Politics is a very tricky subject these days. You can lose long-term friendships just by trying to have a discussion about a political figure, candidate or reform. Regardless of where you personally stand in the political arena, political ads will still be created -- many of them surrounded by controversy.
If you are in the advertising industry, you may be contracted to create a television, film or internet political ad for an election in 2018. This may be for a candidate you trust, one you do not side with or one you know nothing about. Part of your job is to present their message in the way it is intended. To convey the right emotion, or lack thereof, to their audience, it’s paramount that you choose the right music for a political ad.
How would you go about choosing political ad music for your client’s promo or commercial? Is it an attack ad, or one with a particularly positive spin? It’s important that you are well aware of the intended message and audience before choosing music for a political ad.
Here, we present some very important information that can help guide any production company in the right direction when it comes to choosing political ad music.
Music In Political Ads
There are many type of political ads, and knowing which type of ad you are producing will help guide you toward the right music. Here are 6 types of commonly used political ad types:
This type of political ad is defined by its name. It aims to tell the audience more about the candidate while also promoting name recognition. These type of political ads need to have the right type of music attached to them so the viewer is associating music they enjoy with a candidate they trust. Be careful not to choose music that is obnoxious, or even signifies distrust - yes, this may sound strange, but imagine pairing spy music to a candidate video. It would be very difficult to allow the audience to get to know the candidate in a positive way if they think they are associated with secretive behavior. You’ll also want to avoid scary music for these types of ads. It’s tough to gain confidence in a candidate that you are frightened of.
Therefore, when choosing political ad music for a biography or name ID campaign, be sure to carefully select any track you add to the promo. It should instill trust and confidence in the candidate you are promoting.
Sometimes as a political campaign heats up, it becomes necessary to compare the candidate you are promoting with their opponent. Choosing the right background music for political ads is key in this situation. In fact, it’s likely that you will utilize two different types of political ad music - one that focuses on the positives of the candidate you are promoting, and then one that may paint the opponent in a negative light.
This juxtaposition of music will create the right type of comparison ad that promotes your favored candidate, while also making it clear that their opponent is not the right choice.
Obviously, the issues are a big part of any political campaign. Where does the candidate stand on taxes, the environment and immigration? These hot topic issues will need to be made clear in any political video. Sometimes issue-based political ads will also spill over into a comparison ad. This way you can show that your candidate stands firmly in one lane when it comes to issues, while their opponent is on the opposite side, or maybe even heavily wavering on the issues.
Choosing the right candidate ad music is incredibly important when it comes to making sense of the issues in play. If you choose the wrong music, such as cartoon music, you’ll present the issues as something the candidate is not serious about. Instead, take a peek at our political ad music -- we think you’ll find some pretty successful options in this music montage.
It’s important that all political candidates create positive ads for their campaign. While it’s important to show why one candidate outshines the other, this does not always have to be achieved by making the other candidate look bad.
Be sure to keep the political ad music in a positive campaign video nice and light. Make sure the candidate is perceived as a advocate for the issues they stand for and making their country a better place.
Usually toward the end of a campaign if the polls are particularly close, one or both candidates will produce an attack, or negative, political ad. More than likely, there will be two types of political ad music used in this type of promo. First is the political attack ad music -- this will be on the darker side, and will highlight how negative the opponent’s views are. Then there will be some uplifting political ad music -- focused on showing how well-versed and positive the favored candidates views are.
Get Out and Vote!
Finally, there is the “Get out and Vote!” video. This type of political ad tends to not really focus on one candidate’s views, or comparing them to their opponent. They shy away from negative or positive points related to their campaign.
Typically, “Get out and Vote!” political ads show one of the candidates expressing to the audience that no matter who they are voting for, it is important to get out and vote. These types of ads must have very uplifting and inspiring music, as they are simply meant to urge the audience to get out and exercise their right to vote.
The perfect type of music for this type of ad would be patriotic music. This type of music will inspire people to get out and vote as they are proud of their country.
Background Music In Political Advertising
Now that you are familiar with the different types of political advertisements, it’s important to select the correct background music. Background music in political advertising will be key to getting the right message across to your audience.
Choices range from extremely positive to extremely negative and will span a wide range of emotions that you want your audience to feel. If ever in doubt, inspirational music will often fit the bill.
This choice will be heavily dependent on what the candidate wants to convey. You will find that the type of background music you choose can drastically alter the message you are trying to convey to your audience. Make sure you take careful steps to choose the right background music. In the next section, we explore some great tips to help make this choice easier.
How To Choose Background Music For Political Ad Videos
Choosing the right background music for a political ad video is a tricky thing to do. If you make the wrong decision, it can completely change the overall message of the video.
Be sure to identify the type of political ad you are creating first. Then go ahead and start production. You can begin looking for music licensing while you are filming, but you will find that the best background music choices are made when you can fully see what type of footage you are working with.
For example, a positive political ad will require light-hearted background music. Our reflections music collection may present some great ideas for positive political ad music inclusion. And for a “Get out and Vote!” video promo, our triumph collection may work well. This will inspire the audience to feel triumphant in their choice and how they will play a part in leading their chosen candidate to victory.
How Music Persuades In Political Ads
One of the top priorities of any political ad is to persuade the audience in one direction or the other. While the wording of the voice over or the actual speech given by the candidate are important, if the political ad background music is off-base, it can change the entire message.
As previously mentioned, it is important to be clear on the type of ad you are creating for your political candidate before choosing the right music for it.
For example, if you are trying to persuade your audience to back a candidate who has a strong military background, these tracks of military music may be exactly what you need for your political ad music choice.
And if you are trying to persuade your audience to get to know a particular candidate, some serious documentary music may help make your point clear.
Whatever may be your end goal for your campaign ad, it’s important that you choose the right political ad music so you can strengthen the power of your persuasion.
How Emotional Appeal In Political Ads Work
Have you ever seen a political ad that pulls at your heartstrings? Angers you to your core? Fills you with hope? And after you saw it, how many people did you share your experience with?
More than likely the answer to these questions are Yes, Yes, Yes and Tons. The emotional appeal in political ads can easily work in your candidate’s favor if you play your cards right.
For example, if your candidate wants to show they are strongly in favor of pro-life policies, sharing the narrative of a happy, large and strong family, with lots of kids in it will likely fall in their favor. On the flip side, if they are strongly pro-choice, sharing the story of a young girl who survived a sexual assault and utilized Planned Parenthood to exercise her right to choose will show a great deal of emotion for the audience.
In either situation, it is important to use the correct political ad music to make sure the emotional appeal is correct. You do not want to present a sad story with EDM after-party music in the background. This will certainly change your message.
The Hidden Language Of Political Ads
Political ads tend to speak in a hidden language. The narrative may feel like it is progressing in one way, and then the end message is meant to be something completely different.
Think of a time when you may have seen a political ad that leans heavy on a story about the military. Maybe there is a former soldier telling the saga of their time overseas. They may be explaining all of the events that occurred around them, many of them tragic. Maybe you are starting to think that with all this sadness, this must be a candidate that is anti-war. However, at the very end of the ad, the veteran explains that he is incredibly happy to have served his country despite any hardships that have come along with it. In truth, the candidate he is supporting is pro-war. This was the end message.
It’s easy to lead the audience in various directions before getting to the main point if you have the right background music for political ads. In the previously described ad, using dramatic music in the beginning of the ad, and then triumphant music in the end can easily help support the intended narrative. Make sure your hidden message reaches the intended audience. Sometimes a hidden message can be so hidden that it gets lost. Make sure you use the right political ad music to support it.
Best Political Music Licensing
To find the best political music licensing, you’ll need the best music licensing company by your side. Here at TunEdge, we offer a comprehensive music licensing library with more than 150 music genres in it. This will allow you to persuade and evoke emotion with your political ad using the very best political music licensing you can, while helping you avoid the pitfalls of free political ad music.