2023 round-up of the 5 best soundtracks in advertising

2023 round-up of the 5 best soundtracks in advertising

The end of 2023 is nigh.

We’re all winding down the work, winding up the Christmas parties and counting down the minutes until we can rot in our living rooms and indulge in a week of binge eating, drinking, and Netflixing. Well – I am anyway.

And we thought, what better way to sign off what has been an – I think we can all agree – ok year than by commenting upon (and in some cases, celebrating) some of the years’ best uses of music and sound from our illustrious advertising industry. A little bit more back-patting can’t hurt, can it?

So, without further ado, please do feel free to waste 10 minutes of your day by reading some inane drivel from the DLMDD team at large.

Just Eat starring Christina Aguilera and Latto by McCann

First came Snoop, then came Perry, now comes Latto and Ms Agui..lery? Let me preface this by saying that I love this pairing. I LOVE IT. 

On paper you’d be like… huh? Surely not? But Xtina and Latto complement each other kind of beautifully. The operatic powerhouse prowess of Xtina combined with the contemporary rap stylings of Latto is fresh, surprising, unexpected… 3 words that we see on literally every music brief ever and...wow! They really did it!

That being said, why didn’t they let my girl Christina get a look in on the lyrics!? She’s out here providing BVs while Latto takes centre stage! No shade to Latto who I think absolutely rocks this performance but Xtina... a supporting artist… NOT on my watch!!!

All that aside, Latto is an absolute STAR and her flow is perfectly suited to rapping about the joys of fast food delivery, which is NOT even a sliver of a drag—I say it with unadulterated love and respect. Those who know me KNOW I am a dedicated lover of a take-away and Latto has therefore risen significantly in my estimation.

Note that I remain baffled as to how Just Eat has this much marketing spend when literally everyone I know uses Deliveroo, but then again I live in my lovely London bubble and have no idea what delivery service app takes favour north of the M25.

Anyway, mega props to the team at McCann for pulling off yet another impressive musical feast (see what I did there?). If you need me I will be attempting Xtina’s whistle notes in the mirror.

Lizz Harman – Senior Music Supervisor

Agency: McCann London
Creatives: Stephen Yeates, Adam Taylor-Smith
Production Company: Radical Media
Director: Dave Meyers
Music Supervision: Chris Graves

'Glimpses' for Dementia Action Week by Hounslow Council

Music is magic.

It’s an emotional language that defies words whilst drawing an indescribable common meaning for all. Often used to unlock feeling and sometimes motivating us to cry (or in the advertising world: buy). It’s undeniably powerful. Yet, for many the true magic isn’t how it moves, but how it mends.

Enter Glimpses, a short film specially commissioned by Hounslow Council for its Dementia Action Week. Expertly scored by Dan Baboulene, the film explores the lived reality of dementia diagnosis as both a mother and son are increasingly affected, whilst simultaneously catching glimpses of their old bond. It’s a real tug at the heartstrings.

For those affected by dementia, music therapy can have an almost miraculous effect. Studies have found that those with a weakened memory can often compensate with their emotional brain centres to regain access to their memories, recapturing themselves for a short time. Music can be a huge stimulator of this, driving remarkable results such as Prima Ballerina’s Performing Swan Lake and Jazz legends remembering dear friends.

I really love how director Lauren Midwinter captures this bittersweet reality. Baboulene’s simple yet stirring score dances between the worlds of ambient and country music, evoking parallels to fellow sufferer Glenn Campbell. Ultimately, Glimpses' power comes from the music’s role as a subject, rather than a supporter. It demonstrates how music connects us, comforts us, and even reunites us with both past and present. Even in our darkest moments, the power of music can do magical things—if only for a moment.

Rob Shone – Associate Music Supervisor

Production Company: Capture Minds
Director: Lauren Midwinter
“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.”Elton John

'Freedom' for EE by Saatchi & Saatchi

Tell me honestly, how often are you scrolling LinkedIn and *sincerely* have an emotional response to a piece of advertising?

Once a year, at absolute best, twice if you’re incredibly sensitive, none if you’re a weathered, battered advertising veteran - and thankfully I am not there just yet.

Thanks to the Saatchi & Saatchi wizards, I found myself welling up at the release of EE’s TVC “Freedom” and the subsequent music video. EE! Youda thought M&S or like, a charity, would’ve done that, but here we are, our mobile/broadband/technology friends in the sky fully pulling heartstrings.

It features loads of actual real-life non-actor teenagers on their phones doing teenager things somehow in a non-cringe way. Remarkable.

But what solidifies this campaign as a great piece of film is the music. Bloc Party’s 2005 “So Here We Are” is kind of an inspired choice. The jangly, British soundtrack just FEELS like being a teenager. And for the EE customers who are paying the bills, it’s likely this was a big hit when they were teens. Nostalgia mixed with modern technology! Smart.

Bloc Party loved it so much that they released the campaign as a new music video. Whoever made that happen, hats off. Great work.

Erin McCullough – Sonic Branding Consultant
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi London
Samuel Simmonds / George Coyle
Production Company:
Art Practice / Love Song
Elliott Power
Music Supervision:
Curation Music

'Pack Yer Bags' for Yorkshire Tea by Lucky Generals

Hotel tea making facilities. We've all experienced them and they're always a disappointment, particularly on the continent. There's only one way to have a proper brew aboard and that's to take a stash of your own bags.

Nick Bird and Lee Smith have come up with (Yorkshire) gold, championing my favourite travel companion. 'PACK YER BAGS' follows 'Skipton Alfie' on holiday to Ibiza with a suitcase of Yorkshire Tea. Packed full of puns, this summer dance floor banger celebrates tea and the lengths we go to for a decent cuppa.

Greg Moore – DLMDD Co-founder
Agency: Lucky Generals
Nick Bird, Lee Smith
Production Company:
Fred Rowson

Oblivia Coalmine for Make My Money Matter by Lucky Generals

Oblivia Coalmine for Make My Money Matter made me quiver with discomfort which was very much the intention! It was a close tie between this and the Greenpeace spot which was also a play on the indulgences of high society at the expense of the masses, but I thought this was exceptionally directed, shot and designed and therefore gets my vote!

Jeremy Newton – Head of Agency Business

Agency: Lucky Generals
Production Company: Somesuch
Director: Raine Allen-Miller
Music Supervisor: Wake The Town

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