What is the soundtrack to your brand?

Selecting the right feel of soundtrack is one of the many things that we always take careful consideration with when making video content.

Video is more important than ever nowadays. Feature films, documentaries, TV dramas and commercials all have very distinctive and carefully constructed soundtracks right? So your corporate video should be no different. Deciding on the right music for your video can make or break the message that you’re aiming to convey. The soundtrack is a huge part of these production values.

Allow me to indulge momentarily and show you a couple of examples from two classic films from cinema history.

The Wicker Man from 1973; the Paul Giovanni soundtrack of mysterious traditional folk songs sets the tone of the film and has become iconic in itself. But what’s most important about it is that as a film about paganism in remote rural communities it heightens the intended “folk-horror” atmosphere of the director.

Another great example is the classic film-score for another legendary film, Blade Runner from 1982. The soundtrack was written by futurist pioneers Vangelis and comprises of strange synth soundscapes to emphasise a dystopian futuristic mega city. Again, it sets the tone. Traditional folk music would be completely alien to this landscape. 

This may seem like an obvious example, but would you use heavy metal as the soundtrack to a video tour of a country hotel? Probably not! But you might use heavy metal for a video for the intro to your mountain bike maintenance business.

Music can convey feeling and emotion in a way that visuals often can’t, and they can also be used to deliberately change the emotive feel of a piece if needs be too.

For example look at the following clips:

I have used the same footage of a hotel room with an open window with lace curtains.

I have cut two different styles of music to the same clip, and the effects are plain to see the footage can be interpreted in two entirely different ways.

In clip one, there is a forlorn, almost mournful piece of music that conveys a sombre and almost mournful effect. In the second clip using exactly the same footage, there is a more light and airy soundtrack which instantly changes the feel of the footage to maybe the video tour of a homely airbnb.

In the next comparison example I have used a clip of a woman on an iPad, and both clips feature exactly the same footage. In the first clip the soundtrack gives a sense of ‘future technology’, a positive and uplifting piece of music with modern instrumentation. In the second clip there is a more foreboding essence of plans that are being formed.

In the final comparison clip I have merely used a shot of a woman walking down the corridor of a hotel. In the first clip there is a soundtrack that conjures a sense of something sinister about to happen. The second clip features, again exactly the same footage as the previous clip, but with a much more contemporary electronica soundtrack that along with the slow motion footage gives a fashionable feeling.

Music is so important to how your brand will be portrayed in your video content, of course, we can make all those decisions for you though, as we have in the following examples of projects we’ve recently created.

In the first example, we created a series of case study videos for a Foster Care company (using an actress to protect the identity of the child). The first half of the video looks at her struggles when she was first fostered, using a mixture of cold blue hues in the colour grade and a reflective piano and strings soundtrack we created a sense of sadness and struggle. Once the case study moved into a more positive part of the story, we changed to more warmer colour tones and a much brighter and positive piece of acoustic guitar and piano music.

The second example is a clip from a series of shorts we made for our regional Chamber of Commerce at one of their bi-annual business exhibitions, featuring short clips of business advice from local entrepreneurs. We wanted a light hearted approach to this series with elements of comedy out-takes of the interviewees, so with a custom made animated title sequence we used an up-beat whistling intro, followed by an underlying relaxed jazz score beneath the advice.

The takeaway here is to think carefully about the personality you want your brand to convey and when you’re developing video content (or briefing someone like us to do it on your behalf) tell us this at the start so that we can pick the perfect music to accompany your content and make it work for your business and your audience.

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