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An Anti-Blog Blog Post

It seems that blogs are one of the top 3 thought-leadership tools we’re all using in “the ad biz” these days. And blogs aren’t just table stakes, they’re important for thought-leaders and agencies alike to profess their knowledge in any number of subjects as well as a beneficial resource for others to gain useful information.

But, in a lot of cases, there are blog posts that don’t come from a place of strategy.

And, in a lot of cases, I tend to point-counterpoint said blog posts. So, let’s dive into one that I read recently. The point this blog post was trying to make was that when given a video project, you should start with the music.

When I read this, I almost spit-taked my bourbon. But then I thought about it objectively.

“Could you start with music?” I asked myself. Maybe I’ve been doing this creative thing the wrong way. I thought about some of the best music-driven pieces I’ve seen in my career – VW “Bubble Boy”, Sony Bravia “Balls”, Apple “Silhouettes”, the newest iPhone ads – you get it. In the conception phase, did any of these “start with the music”? No f’ing way. These brands and their agency partners are too deeply rooted in strategy, as they should be.

Personally, I love music. It’s always been one of my favorite parts of the post production process. And, if ever given the challenge of “starting with the music”, I’d consider taking it.

And then I’d think about it some more and decide that it wouldn’t be fair to the agency, the client and the viewing audience. It would paint the idea into such a narrow corner.

Let’s be honest, a good concept comes from a good strategy and the countless hours that go into developing it. BUT, a good concept is made even better by the music that accompanies it. In storytelling, I love pouring through music, sometimes my own personal collection, to see if I can discover the song or score that will win the day and enhance the idea. Sometimes I’ll turn it into a competition, me vs. editor, to see who can find the hidden gem (I usually lose).

So, to the person who introduced this idea, I wish we could “start with the music”. It would make our lives easier, but it would make our world more vanilla, less thought-provoking, and less emotional. I mean no disrespect, and I’m always looking for alternative modes of invention. Let’s keep thinking, but let’s never “start with the music”.

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