Advertisement Feature: More than classical

Publisher Boosey & Hawkes has built a reputation in classical, but its ad offering is much broader.

In an overcrowded consultancy market, the last place you would expect to find an all-encompassing solution for your musical needs is with a classical music publisher surely?

Well, what if that classical publisher had, over the past few years not only managed to establish itself as a major player in the synchronisation world, but also as one of the UK's largest and most prolific providers of independent music available for advertising?

What if that same music publisher was behind the music to some of the most memorable ad campaigns of the past couple of years, not just in the UK but worldwide? Would that make you think twice?

Those in the know will be familiar with Boosey & Hawkes' extensively varied catalogues, but it may surprise those of you unacquainted with the consultancy team to hear that their offerings cover everything from up-and-coming underground indie artists, such as the critically acclaimed Merz, to musical maestros such as Stravinsky and everyone in between. From the jazz legend Charles Mingus to the Zero 7 vocalist Sia and many more besides.

With a catalogue that today rivals the biggest of its competitors - not just in quantity but, importantly, in terms of quality - the Boosey & Hawkes team still sets about acquiring rights to represent artists and composers considered to be the best in the independent market and ones which are able to sit proudly next to the publisher's core catalogue of classical music.

With every deal that's done, one crucial factor remains front of mind. That is, the need to accommodate the client.

The carefully calculated acquisition of catalogues from major players such as EMI Classics and Absolute to underground indie labels such as Erased Tapes or Crunchy Frog, have all been undertaken with the sole purpose of offering as wide a collection of musical genres as possible.

However, this desire to be as flexible as possible extends far beyond the variety of musical offerings on hand. Perhaps even more important is the breadth of services available to clients. This is something upon which Boosey has built its exemplary reputation in adland and includes such things as free searches, one-stop-shop clearances, musical expertise, 48-hour turnaround on approvals and so on.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, this ethos of "experience beyond expectation" has in the past year or so, led the team to extend its services beyond those usually associated with music publishing.

The bespoke service that Boosey offers has seen its roster of more than ten dedicated media composers successfully create music for brands such as Johnnie Walker, Audi, Nokia and McCain's, among others, and the team has gone from strength to strength.

Kate Mahoney, the senior producer at Beattie McGuinness Bungay, and a regular beneficiary of this bespoke service, says: "Their determination in producing the perfect track is always admirable. In the case of Pretty Polly, the resulting operatic score was impressive and synonymous with the quality of work that comes from BMB."

The past 12 months has also seen the team increase in numbers from three to five. Having two dedicated advertising consultants ensures no stone is left unturned when it comes to seeking new business opportunities.

This constant search for untapped potential has led Boosey to concentrate on areas of the industry often overlooked by many of its competitors.

The digital ad agency AKQA has been one of many to use Boosey's expertise in viral campaigns. "Boosey is always one of the first places I call when we need a track. AKQA has had the opportunity to work with some fantastic fresh new bands of theirs and they can cut their cloth to most budgets, which is helpful," Emily Bull, the producer at AKQA, says. "Bands such as My Luminaries paired with brands such as Nike have been a great success."

While most consultancies have a tendency to focus on the bigger London-based ad agencies, Boosey's concerted outreach to regional shops has proved just as fruitful. The successful placement of a track in the latest Lucozade campaign by Ogilvy Dublin is just one recent example.

Perhaps most controversial is Boosey's decision to extend its offering into third-party consultancy - an unprecedented move for any publisher, let alone one with such enormous catalogues of its own. "At the end of the day, our top priority is helping clients find the perfect track for their campaign," Natasha Baldwin, the head of the department, says. "If that track happens to be one that we control, fabulous; but, if not, our experience as music publishers puts us in a perfect position to both source the right music and also use our expertise to negotiate the best possible deal for them."

It would seem, then, that in the search for the perfect music solution, Boosey will stop at nothing to ensure client satisfaction. But don't just take our word for it, get in touch with the team and see just how easy music consultancy can be.

- For more information, visit www.boosey.com/consultancy


Chosen by Natasha Baldwin, head of consultancy, Boosey & Hawkes

- Lloyds TSB featuring music by Elena Kats-Chernin

"Although this sync was actually done in 2007, it has continued to increase in popularity in 2008, earning us a "Sync of the Year" nomination at the Music Week Awards. We have developed an excellent relationship with Lloyds, allowing us to explore new ways of heightening awareness of the music and its association with the bank. This is the embodiment of a brand intelligently adopting a piece of music as its sonic logo."

- E.ON featuring music by Broadcast 2000

"This is a great example of our ability to source the very best upcoming artists. Virtually unknown before this sync, Broadcast 2000 have since signed a record deal, toured Europe and have received critical acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Q and The Independent. Proof then, that advertising still has a part to play in artist development."

- Pretty Polly featuring music by Tom Hodge

"Tom is an incredibly talented composer who has worked on numerous bespoke briefs with us; I particularly like his work on this ad, though. Bespoke music can often sound too fabricated, too sterile. What's brilliant about Tom's work is that he is able to create music that can exist in its own right. It's great music, not great bespoke music. That's the difference."

- Carling featuring music by Christopher Rouse

"This is the first of three Carling ads that we ended up working on but remains my favourite.

"Classical music wasn't initially the route the client had thought of going down but when we saw the visuals, we knew straight away that this epic piece would fit perfectly. Luckily, the client agreed.It's one of my favourite parts of the job, changing people's perceptions of classical music."