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Steven Verrips

Christmas Playlists For Advertising

It’s thát time of  year again, the holiday season is upon us and there’s no better moment than right now to start thinking about your Christmas campaigns and how to reach your audience in the most wonderful time of the year.

Music is one of the most effective ways to instantly put your audience in that Christmassy mood, which is why we offer a great selection of tracks for that very purpose – from Christmas classics in various genres (rock ‘n roll, neoclassical, smooth jazz) to contemporary, original tracks that have that feeling of joy, friendship, and family that we all love.

So whether you’re looking for a cozy retro-cool, fun spirited, emotional, epic or even rebellious X-mas; we’ve got you covered. Check out the playlists below to get the full scope of our Christmas-themed tracks and if you’re interested in licensing any of these, send a message to jarl@clearmusic.nl

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Sonic Branding according to Clear Music

Hearing Is Believing.

Mattijs van Andel and Jarl Hector got talking at a Sony listening session in 2016. That same evening they attended Amsterdam Dance Event together. Yet the fact that their skillsets were a match made in entrepreneurial heaven became apparent to them much later. Jarl is a musician and creative producer and Mattijs a business and legal advisor for the TV, film and music.

‘But the fun thing about this industry is, you don’t focus on selling as much as on building relationships on a shared passion.’ When Mattijs took to freelancing something started brewing. After Jarls sabbatical in Asia the guys reconnected. Slowly but surely a name, a brand and a mission came into existence. Clear Music was born.

How did you land on the name?

 

J: Clear Music means synergy between my creative and Mattijs’ legal experience. You’ll find plenty of people making good music in a studio, but many lack the required knowledge on copyright to know how to serve the international market. The year I sat atop that mountain in India, I experienced some sincere clarity of mind. The sound and message of the work we create for brands, I realised, need to be crystal clear.

M: The name also refers to music clearance. Besides inspired song selection, we ensure all creators and contributors have given permission for usage of their music. We offer the full business and creativity package. We make sure a piece of music really works and resonates with its audience. We provide brands with street credibility by working with artists, instead of utilising some track from a database. Finally, we make sure our client applies their sonic brand strategically and in such a way that it reaches their audience.

Do you work for both national or international clients?

 

M: We have partners and clients all over the world, not just in the Netherlands. Currently we are working with a game publisher from Poland. Many campaigns we create are geared towards a global audience. Jarl is half Swedish, so we also have some contacts there.

J: Borders fade. It doesn’t really matter to us where clients or creatives are based. When we do remote work with international musicians or producers we sit in with them over Zoom.

You became co-founders during the pandemic. How did that affect securing new clients?

M: During that time, we primarily secured new assignments through our existing network.

J: I know many people from backstage, back in my gigging days. If you’ve known someone for fifteen years, you trust them.

M: It’s nice to meet new people at events now. The randomness of connection-building is back.

J: Our cinema and tv campaign for Amazon Smile just premiered. We got that assignment through our office building neighbours, Blacklist Creative. They are Amazon’s creative agency. During a communal lunch we asked ‘hey, what are you guys up to?’ The rest is history.

Sonic branding means making brands audible. Why is that important?

 

J: Upcoming generations are far more likely to buy products from brands with a clear audio identity. And people are 96 % more likely to remember a brand if it has been paired with music. That is, if said music suits the logo. It’s our vision to build a brand a universe of sound. To reach and touch people’s hearts through their ears. It’s a misconception to think sonic branding is about nothing more than audio logo’s. The full picture has to make audible sense.

What is an audio logo?

 

M: It’s the melody you’ll hear play in your head when encountering a brand.

J: Sonic branding is as old as humanity itself. Every country has its national anthem and you recognise a religion by how it sounds. If, as a brand, you have not yet understood the value of a distinctive musical identity, you are lagging behind the Romans. When image and sound collide, magic happens. Try imagining Star Wars without its iconic opening score. It would just be some letters rolling across a screen. Neuroscientific research also shows; we’ll believe it when we’ve heard it. If back in the day we saw a rabbit on the savanna, but we would hear a lion’s roar, we would go by ear and make a run for it. More and more brands are catching on and understand the importance of audio. What tv meant to our parents and meant YouTube to us, is TikTok to the new generation. When such audio-first platforms get the upper hand, how will you uniquely define yourself without a decent audio brand? And how will you make sure people will interact with your audio logo?

“If, as a brand, you have not yet understood the value of a distinctive musical identity, you are lagging behind the Romans.”

What recent Clear Music work exemplifies your vision?

 

M: Unravel named our campaign for Alzheimer Nederland the Best Christmas Commercial. It also made the top three of the BUMA Music in Motion Awards.

J: In the commercial you hear MEAU do a beautiful cover of Willeke Alberti’s Samen Zijn (‘Being Together’).

M: Thanks to years of experience, we now always make sure to present our client with multiple creative routes, just in case it proves impossible to execute their original plan. Back when we presented MEAU to our client, she had not yet appeared in the Top 40. But we maintain close connections with artist managers and record labels. That is a nice extra for our clients; the fact that we have our feelers out in the field of music. That’s how we knew MEAU was going to make it big.

J: Samen Zijn is a classic and speaks to an older demographic, but by having up-and-coming MEAU cover the song it got a modern update. The original could have never generated such media impact. Research from the neuromarketing agency, Unravel, showed that our commercial made a bigger emotional impression on people than those of supermarkets Jumbo and Albert Heijn. That is how we won the award.

What is your favourite type of work to create?

 

J: I really enjoy working with brands who have taken a lot of time to figure out who they really are and what they stand for. People do not always know what to expect from a sonic branding project. But once they’ve realised ‘oh, we’ll be translating our brand values, this is going to be fun’, you start seeing that sparkle in their eyes.

M: We deliver creativity that works. We’re in the know and we keep up with things, like; which works will go out of copyright. The Banana Song has been in the public domain for over three years in the States.

J: Exactly. It’s just a matter of time before some banana brand seizes the opportunity. You could build such a great campaign around this. Wonder who’s going to get it?

M: It’s definitely some low-hanging fruit for Chiquita.

 

For the original version of this interview in Dutch as published in Porsche – Discovered, click here.

Gamescom ’22 Recap

Our impressions and highlights

Gamescom ‘22 is behind us and it was a blast! It was great to finally meet up with people in person after a long time of talking to everyone from the industry via computer screens. Between the rooftop parties and hotel-lobby meetings, our week consisted mostly of scheduled meetings at the conference. But we also took plenty of time to browse all the booths in the business area, connect with publishers and developers and (of course) play some games!

No better time to rewind and share a few of our  impressions and highlights of the conference as first-timers. We loved seeing the reveals on Opening Night Live and Future Games Show. Geoff Keighley in his natural element is always a sight to behold, and with highly anticipated trailers for existing IP’s, and enticing reveal trailers for new franchises, Opening Night Live really had something for everyone.

Phantom Hellcat

 

We’re massively biased, but one of our personal highlights was seeing the reveal of the project that we had been working on for several months. Phantom Hellcat, from IronBird Creations, internal development studio at All In! Games was featured in both Opening Night Live and Future Games Show with two trailers featuring our track ‘Burn’ by 2WEI. It was great to see the positive reaction to the piece, the reveal ended up in a lot of ‘Highlights of GamesCom ‘22’ lists, so to see that audience response was a real thrill. And to finally meet the good people of the studios that are bringing the game to life was the cherry on top!

 

Everywhere

 

Opening Night Live started off strong with a new title called Everywhere, the first project from Build A Rocket Boy. The new studio, headed by Leslie Benzies (ex-Rockstar North), has been working on the title since 2016. The game’s director hinted that the game mixes a variety of different genres. The music in the trailer echoes that, with dreamy, female vocals, epic percussion and a mix of orchestral and synthesized sounds, building to that explosive montage ending-sequence.
Lies of P

 

Lies of P showed off Gameplay for the first time at ONL, the highly anticipated action RPG from industry-leading innovator Neowiz is a Souls-like RPG, set in a dystopian, steampunk future world, with a story based on the tale of Pinocchio. The music is fast and bombastic, with strings, choral vocals, bringing that feeling of doom that you would expect to hear when facing an unbeatable enemy in a Souls-game.

 

Dead Island 2

 

Fans have been calling for this one for a long time; gameplay of Dead Island 2 was finally revealed, 8 years after it’s announcement in 2014. The CGI trailer showcased the glorious sun and blood-drenched setting, a hellish, yet stylish version of Los Angeles, nicknamed HELL-A. The dark humor and over-the-top visuals of the piece were accompanied by the 2016 SWMRS track ‘Drive North’, one of the most interesting syncs of ONL. The fast-paced, post-punk track brilliantly captures the chaotic vibe of the trailer..

Gamescom is not the oldest gaming conference in the world, but it certainly has become one of the biggest and most prestigious. With 265.000 visitors that attended this year’s edition, and over 1.000 exhibitors, the conference has become one of the most important networking events for any company that is involved in a service that relates to video games somehow – whether it’s a creative agency or music company. It was Clear Music’s first time at the Koelnmesse, but certainly not the last, as we’ll definitely be back next year. In cosplay!

Lemon Wax

Clear Music Amsterdam partners up with Lemon Wax for Mutual Sync Representation

We’re very excited to announce that we’re partnering up with Lemon Wax for a mutual sync representation deal. When we met the Lemon Wax team in our Amsterdam office earlier this summer, we instantly fell in love with their diverse catalog of enticing tracks. Lemon Wax is one of the finest new record labels from Londen, their catalog is bursting with musical gems in lots of different styles, often brilliantly mixing electronic and acoustic elements, crossing the boundaries of genre-expectation.

The production quality of their catalog is of the highest order. All of the artists on the Lemon Wax roster are young and full of attitude, mostly UK-based and have been gathering an impressive amount of streams and listens in a short period of time. C.U.T., for example, has a staggering 1,5 million streams on Spotify.

From the dark, electronic pop of Butter to the upbeat, contemporary, swaggery tracks by C.U.T, the thumping dance music from Hush with clean cut sound design, to the hip hop- and soul influenced tracks by Hackney Blaze. These are tracks that are just as well suited for the dancefloor as for sync.

We are very excited to be working alongside Clear Music! We are always looking to collaborate with like minded individuals and organisations that share our goals and visions so this was always going to be a perfect fit. We can't wait to get the music of Lemon Wax out there and start working on some fresh and exciting work alongside one another

Amelia CaseLemon Wax - Creative Licensing Manager

Clear Music vows to deliver the best music for our clients, to help them move their marketing effort from content to culture. Our partnership with Lemon Wax will help us deliver on that promise. In our vision, the more original works of music are, the better the chances they have of connecting with the message of moving image and therefore resonate with an audience. The unapologetic uniqueness of the Lemon Wax artists makes us excited to move forward together!

Jarl HectorClear Music Amsterdam - ECD / Co-Founder