The Top 5 Lyrical Themes That Pretty Much Any Ad, TV Show, or Film Needs (and will pay you for!)
May 21, 2019
So, I want to let you in on a little secret...
Songs with certain lyrical themes are requested constantly by music supervisors in the film, tv, and ad world.
Remember a couple weeks ago we talked about how possible it is to make good money getting songs licensed into film and ads? If that’s something you’re interested in then you’d better know what types of songs and sounds are in demand.
Today we are going to address lyrical themes that are often sought after. Now we are going to just address 5 of them, but there are many others you’ll come across. But this should at least really get your wheels turning.
What does cereal, real estate, airline companies, coffee, and satellite tv commercials have in common? They’ve all used the “home" lyric theme many times in their ads.
Why? Because it works! Everyone can relate to the warm feeling of coming home after a long trip, or the familiarity of things about “home” that you love.
Think of the Phillip Phillip’s song “Home”. It was used in countless commercials, and even for the Olympics a few years ago. And to this day it’s one of the most recognizable songs with that awesome lyric “I’m gonna make this place my home”.
We are living through an amazing moment of history where women’s voices are being heard more and more. Laws are being passed protecting women’s rights. Female superheroes are on the rise, and misogyny is being exposed for what it is.
And not surprisingly, many ads are echo’ing this message in how they advertise. Companies all over the world, but especially in the US right now, are looking for songs to empower women to speak up and change the world.
There is strong need for songs of confidence, determination, grit, strength, hope and determination, specifically sung by women, to fill this need!
Also referred to as “platonic love” is in constant demand. I’m not talking about songs that literally use the word “togetherness”, but rather talk about coming together, friendship, teamwork, synergy, circle of influence, pals, buds, etc.
Think about how well a song about friendship would work during a dog food commercial. Lyrics like “my buddy”, “can’t wait to hang out with you”, “i’m better when I’m with you”, and “we just click” are examples of this.
Believe it or not, great songs along this topic are actually difficult to find. Because 99% of the music out there are about romantic love or loss.
Do I have your wheels turning yet? 😉
This is such a great lyrical theme for all kinds of film and ads. This works well for topics of struggle, powering through, getting back on your feet, almost there, etc.
Think how well this works for advertisements toward an upcoming football playoff game. Think how well it works for someone trying to get through college while supporting two kids. Think about how well this works for a new political ad about ending a corrupt administration.
Rise up is always being looked for. It’s beauty from pain. It’s healing from hurt. It’s light from darkness. This topic can bring healing to the world in one 15 second commercial at a time.
Many people are surprised by this one. The topic of color seems almost silly at first glance. What on earth would you talk about when writing toward this theme?
First, let’s remind ourselves how many times products go through a campaign featuring a new line of <insert product> that comes in an assortment of colors. This happens all the times, whether it’s new cell phones, furniture, cars, jackets, jewelry, etc.
Songs about “variety" or "the colors of the rainbow” are in the same vein. Often times “color” songs are used to express a variety of features, or inclusivity in a company or organization. It can translate as equality and acceptance in a beautiful way.
Over at Catch the Moon music we are constantly pushing our artists to write music that fits in an assortment of themes, including these big 5.
Going forward, I challenge you to make a playlist of songs for each of these themes. I’m willing to bet you have bunch already in your music library that you listen to.
Which ones come to mind for you? Write it down in the comments below. I’d love to know your thoughts. :)
Catch the Moon Music
"Hey, I am doing a 5 Day Workshop, later this summer, to show you the secrets I’ve learned to how to make a living doing music full time… oh and did I mention it’s FREE?!"
We’ll talk about how to pitch your songs, what kinds of songs music supervisors are looking for and what steps to take this year to get your songs licensed.
After you complete the 5 Day Workshop you will have an in depth understanding of how the licensing process works, which category your music fits into (ads, TV, film, trailers, promo, etc), and new strategies to help you rework your songwriting process and write amazing songs that are licensable.