Music is one of the critical elements of any political ad, because it instantly establishes the tone of the video
Aim for music that creates emotional response
You want to create political ads that trigger an emotional response from your audience. Depending on the nature of the ad the emotion you seek to trigger may vary from warm and fuzzy to motivation to shock and disgust.
Music might be the last element added to the political ad videos but it’s surely one of the most critical, because it instantly establishes the tone, before anything is even said or presented in the video.
Furthermore, this works even if the viewer does not pay much attention to the ad, left alone the music.
Choose the kind of response you want
Matthew Nicholl, chair of Berklee College of Music’s contemporary writing and production department identifies several types of background music most commonly used in political video ads.
Uplifting and inspiring
Uplifting motivational music with emotional “We can do it!” message.
Positive and happy
Warm and positive music that invokes the feeling of confidence and trust. The main message here is “You are in good hands!”
Sad or dark
Sad or uneasy music that aims to make us anxious and uncomfortable, in order to bring our attention to something that isn’t working or not good. This kind of music is typically used in what is known as “attack ads” that focus on the weaknesses of the opposing candidate.
More dark sad instrumental music
More tips for choosing political ad music
- Using a track by a popular recording artist may get your soundtrack the instant recognition but may introduce the licensing and performance royalties liability.
- Prominent artist with different political views may refuse to let you use their music altogether. For instance, Neil Young refused to allow Donald Trump to use his song Rocking in the Free World at political events.
- Consider using royalty free music, so you don’t have to worry about the performance royalties and can freely use music in broadcast, online video, or at public events.
- Get music from a reputable music licensing source that will assist you in case of any licensing dispute or with clearing the YouTube content ID copyright claims.
Listen to Playlist: Political Ad Music
You may also be interested in reading about how to start a successful political podcast.
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