Monthly Archives: April 2023

Great Music is Coming Your Way. May 6th.

Classical music has always been an emotive part of theatre, films and commercials.

For many that’s especially true for commercials.

No doubt you’ve enjoyed the Hamlet Cigar spots all the more for the choice of Bach’s Air on a G String .

The piece works as a counterpoint to the humor of the spot while the gentle progression of notes supports Hamlet’s branding as the ‘mild cigar’.

It’s enough to make reformed smokers think again. Well, we did.

Equally, you might remember the music from the British Airways “Face” film.

It’s from Leo Delibes and his Flower Duet in the opera Lakmé.

Few people wish commercials were any longer than they are, but we’re thinking the choice of this track changes all that.

It pairs so well with the visuals, you might want to binge and screen it more than once.

Another opportunity for great music is ahead of us on May 6th.

That’s Coronation Day.

Westminster Abbey will overflow with pageantry that will be broadcast to the world.

We’re only guessing at this point, but the music of Handel could be chosen to add even more to the pomp and splendor.

George Frideric Handel, born in Germany in 1685, lived most of his life in England and as such is looked upon as an English composer.

Handel was not only a prolific composer, his work was also admired by Beethoven and Mozart.

But what Handel piece will take pride of place on the day?

Again we’re only guessing, but it could be an anthem called Zadok the Priest.

It’s been performed at every English coronation since 1727.

Here’s a preview:

With a world audience (swelled by the popularity of productions like Downton Abbey and The Crown) there’s every chance Handel’s coronation anthem will become widely known.

So in future it might just be the thing to add a celebratory note to TV spots and videos.

Who knows, maybe it’ll be your spot that benefits from music that’s so timely and distinctive.

How to get someone who’s been dead 278 years to speak to you.

We were gobsmacked by Jonathan Swift speaking in a podcast interview yesterday.

That’s the Anglo-Irish satirist we’re talking about, the 1667-1745 Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels.

Thanks to ChatGPT he comes alive, speaking about satire, religion, politics, economics and literature.

With that he’s no less than a charmer. And you learn an amazing amount. 

Take a moment to see for yourself, here’s a link to the podcast, Conversations With Tyler.

Click on the “Jonathan GPT Swift on Jonathan Swift” episode.

The interview is conducted by Tyler Cowen, a polymath and professor at George Mason University who has hosted something like 175 deep thinkers with engaging rapid-fire questions.

Cowen’s guests range from Barak Obama, Sam Harris and Ken Burns to Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Kwame Anthony Appiah, a philosopher at NYU and Karl Ove Knausgård, a literary sensation from Norway.

We should add: with guests like Katherine Rundell, Emily Wilson, Amia Srinivasan and Lydia Davis, Tyler Cowen feels his interviews with women are among the best.

To keep you on your toes, new episodes appear every other Wednesday.

Here’s how the Jonathan Swift podcast was put together.

Tyler Cowen rapid-fires questions and the responses are printed out by ChatGPT to be read by someone who may well be an actor.

Questions and answers are then combined to create a polished interview.

The result is machine learning that starts with a moral seriousness then progresses with wit, charm and sudden outbursts of humor – Jonathan Swift comes across as sharp, resourceful, charismatic and above all, current. 

If only learning at school could have been as riveting.

Applied to advertising, agencies and their clients could benefit if the right questions were aimed at the ChatGPT personas of long-gone greats like Bill Bernbach, Howard Gossage and David Ogilvy.

That way some of the best minds in advertising could ensure we’re not dead when it comes to ideas.