The Five Dollar Foot Long song featured on the recent Subway restaurant ads is one of the greatest ad jingles ever. Its an earworm, scarily addictive, annoying as hell, and frustratingly memorable. I have actually caught myself unconsciously singing the droning song just to playfully annoy my wife. If you haven’t had enough of the song yet….there is actually a dance remix of the song available to download on Subways website. The song was composed by Jimmy Harned (of the boutique music outfit Tonefarmer) taking the approach of the equally irritating and repetitive HeadON: Apply Directly to the Forehead ads. Both ads are incrediably effective in cutting through the barrage of media we see everyday to become pop culture moments.
The ad jingle is quickly becoming a lost art. More and more companies are forgoing jingles and instead using cleverly edited tracks from hipster indie rock bands. Apple is largerly responsible for breaking bands like CSS and the Tings Tings to a broader audience through their inclusion in ipod ads. Both sides of the debate are convincing regarding the merits of selling out to beakout, however I personally find there is something disheartening about hearing The Fall or Iggy Pop in a Chrysler ad. However it doesn’t come close to my disappointment with Devo and Of Montreal for actually re-writing “Whip It” and “Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)” to pitch for Swifer and Outback Steakhouse.
So how are ad jingles commissioned and created? How do musicians get songs into commercials, television programs and soundtracks for films? Find out this coming Saturday, November 15th, 4-6 pm at the Summit Brewery, 910 Montreal Circle in St. Paul. mnartists.org will be presenting a FREE panel discussion titled Breaking into Commercials, Television and Film for Minnesota Musicians with several accomplished industry professionals.
The panel of industry experts includes:
Bob Hest and Steve Kramer – “The Kings of the Jingle” and founders of Hest & Kramer Music. Known for their creative and strategic ability to infuse brands with signature music that resonates with customers. Their work has received many honors, including induction in to the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Craig Rice – is an award-winning producer and director, and nationally recognized for his distinguished career in the television and film industry. His work has been nominated for four Emmy Awards and a NAACP Award. Rice recently served as Executive Director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board.
Gary Rue – Songwriter, composer and founder of the internationally acclaimed pop quartet Rue Nouveau. Rue is also a Professor of Composition at McNally Smith College of Music
Chris Beaty – Twin Cities-based composer, performer, instrumentalist, engineer and producer
After the panel discussion Radio K will DJ and Free Summit Beer will be served for those 21+, all ages are welcome to the event however. What more could you ask for on a chilly November evening. And if you ever want to track down that catchy song within a commercial or verify your favorite band has sold out to a national steakhouse chain check out AdTunes.