s “When you Drive, Never Drink” campaign, which features the iconic ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, performed by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox ft. Nicole Atkins, won a Music+Sound Award for ‘Best Sync’, as well several other awards for best use of synchronized music.

Sizzer Amsterdam is an internationally operating music agency, always on the lookout for anything edgy or offbeat in both sound and spirit. While being one of the leading agencies in the world of music for images, it’s their network of unusual suspects and groundbreaking artists that help them combine creativity and experience as they help brands find truth, soul and vigour.

Over to Ilana...

May 2018

Can you tell us a bit about the path your career has taken so far? 
I started my career as a booking agent. One of the bands I booked got a sync in a worldwide Telecom commercial and it was mind blowing to see what that did to their career. From that day, I became ambitious to work in sync, which happened a few years later when Sizzer Amsterdam hired me as their Sync & Licensing Manager. Since then I’ve been working on amazing projects for brands like Heineken, Audi, Opel and Chanel. The sync for Heineken ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ a cover of Bowie’s Heroes, won a Music+Sound Award for ‘Best Sync’ last year. Such an honour!

How do you help agencies and brands think about what music is right for them?  
Sizzer functions as music and sound consultants. As opposed to just jumping to solutions, we try to add context and well-thought concepts to then design possible outcomes. This might sound a bit marketing-y and a bit corporate… but we believe in and truly aspire for a better more in-depth conversation and back and forth with both our clients and vendors. This, so we grow towards a cooler, crazier, outcome in a more structured way.

What are the most common issues you face when choosing music for a campaign? 
Issues… issues… I try to think in challenges :) …. In all seriousness, the biggest challenge / issue, is getting the right people the right insights so they understand why a creative choice is made and why this would work. 

What do you think are the most important aspects of outstanding music in advertising?  
The other day we had a discussion at the office about the definition of ‘creativity’. It turned out that a lot of people had a different interpretation about that. We then drafted up, something we like to call: ”Relative creative consensus”. So at least we speak about the same thing internally. That consensus is: The ability to connect obvious and less obvious dots as a basis of creation”. Ironically good music in advertising does just that… it’s effective yet surprising and makes you raise an eyebrow and think… ‘Aahhh damn, I wish I thought of that!’   

Have you placed anything recently that you’re really excited about?  And why?  
A few months ago, I came up with the idea to create a ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’ cover for a campaign for Audi. What I really like about this one, is that it was a creative and surprising version and in general a surprising choice as it apparently wasn’t used for sync for almost 10 years. One that makes you raise that eyebrow…

Have you noticed a shift in trends in terms of what type of music is being licensed
I haven’t really. We work on so many different kinds of commercials. Every project is completely different and so is the music. In general, you can have an idea in mind when you think of a perfume ad or an ad for a flashy new car. However, I’m happy to see that there is space left for creative solutions and not to license the most obvious.   

What advice would you give to composers these days on getting their music placed? 
If you are really good in what you do…send an email to

And lastly, how do you think a competition like The Music+Sound Awards impacts the industry? There are a lot of Awards, but most of them focus on the film and not on music and sound. Even if there are sync or music categories, in most cases the music wins when the film is amazing. That’s different at Music+Sound Awards and that’s why I think it’s a very important. A lot of good work doesn’t get the attention that it should get and now it does!


Find out more about Ilana and her work at Sizzer on their site,