Commissioning a Symphony

This news is a bit old at this point, but I just learned about it, and it might still merit mention. While companies such as Symantec are experimenting with the idea of adverbands, another company — Nike — is foregoing promoting fake bands in order to commission original music from already active musicians.

Last fall, Nike commissioned a 45-minute workout mix from LCD Soundsystem. Earlier in the year, Nike had commissioned a mix from the Crystal Method.

Both commissions were less advertisements as such but marketing tools to encourage people to use Nike’s Nike+ system, which helps people track workouts using their iPods.

This effort also differs from the formerly popular practice of commissioning company theme songs or using pop songs in TV adverts. But does the resulting music stack up? Reviews seem to indicate so.

Were you to commission music for your customers, what would you aim to accomplish?