The Australian advertising & music industries: in harmony, or out of tune?

By Saynaree Oudomvilay , Senior Account Director

Nov, 2023

If I were to draw a Venn diagram of the Australian advertising and music industries, I sense it would look closer to one whole circle rather than two that overlap. We’re both made up of passionates, creatives and storytellers. We write and make noise. Some of us even play instruments (or at least think we can).

So why, in recent times, does it feel like we’re more out of tune than in harmony?

2020-2022 really shook things up, especially on the music front. A report from PWC towards the end of the pandemic recorded a 39% drop in the music industry’s economy. Live gigs, ticket sales and a downturned global commerce scene were mainly to blame. By contrast, local advertising spend increased during the same period (Ad Spending, Statista 2023).

We asked ourselves, is there a way our creative industries can come together, to better support homegrown musical talent?

In response, we launched Our Soundtrack, Our Ads: a joint initiative with ARIA and Jack River to champion the power of bringing Aussie advertisers with local music. As part of this, we launched a first-of-its-kind ARIA award category to encourage more use of Australian music in ads. Beyond the silverware, the use of local artists in our work is important for a few reasons:

It’s a chance to showcase local talent.

The Guardian noted that in June of this year, only 2 Aussie artists were in the local charts due to low commercial exposure. As advertisers, we have the privilege of having a platform that ensures our work will be heard and seen by many, and we have the power to give that platform to a local artist.

It’s a shortcut to human connection.

Music is a universal language and has the power to make us genuinely feel something. As marketers, why wouldn’t we use tracks that authentically resonate with the audiences we’re trying to connect with?

Music reflects the diverse fabric of the nation.

The world’s oldest cultures have long used songs as storytelling. Music is an easy way to not only unearth but also champion these diverse stories.

A powerful tune is unforgettable.

A catchy and well-loved advertisement has the potential to become ingrained into Aussie households, immediately recognised and remembered by its backing track. Take Aussie duo Flight Facilities’ most commercially successful song, ‘Clair De Lune’ which is now affectionately dubbed ‘the Telstra song’, seven years after the ad airing.

Why not?

The calibre of talent we have in our own backyard is incredible, and investing in local artists is the best possible use of our ad dollars. It only makes sense that we give our homegrown talent the opportunity to feature in our work, and get the recognition they deserve.

Congratulations to 72andSunny and Innocean Australia as the inaugural winners for their memorable works Google: Helping You Help Others with Baker Boy, and Australian Marine Conservation Society: Voice of the Sea with John Williamson respectively.

To join the pledge and be eligible for next year’s award, visit www.aria.com.au/our-soundtrack-our-ads.

Our Soundtrack Our Ads

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