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Music Orange and Dove Make Beautiful Music Together

San Francisco Music Studio Creates Signature Sound for Women’s Product Line (March 08, 2006)

Music Orange recently produced original music for four spots out of Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, that promote Dove’s new Ultimate Clear Deodorant. The spots feature real women who “dare” to turn their shirts inside out to prove that the product leaves no residue on their clothes. The music accompanying this off-camera strip tease has a lively, staccato rhythm and a lyrical style reminiscent of Argentine tango.

To those who follow Dove advertising, the music might sound familiar. Music Orange has produced music for a number of Dove products dating back to 2004, all employing the same distinctive sound. “It is becoming a signature sound for Dove,” said Music Orange executive producer Blaise Smith. “The music for each spot is different but the style and elements are consistent, especially the string arrangements. It’s becoming a part of the product’s brand.”

It didn’t start out that way. Music Orange’s first assignment for Dove came on the 2004 spot Rosebud. The spot shows a pair of white roses being dipped into beakers of shampoo, one Dove, the other a competing product. In that instance, the brisk string play in Music Orange’s track helped bring the demonstration to life and the spot went on to win an AICP Award.

“When the agency came back to us with another project, they referenced that track,” said Music Orange composer Michael Lande. “So we created a new track with the same feel and it worked very well. The music has an aspirational, upbeat quality that fits the product very well, and compliments the direction of Ogilvy’s campaign.”

Although Music Orange creates music in an incredible range of styles from hip hop to roots and from orchestral works to free form jazz, the tango like sound that the company created for Dove was such a good fit that the agency kept asking for more. Music Orange scored several more spots for Dove in 2004 and 2005. Among them was an animated spot featuring cartoon icons Wilma Flintstone, Jane Jetson and Thelma from Scooby Doo.

“The style of the music leaves room for a lot of variation and so it is easy for us to create tracks that are new and fit the concepts of the individual commercials while retaining the feel of the original,” said Lande.

For the current spots, the agency’s creative team initially asked Music Orange to go in a different direction with the music. “They couldn’t picture that sound working on the new spots,” said Lande. “The earlier spots all had a serious, sexy  tone, but the new spots were humorous. Still, I felt that we could do it in a way that retained the Dove sound, but added to the humor. We did one like that and they immediately said, ‘this is the one.’”

Part of the music’s appeal is that it has an enigmatic quality. The style is hard to pin down. Although “tango” has often been used to describe the style, the term doesn’t quite fit. The tracks have a modern edge and an eclecticism that sounds like it was borrowed from contemporary classical music.

Considering the music’s origin, that should come as no surprise. “We developed the sound when we were working on a project for the Kronos Quartet,” recalled Smith, referring to the avant garde string quartet. “We did a piece with them for a PBS show called Spark. One of the pieces we wrote was similar to the Dove work. It had very percussive strings. That inspired Rosebud.”

Music Orange is located at 1 Icehouse, San Francisco, California 94111. For more information, call (415) 398-6264 or visit


Client:                           Dove

Titles:                           Dare, Inside Out, Kelly, Sara

Agency:                        Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago. Dave Metcalf, creative director/copywriter; Chris Turner, creative director/art director; Adele Testore, producer.

Editorial:                       Optimus Chicago. Deb Schimmel, editor.

Music:                          Music Orange, San Francisco. Michael Lande, composer; Blaise Smith, producer.

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Related Keywords:San Francisco Music Studio, Music Orange , Dove ,Make Beautiful Music Together, Ogilvy & Mather

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