S.A.C. Challenge – Week 3 – Issued by Heather Gardner – Writing for Advertising

Heather Gardner
Writing a song specifically for advertising is a unique beast — a songwriter needs to find the delicate balance between being authentic, but yet appealing to a variety of demographics, musical tastes and, ultimately, products to sell. Additionally, songs written for advertising need to be more than great songs — they also need to be cleanly produced and quickly ready to be heard on air at a high production value (in most cases, there is simply not enough time to allow for re-recording a song, or making major changes before the ad’s audio mix!).
My challenge to you is to write a song based on the below advertising brief (a real brief that we did late last year) — it includes musical and lyrical references, but (as is often the case in the ad world), without seeing a rough edit of the specific commercial. I’m looking forward to hearing what you come up with!
Creative Brief:
The spot features a child so we’re looking for something child-like, light and playful, fun, capturing the moment and that captures the spirit of a child. However, we don’t want to be emotional or heart-stringy — we’re looking for something that’s purely fun. You can definitely be somewhat quirky, while appealing to a mainstream TV audience.
A few references they’ve given us in terms of tone are The White Stripes’ “We Are Gonna Be Friends”, “On The Radio” by Regina Spektor, Sheryl Crow’s cover of “Sweet Child O Mine”, “Big Yellow Taxi” or “Mushaboom” by Feist. We also like something along the lines of Karen O’s tunes for ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. We’re open to different instrumentations.
Lyrics don’t have to be perfectly on spot on thematically, but speaking to childhood (in a fun way, not in a nostalgic or longing way) is great. Female or male vocals are A-OK.
The spot is 60 seconds in length, with 30 and 15 second cutdowns, so your submissions need to be at least 60 seconds long, but be able to capture the same sentiment even if only 15 seconds was being used. Including the full length track is always best as it allows the editor the maximum flexibility in hitting the right points in an ad with specific lyrics or musical moments.
Instructions to participants:
Post a link to your song and blog in the comments section below by midnight (11:59pm EST), March 2, 2015.
Music Supervisors always need the right music yesterday.  This is your chance to show Heather you can respond to a creative brief and turnover something quickly that meets the request.  Good luck!
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143 thoughts on “S.A.C. Challenge – Week 3 – Issued by Heather Gardner – Writing for Advertising

  1. Pingback: Writing for Advertising – S.A.C. Songwriting & Blogging Challenge – Week 3 | Meori Music

  2. Pingback: Sailing in the stars - Stacey Dowswell

    1. I Forgot to put the lyrics: So here they are
      I LIKE TO PLAY PRETEND

      (Children Chanting)

      SWINGING, SWINGING EVERYBODY’S SINGING

      SWINGING, SWINGING EVERYBODY’S SINGING

      SWINGING HIGH SWINGING LOW

      CATCH THE WIND BETWEEN MY TOES

      I LIKE TO PLAY PRETEND CAUSE NO ONE TELLS ME WHAT TO DO

      I CAN BE AN ASTRONAUT OR PLAY WITH MONKEYS AT THE ZOO

      I CAN BE LIKE SPIDERMAN CATCHING BAD GUYS ON TV

      I LIKE TO PLAY PRETEND WON’T YOU COME AND PLAY WITH ME

      (No room for this verse)
      I LIKE TO PLAY PRETEND BECAUSE THERE ARE NO RULES

      I CAN FLY AN AIRPLANE OR CATCH FISH IN SWIMMING POOL

      I CAN PLAY WITH GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE

      AND SWING FROM TREE TO TREE

      I LIKE TO PLAY PRETEND WON’T YOU COME AND FOLLOW ME

      Like

  3. Hello Week 3.
    Here be my blog and song(s). You may have noticed that there are several versions. The first is with a male vocal (mine) and has a :60, a :30 and a :15 in the same link. The other is the same song with a female vocal. Not trying to complicate things. Thought that options might be good.
    First, here’s the blog:
    uponblocks.wordpress.com
    and the song

    https://soundcloud.com/proudfoot-2/night-light-single-version/s-py1fb
    Thanks for another challenging week.
    Can’t wait to find out what is next.
    M

    Like

  4. After my amazingly awesome co-write with Stacey Dowswell I still had an idea left in me so I did an additional song. Somehow my whole family managed to sing on this song together, don’t ask. Oh, and me and falsetto don’t really go too well together so please forgive the vocals. Check out my video blog too, thanks. – AHI

    Songs Link: https://soundcloud.com/offi…/you-tell-me-you-love-me/s-LlxxJ
    Video Link: http://youtu.be/PFOxshksCK4
    Blog Page: LlxxJhttp://ahimusic.com/#!sac-blog/sac-challenge-week-3/
    Stacey’s Blog: http://www.staceydowswell.com/sailing-in-the-stars/

    Like

  5. Pingback: SAC Songwriting & Blogging Challenge 2015: Week 3 | Who Gives a Pop?

  6. Hello …and a warm thanks to several fantastic collaborators this week … Ashley Hayward for her contribution to – In a Heartbeat her vocals were silky smooth. and I enjoyed the interaction with Michael Kelly Cavan and Shera Katzshira. All wonderful artists and I look forward to their pieces and sharing/collaborating again… especially since I am NOT a performer.

    Thanks to Debra who pointed me to the correct place to post the submissions.

    All words and music by RB Martin Clarke 2015

    The lyrics are in the comments on Soundcloud

    Blog

    https://rbmartyblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/week-3-advertising-spot/

    I’m in Love with My Science Teacher

    In a Heartbeat

    Like

  7. Another challenge that was totally out of my usual experience of music: Write a song for advertising that is “childlike, light and playful”.

    Yay for co-writers! The songwriting part of this challenge was a breeze – thanks to Todd Wandio (the most fun I’ve had on Skype in while). Todd & I bounced ideas off each other, divided up the parts we worked on and came up with the 60 second song we were looking for. The real challenge for me became the logistics and technology – recording our ideas separately over 3000 km apart and across three time zones, updating software so it was compatible, figuring out how to share such large files. But we did it!

    One big thing I’ve realized about this songwriting challenge is that the challenge doesn’t all lie in the songwriting itself. I’m learning a lot about tools I can us to facilitate writing, collaboration and recording. I am actively listening for specific musical characteristics that makes a song work (or not). This week’s learning curve successfully climbed – ready for the next challenge!

    Here is Let’s Jump In (Julie Corey & Todd Wandio): https://soundcloud.com/julie-sings/just-lets-go/s-uqhIx

    Like

  8. Pingback: And they’re off and lost in the jungles of Mexico… or “The Dangers of Not Reading the Map” | Robert Campbell

  9. Wayne Totten

    This is my original song celebrating the age of innocence for children and the young at heart adults for the week 3 challenge. My first try at one of these!

    Like

      1. I tried to replace the sound file in sound cloud and it’s going nuts on me – won’t delete the first, won’t link to the replacement. And this blog won’t accept this reply. Sigh. but we’ll try again.

        Like

      1. You’re right, Michael. But it did eventually allow me to delete the file.

        I can’t get the link to look nice here, but if you click on the soundcloud icon in the otherwise empty boxes above, it will link to the page where the file resides. At least, it does for me.

        Like

  10. BENEATH THE TREE | rbt Challenge #3
    An interesting challenge this week. And although I originally approached this from a 60 second song, I quickly decided that it was more satisfying to have a complete song experience to pull from. It seems 3:30 is ingrained in my dna. This challenge was fun once I wrapped my brain around a concept I was happy with – which I talk about in my blog. And happily my voice is on the return this week.
    http://www.rbtsong.com/tell/
    https://soundcloud.com/rosannebake…/beneath-the-tree/s-RlaIF

    Like

  11. Week 3’s SAC challenge is Creating a soundtrack for a commercial in 60 – 30 and 15 second lengths. The biggest challenge was not the song writing but would the song be generic enough to fit the direction from the music supervisor. In this instance the direction was no specific product or visuals but…
    “The spot features a child so we’re looking for something child-like, light and playful, fun, capturing the moment and that captures the spirit of a child. Not emotional or heart-stringy — something that’s purely fun, appealing to a mainstream TV audience.” So with that in mind my entry was going to be “From the Sky”

    I had worked on the production and the melody and the instrumentation with a passionate refinement.
    BUT, once I reread the child like part of the ask “Dancing Dancing” sprang to mind. So “Dancing Dancing” is my official entry. It is not as polished but there is a quality about the song that is quirky – childlike and fun.
    Here is the Link to “Dancing Dancing”:

    Enjoy and a look forward to your feed back
    http://www.patcanavan.com/blog/

    Like

    1. Pat, I am SO happy you chose “Dancing Dancing” as your official Week 3 entry because it rocks! I think it totally fits with the brief. It’s so infectious, and I absolutely the rhythmic work in the instrumental, particuarly the drum fills. I’m a fan!

      Like

      1. Hi Edi – Thanks for your personal feedback! I really appreciate your thought’s especially the “it’s so infectious” because that is what I was going for! Whoo hoo!

        Like

  12. Chaotic week in my real estate life! Did my challenge with Roger Beckett – friend and fellow musician who lives 5 minutes away from me! In between work and appointments, we managed to create a 60 second spot (we ensured they were divisible into 15 30 and 60 seconds with buffer to insert intros or fadeouts) I previously worked in media and due to the time blocks for sale in these increments, we wanted to ensure that each verse/ chorus or verse and chorus could fit into these slots. It was quite challenging to capture all of this in those constraints while still creating an effective lyrical piece. This is truly a tough exercise. Thanks Roger for helping me with the tech process. This is an example of a simple, unproduced song. Thank you Roger!

    Blog: http://rogerbeckett.com/blog
    Soundcloud link: http://goo.gl/Bf5XQR

    Like

    1. Here are the lyrics …

      BOUNCE!
      by Ros Schwartz (c) 2015

      Chorus:
      Bounce bounce bounce bounce
      Bounce bounce bounce
      I follow my ball as we bounce on our way
      Bounce bounce bounce bounce
      Bounce bounce bounce
      Where will my bouncing ball lead me today?

      Verse:
      I hop on the sidewalk as we bounce along
      Oh I’ll climb that fence as I sing you this song
      I leap and I jump and I dance and I play
      And when you come join me
      We’ll all shout out YAY!

      Chorus:
      Bounce bounce bounce bounce
      Bounce bounce bounce
      I follow my ball as we bounce on our way
      Bounce bounce bounce bounce
      Bounce bounce bounce
      Where will my bouncing ball lead me today?

      Like

    2. @James Linderman … I do plan to get this song nicely produced eventually. If you think it could be pitched, I could do this right away instead of later … basically what you hear here, with the voice & guitar polished up, and a little bouncy piano added here & there. And a bunch of kids’ voices on the YAY!

      Thanks for our comments!

      Like

  13. Skye Weste

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