The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America
Tag Archives: Sonic Branding
August 16, 2013Posted by on
Four years ago this week Les Paul died at the ripe old age of 94. It was truly the passing of a legend. And whether you were born in 1920 or the year 2000, he’s profoundly affected your life, and you might not even know it!
As a performer and musician, his TV and radio program “The Les Paul & Mary Show” was syndicated into millions of households and made him a star. Between 1945 and 1955 he notched over 20 top 10 hit songs, including 3 number ones. His lightning fast guitar licks influenced a generation of rockers, from the Beatles to Billy Gibbons. Steve Miller actually learned guitar from Les.
And while his influence as a musician is solid, it’s his innovations in how people heard his music that still affects us today.
Les didn’t actually invent the solid body electric guitar – Rickenbacker beat him by 8 years in 1932 – but his designs and innovations were integral in the evolution and popularization of it. The iconic guitar that bears his name – The Gibson Les Paul – was famously played by the likes of Neil Young, Slash, Jimmy Page, Duane Allman and Bob Marley, to name but a few.
His early recordings were the first to utilize Sound on Sound and Multi-track recording, and he’s credited with the development of overdubbing, close-micing, and tape delay & phasing as effects on his recordings. He essentially created and developed modern recording techniques (take THAT pro-tools!)
In an age where digital recording hardware and synthesized sounds can be bought for a few hundred bucks, the idea that a young man would tear apart his folks’ radio, or mount magnetic rods into guitars, or fill a guitar with plaster-of-Paris to stop vibrations; to actually create his own disc cutter assembly from used car parts (his original experiments with Sound on Sound recordings used acetate discs rather than magnetic tape) all in the quest to create or record or amplify his music is literally extraordinary.
So next time you’re tuning up your new axe or listening to the latest top 40 radio hit, take a moment to remember Les Paul.
He was a true renaissance man, and the world is quite a bit louder – and better sounding – thanks to him.
June 14, 2013Posted by on
We have a new partnership that we want to tell you about: Stephen Arnold Music and PGM Artists http://pgmartists.com/ 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.
February 7, 2013Posted by on
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!
January 23, 2013Posted by on
UPDATE: We have our winner!!
It’s time once again to give away one of Stephen’s guitars. We’re doing something a little different this time, though. The winner gets to pick their guitar from these three great axes.
Fender Squire Telecaster – Brown … Fender Telecaster – Sunburst … Fender Squire Vintage Modified Mustang – Red
The rules are simple:
- Leave a comment below, telling us what you think of the “This Is The Place” Audio/Video Image Campaign.
- We will print out all the comments on Friday, February 1st 2013 and draw a name.
- That person will be contacted and will get to pick a guitar.
And that’s all there is to it.
Click here for contest rules and eligibility requirements
Read more about it on Shoot Online
January 11, 2013Posted by on
Sonic 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.”
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 www.stephenarnoldmusic.com.
January 2, 2013Posted by on
Happy New Years everyone. Wow, 2012 just blew on by over here at Stephen Arnold Music and we are ready to rock n’ roll once again in 2013. We have another exciting year of Sonic Branding and News Music mapped out ahead of us and it’s all because of you guys — the best clients ever (you know who you are). We look forward to our continued creative collaborations and wish all of you a wonderful 2013.
October 17, 2012Posted by on
September 28, 2012Posted by on
Update: We Have Our Winner!!
Check out our new “iNERGY” and “This Is The Place” news branding packages for a chance to win this guitar!
Enter a comment below for your chance to win this Fender “Road-Worn” 60′s Telecaster used to create “iNERGY” and “This Is The Place”.
Drawing to be held Friday, October 19th, 2012
Click here for contest rules and eligibility requirements
September 27, 2012Posted by on
Thank you for your interest in our new Vinyl LP featuring “S.A.M. I AM” in “stereo 3D” with special 3D glasses.
To request your free LP just click on the email link below!
Or give us a call at:
We look forward to hearing from you!