At J. Walter Thompson New York, Paul Greco, Director of Music and Radio, is the man behind the music. Since joining the agency in 2011, Greco has supervised sonic branding and multimedia production for some of the most enviable portfolios.
Greco recently discussed how brands can use music to enhance and develop the messaging behind their ads with SyncSummit Exchange Founder Mark Frieser. The podcast covered everything from “go to” composers to the importance of interactive and social media in syncing promotion.
Inspired by his podcast interview, we caught up with Greco about today’s trends in music, future predictions & more.
In a digital world, music still remains one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers across all channels. How has the digital landscape changed the way you approach your job? How has it evolved the way consumers respond to music in advertising, if at all? –– The digital world has made music more accessible, more easy to create, and more easy to discover new artists and songs. Artists are using these qualities to their advantage in many ways. I really think Beyoncé is a true innovator in that realm. For advertising, it is a great way for advertisers to see what consumers are directly responding to- YouTube views, Facebook Likes and Twitter Follows, etc. It’s a great way to capitalize on a bands built in fan base.
What artists, or genres inspire you the most, and why? –– Nearly all genres inspire me to a certain degree. I appreciate the craft of creating music and talent that goes into making all kinds of music. The artists that inspire me are numerous, but we can start with The Beatles, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Who, and Led Zeppelin for those that are timeless. Current artists that I’m impressed with are Justin Timberlake, Janelle Monae, Sia, The Weeknd, The Roots, and Mark Ronson to name a few. I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot more…
What genre do you see as the most captivating when advertising on social media? –– There is no one genre. It runs the gamut. You can scour the web for many, many different styles of music and every style has it’s loyal audiences. For ads, the most captivating genre is the one that your target audience gravitates to.
As digital continues to take over, consumers expect the music industry to keep up, which has led to financial strain among artists and the industry at large. People want music to be cheap and easily accessible across all of their tech devices. How has this evolution changed the process of music licensing and authorization for ad agencies? –– The deluge of music available to the public has increased the supply. So much so that it far outpaces the demand. So costs of licenses have gone down across the board over the last ten years. Big name artists and big hits still commands a very high price but the demand for the “big hit” has decreased quite a bit. Unknown or emerging artists seem to be the most popular requests and also the most cost effective.
How do you go about selecting the perfect tune for a campaign? –– It’s always about finding the piece of music that supports the overall idea and concept. Does the style, instrumentation, pacing and lyrics work hand in hand with the message? Those are the key elements. Then does the music resonate with the target audience?
If you could choose your own theme song, what would it be? –– That’s a tough one… It would probably have to be a medley. I’m going to start a playlist…
Be sure to catch Paul Greco’s keynote speech at SyncSummit’s Hollywood Symposium in November, 2016.