The trick to getting ad music right is to pull the audience into the narrative without distracting them from the point, and one of the best ways to do this is with classical music.
What kind of commercials use classical music? Every kind! Whether an advertiser is promoting a brand new company or spreading the word an all-new instant coffee, there’s sure to be a classical piece out there to complement it. (When we say out there, what we really mean is in our production music catalogue of over 175,000 tracks – head to our Discover page to start exploring our tracks right now.
To inspire you to use a classical music track in your next ad, we’ve rounded up the best examples of classical music in advertising, including some of our own.
The Best Examples of Classical Music in Advertising
The ‘Flower Duet’ from Lakmé by Léo Delibes
We don't knowabout you, but when we think of British Airways, one classic composition instantly plays in our head – we refer, of course, to the ‘Flower Duet’. As the music plays over the 1989 ad, viewers get a bird’s eye view of people from around the globe uniting to create a striking image in the airline’s flagship colours.
Find similar music to set your ad apart in our Opera & Oratorio Classical Collection.
‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ from Peer Gynt by Edvard Greig
Many are familiar with the Alton Towers’ theme music, but not everyone knows this magical piece dates back to 1875. Peer Gynt was originally created by Norwegian Romantic-era composer Edvard Grieg for Henrik Ibsen’s eponymous play. In case you’re wondering, it’s loosely based on a fairytale of a lonely hunter who embarks on a series of adventures. We wonder if Disney will ever adapt it?
Discover music inspired by the 19th century in our Romantic Period Playlist.
‘O Fortuna’ from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Many, many years ago (in 1978), American grooming brand Old Spice added a splash of drama to its aftershave ad by putting German composer Carl Orff in the mix. The iconic music keeps the viewer in a state of anxiety as huge waves threaten to engulf an embattled surfer. Considering we still remember it today, there’s no denying this is a very effective piece of advertising.
Explore similar pieces in our Dramatic Symphonic Classical Collection.
‘Eliza’s Aria’ from Wild Swans by Elena Kats-Chernin
The Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin originally created the piece for Meryl Tankard’s ballet Wild Swans, based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, but we still find it hard to believe it wasn’t created especially for the emotional tale of the advert’s animated couple.
Check out our Opera Playlist to browse and sample beautifully opulent opera production music.
‘Overture’ from La Gazza Ladra (aka The Thieving Magpie) by Giachino Rossini
The Japanese brand teamed up with Phoenix Fireworks in an epic production that saw huge vats of colourful paint blasted into the sky around a residential tower block in Glasgow. It was set to the tune of Rossini’s wildly exuberant ‘Overture’ from his 1817 opera La Gazza Ladra. The result? An ad that looks and sounds spectacular.
Listen to a selection of songs inspired by Rossini’s epoch in our Classical Period Playlist.
Cadbury Fruit and Nut
‘Dance of the Mirlitons’ from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Cadbury ads (pre-international buy out) all had a quintessentially British sensibility, such as the one for Fruit and Nut in 1977, which used a lilting piece from Tchaikovsky’s world-renowned ballet, The Nutcracker. The music adds an element of sophistication to an ad that’s -- quite frankly -- completely bonkers, but we suppose that makes sense as it’s basically selling chocolate bars to grown-ups.
Explore our Famous Classical Works Collection to find a track that’s perfect for your project.
‘La Follia’ from Sonata No 12 in D Minor by Antonio Vivaldi
Car ads are often paired with classic compositions, as the juxtaposition of the soundtrack and the revolutionary technology emphasises the new model’s innovation. In 2018, Jaguar used Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘La Follia’ to advertise their new Jaguar E-Pace; the frenetic piece underlines the compact SUV’s ability to navigate the urban environment in style.
Listen to a selection of similar tracks in our Grand & Majestic Classical Collection.
‘Largo’ from The New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák
Czech composer Antonín Dvořák composed The New World Symphony in 1893, when he was director of the National Conservatory of Music of America. It worked just as well across the pond when British bread brand Hovis used it to evoke a homely, and very traditional, British atmosphere in their 1973 ad.
Browse our selection of Late Romantic Production music if you’re interested in similar music for your next project.
‘Barcarolle’ from The Tales of Hoffman by Jacques Offenbach
There’s something super sophisticated about a classic operatic piece, which is why ‘Barcarolle’ (or Belle Nuit) was used by Baileys, an upmarket alcohol brand aimed at women. The piece is taken from the German-French composer’s final opera, The Tales of Hoffman and is extremely effective at creating an aspirational mood.
Dive into our Inspiring Classical Collection for reflective and rousing classical pieces.
‘Overture’ from The Force Of Destiny by Giuseppe Verdi
Over the years Stella Artois have created lots of memorable ads, and some of the most famous ones in Britain have been soundtracked by Verdi’s pastoral ‘Overture’, from his 1862 opera The Force of Destiny. The soundtrack harmonises well with the ad’s rural setting, and suggests – not incorrectly – that good beer is capable of bringing strangers together.
Journey through our Pastoral Playlist to hear our selection of similar songs.
‘Overture’ from William Tell by Gioachino Rossini
In 2009, Japanese car manufacturer Honda effectively turned a quarter-mile strip of road in California into a record, making a series of incisions on its surface which played Rossini’s famous overture as the car drove over it. One of the most memorable advertising stunts, even today, people still visit Honda’s musical road to test drive the tune for themselves.
Have a listen to our Panoramic Playlist for similar compositions from industry-leading composers.
‘Playful Pizzicato’ from Simple Symphony, Op 4 by Benjamin Britten
In 1985, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) released an unforgettable ad. Directed by Gerry Anderson, it stars stop-motion stick figures who move to the pulse of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Playful Pizzicato’. The orchestral piece is consistently bright and sprightly, and works well to promote a bank that prides itself – at least at the time – on its approachability.
Discover compositions like ‘Playful Pizzicato’ in our String Quartet playlist.
Audio Network Classical Music in Ads
‘Goblin Kingdom’ by Chris Egan
For their 2017 Christmas ad, Italian luxury brand Bulgari – best known for its jewellery and watches – used a high-quality track from our ever-expanding catalogue. The mystical, classic composition brings the brand’s concept of a ‘wish factory’ to life, with Chris Egan’s spirited soundtrack of jingly bells, spirited woodwind and majestic brass.
Head over to our Magical/Mystical playlist to discover similar tracks.
As mentioned above, car manufacturers often opt for classical music in TV commercials. In 2018, Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo used a piece from our classical collection to promote the high-tech brand’s first SUV. We may be slightly biased, but we think it works perfectly.
Are you a fan of string-led compositions? If the answer is yes, head over to our Chamber Music Classical Collection now. As in, right now.
In 2019, French E-sports brand Team Vitality teamed up with Audio Network artist Brawks to explore the relationship between passion and movement. The fast-paced composition in the ad – taken from our catalogue of production music tracks – helps Team Vitality highlight the connection between E-sports and dance – not necessarily an easy feat!
Discover some of our favourite sports-related tracks in our Sports Production Genre Playlist.
Music for Your TV Commercial
If you’re in the process of putting together your own television ad, we’d like to draw your attention to our catalogue of production music compositions.
Here at Audio Network, we have music of every genre to suit the needs of creatives worldwide – including electronic music, indie music, pop music and hip hop music. To find the right track for you, visit our Discover page, find your playlist or collection of choice and sample the tracks – there are 175,000+, so you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy.
Discover our Ultimate Classical Playlist
Need Music for Your Project?
At Audio Network we create original music, of the highest quality, for broadcasters, brands, creators, agencies and music fans everywhere. Through clear and simple licensing, we can offer you a huge variety of the best quality music across every conceivable mood and genre. Find out how we can connect you with the perfect collaborator today by clicking the button below!