Big Ideas: Finding the Right Sound

Publicis New York Music Producer Theresa Notartomaso talks about finding the right music for an ad

As a music producer, what kind of projects do you work on?
I lead all things music for the agency, whether it’s licensing music, negotiating music rights or original music production. I oversee it all.

Where does music fit into the creative process?
On certain clients we have the luxury of bringing music in on pre-production, composing original music demos during testing phases, or working on music searches early on, before anyone even leaves on the shoot. I love getting involved as early as possible. On the other hand, we don’t always have that luxury. There are some times when the producer and the team get in on the edit, and they didn’t even think they were going to need any music, and suddenly we need something here and we’re showing the client today at 3:00! Then we need to do a music search and you have to think about what the creative needs and formulate the best brief to get the team the best music as soon as possible. So it varies from project to project.

What kind of power can music have in an ad?
Music can help the pacing of the spot and make an emotional spot hit that point in all of us—make us feel happy, make us feel sad. Sometimes we have a piece of music that’s driving the story—it’s basically storytelling. That’s really important. Not every spot is this very powerful, driving spot and sometimes you need a piece of music to elevate it.

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