Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Category Archives: Sonic Branding

Promax Preview…..SAM style!

Happy Monday everyone!

It’s another gorgeous Spring day here in New York and, after lounging in Central Park most of the weekend, I’m so thankful that I won’t have to leave the city for this year’s PromaxDBA: The Conference!

Stephen, Chad, and Lyndsey will all be joining me in NYC for the June 10-12th conference. I moseyed over to the Hilton Midtown last week to check out the venue, and I think we’re going to have another great convergence of creative geniuses!  And, if you haven’t heard, Stephen and Chad will be giving conference-goers the inside scoop in a session featuring the rebrand and relaunch of CCTV China’s foreign language channels.  Stop by the Mercury Room on Thursday at 3:45. Hope everyone’s able to check it out! #WTFuture

Win this Tom Petty Signed Strat!!

Win this Tom Petty Signed Strat!!

And if local creative is your game, keep pushing until the end of May book on Wednesday! Then give us a shout if you’d like to meet up in Vegas! This year we’ll be taking over The Mirage the last week of June for the PromaxBDA Station Summit. And yes, the wrap party Thursday night is a go. Feel free to send us a note to make sure you’re on the invite list and get all the official details.

Whether we’re seeing you in Vegas or NYC be sure to stop by, say hello, and drop your business card in for our drawing for a Tom Petty signed Road Worn Fender Stratocaster!

On a personal note – is it inappropriate to take a baby to Vegas? Nah, didn’t think so. Baby Alanis will be joining us at the roulette table. That’s his game. #STATIONSUMMIT

Baby Alanis on a roll....

Baby Alanis on a roll….

Listen. Enter. Win! It’s a Resonator Guitar Giveaway


Okay, here’s your chance to win one of the coolest guitars from Stephen’s personal collection – his 2007 Dean Chrome and Gold Acoustic-Electric Resonator!

This axe, one of Stephen’s favorites, is more of a hybrid than anything. You have the sound & tone of a true resonator, but the playability and upper neck access of an electric or really great acoustic guitar. It has a magnetic “lipstick” pickup and a piezo electric pickup, which gives you the ability to produce both electric and acoustic tones.

And who knows, master it and become the next Billy Gibbons of Texas’ own ZZ Top (maybe that’s a stretch but he owns one as well!).

All you have to do is:
1)  Listen to our four most recent news branding packages, and
2) Comment on which one is your favorite:  iNergy, This Is The Place, All About Early, or Canvas
(and feel free to tell us why you liked one more than the others…)

After that, your name will go directly into the hat… and you’ll be instantly eligible for the Dean Resonator — IT’S THAT EASY!

The drawing for the giveaway will be on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014.
Here’s a photo of your potential future Dean:

Listen to the packages here and leave a comment below:


This is the Place

All About Early


Click here for contest rules and eligibility requirements.

Breaking News!! SAM to partner with PGM Artists!!

SAM_PGMWe have a new partnership that we want to tell you about: Stephen Arnold Music and PGM Artists are now collaborating on select original music and sonic branding projects for the advertising sector.

PGM Artists is a high-level “matchmaker” that draws companies together from across a broad range of complementary disciplines. The firm was founded by marketing and production veteran Phil McIntyre, and they excel at connecting advertising agencies and corporations worldwide to creative and marketing resources, with the goal of enabling them to innovate, communicate and compete at the highest possible level.

There were a lot of great reasons to start working with PGM Artists. We think it’s a creative, forward-thinking company that really understands branding. And our commitment to creating memorable sonic branding is a perfect fit for the advertising world, which is where PGM Artists have proven they’re particularly effective.

It’s a highly accomplished firm with an elite track record – that’s the kind of company we like to keep.

Super (Bowl) Sonic Branding

It’s not just music they’re playing on those Super Bowl ads – the smart sponsors are applying Sonic Branding.

Sonic Branding done right reinforces memory recall and the message, and connects products and services with emotions. Combine story, visuals, and sound in an appealing alchemy – especially during the Super Bowl – and you’ve got a spot that everyone will be talking about at the water cooler for weeks. Later on, they’re revisiting it on YouTube.

It’s the reason that the aural jigsaw puzzle of three frogs croaking “Bud…Weis…Er” still stands out years later, as does “Have a Coke and a Smile” and Mean Joe Greene 33 years removed from its first airing, as well as the use of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” by Budweiser in the latest Super Bowl.

Stephen Arnold Music has assembled an all-time list of the Super Bowl spots that best used music and sound to their advantage, over the years. Ladies and gentlemen, drum roll please — we present the Super Sonics:

1) Coca Cola — Super Bowl XIII, 1979

Mean Joe Greene accepts a cool bottle from a kid, “Have a Coke and a Smile” kicks in, and Super Bowl sonic branding history was made forever. The positive associations from this ad endured for generations, as evidenced by the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII remake for Coke Zero featuring Troy Polamalu.

2) Chrysler — Super Bowl XLV, 2011

The darkly tense hip hop track captured the soul of the city, and perfectly reflected the spot’s visual imagery. This emotion-stirring “Imported from Detroit” commercial starring local artist Eminem inspired people to talk about Detroit — and Chrysler by extension.

3) Budweiser – Super Bowl, XXIV, 1995

Talk about a watercooler classic – the three frogs croaking “Bud…” “Weis…” “Er” strongly associated an innovative sound design with this iconic American brand. It was funny, and gave the world something they could gladly croak along to.

4) Volkswagen — Super Bowl XLV, 2011

A pint-sized Darth Vader used the Force when he discovered the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat in the driveway. The essential use of John Williams’ classic motif from the Star Wars franchise is a huge part of why this ad remains strong in people’s minds, two years later.

5) Budweiser – Super Bowl XLVII, 2013

The mega-brewer returns with “Brotherhood”, the tale of a trainer reunited with a beloved Clydesdale. Fleetwood Mac’s emotional “Landslide” was the perfect backing track – it’s oft-covered status makes it a song choice that spans time. Will people think of Budweiser now when they hear it on the air? We’re betting yes.

6) Coke – Super Bowl XXIV, 1990

Not surprising that brand messaging masters like Coke make these Super Bowl ad lists multiple times. Here, the famed “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” theme is in full swing in a follow-up to the original commercial, called “Hilltop Reunion”, aired during coverage of Super Bowl XXIV featuring the singers and their children, and culminating in a medley of this song and the then-current “Can’t Beat the Real Thing” jingle. “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” has had a lasting connection with the viewing public. Advertising surveys consistently identify it as one of the best commercials of all time, and the sheet music continues to sell more than thirty years after the song was written.

7) Pepsi – Super Bowl XXIX, 1995

This spot, starring a kid sucking on a straw who launches himself straight into a Pepsi bottle, captures honors for its adventurous use of sound. In our humble opinions, the bold sound design is the true star here.

8) Old Milwaukee — Super Bowl XLVI, 2012

Already larger than life, Will Farrell expands still more into our universe with this grand vision. His heroic stroll through a field of hops takes on magnificent grandeur courtesy of the classical symphonic score that accompanies it. Intentionally jarring sound at the end provides an interesting counterpoint to everything that preceded it – part of a sound (and video) combo that makes this spot memorable.

9) Budweiser – Super Bowl XXXVI, 2002 Budweiser 9/11

Here is the famous commercial Budweiser produced after 9/11. They aired it only once — during Super Bowl XXXVI in February 2002. This one-minute spot features the beer company’s trademarked team of Clydesdale horses trudging across snow-covered ground into New York City where they stop to gaze upon the Statue of Liberty and the city’s skyline before lowering their heads on bended knees in a gesture of respect. Music and images drive the whole commercial – everything is very emotive, thanks to the simplicity of this moving tribute and the music.

10) Noxzema – Super Bowl VII, 1973

Joe Namath — and a jingle for the ages — stars here. “Let Noxzema cream your face, so the razor don’t!” is belted out by an unknown session singer, with massive levels of mucho gusto. We dare you to forget this jingle anytime soon. No, wait, we DOUBLE DOG DARE you. Some rockin’ funk makes this the grooviest shaving cream commercial in broadcast history. Meanwhile, onscreen, don’t miss the Most Obvious Lip Synch Ever Seen.

We continue to scrutinize the archives. Stay tuned, because we’ll add some more Super Sonics soon!

Stephen Arnold Music Recharges ‘Showbiz Tonight’ on HLN With Bold New Music

Stephen Arnold Music - HLN Showbiz TonightSonic Branding Leaders Update Their Long-Running Show Package with Dubstep, Dance, and Indie Rock-Style Arrangements

Updating one of the top daily entertainment shows on TV can be a daunting challenge. HLN’s long-running program “Showbiz Tonight” stayed with the sonic branding of Stephen Arnold Music for their makeover, turning once again to the original music creators that helped launch the show in 2005.

The composers at Stephen Arnold Music wrote five new arrangements to match up with a fresh graphics package and set for “Showbiz Tonight,” which is hosted by A.J. Hammer, from the network’s New York City studios. Built around the memorable four-note hook that Stephen Arnold Music first wrote for the show seven years ago, the bold new package incorporates a range of dubstep, dance, electronic and indie rock themes.

“A common thread of long-running daily entertainment shows is an unforgettable melodic theme,” Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music says. “A strong musical signature is essential to pop-culture based programs, and the lasting power of our sonic brand for ‘Showbiz Tonight’ reflects that. The new music package builds on the original hook, evolving it within modern styles to keep it catchy and current.”

Depending on the genre, Stephen Arnold Music employed everything from filtered loops and programmed beats, to live guitars and drums to drive the energetic new themes. In addition to the primary arrangements, Stephen Arnold Music also provided HLN with a large supply of long beds, short logo stingers, and other transitional elements. Culled from moments in the longer themes, the shorter elements sync up with the “Showbiz Tonight” sonic stamp, providing the show’s producers with a flexible toolkit to match their fast-moving graphics.

The “Showbiz Tonight” update was the latest in a long string of collaborations between Stephen Arnold Music and CNN/HLN. Other recent projects that the Dallas-based music company has created for the networks includes “Jane Velez-Mitchell,” “Dr. Drew,” and “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”

For Stephen Arnold Music, recharging the sound of “Showbiz Tonight” was a welcome opportunity to go deeper with the music they make.

“A project like this gives you the chance to explore all the different angles of a sonic brand,” Chad Cook, VP/Creative Director of Stephen Arnold Music says. “These new themes are a natural progression for an established show. They provide a fresh direction, while maintaining a familiar connection with its dedicated audience.”

Promo Credits
Client: HLN/Showbiz Tonight
Project: “Showbiz Tonight” music package
Music: Stephen Arnold Music, Dallas

About Stephen Arnold Music
As a multiple Emmy, Addy and Promax Gold award-winning music production company, Stephen Arnold Music has over 20 years of success in delivering the sounds that make a difference to networks, television stations, advertising agencies, film studios and video game companies the world over. The company’s Commanding Sonic Branding approach to music production and commitment to industry-leading service is at the core of its promise. For more information, please visit


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