The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Nobody Whistles?Why do advertisers sell it? Saturation Plugins
Old 4th March 2014
  #1
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

Nobody Whistles?Why do advertisers sell it?

Every time I hear a commercial with someone whistling a tune
I think what are the ad agency's thinking?
Is it appealing to our happy side by the high vibration of the whistle?
I never hear any one whistle ever,but happens often on TV.Could be a synth at times too.
A sales pitch of some sort?
Old 5th March 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

I was just talking about this the other day with my brother and how infuriating it is.
Old 5th March 2014
  #3
Gear Head
 
soundconsort's Avatar
 

Maybe because high-pitched tunes stick in the subconscious easier and can get more people to pay attention to the screen (which makes it more likely they'll notice the product). I agree though, it's pretty annoying.
Old 5th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Sam Watson's Avatar
I whistle! haha But I'm a musician. And I've known two fellows who were genuinely gifted tuneful whistlers. One is a grip/electrician who is always whistling away on sets. I've always wanted a reason to hire him for a spot because he is really good. But you are correct that it is a rare thing in the world at large. I think it taps into the deep recesses of our brains that connect to years of Mickey Mouse cartoons and such with cheery whistling.

I suspect they like the tunefulness and "human organicness" or some such agency-speak but that it is wordless and thus does not fight with their brilliantly written copy.

Cuing up "Patience" by G&R,
Sam
Old 5th March 2014
  #5
007
Lives for gear
 
007's Avatar
 

Whistling, ukelele, banjo...

Any or all of the above paired with a glockenspiel and I'm ready to sound off.
Also, the 'twee' female semi-raspy vocals sounding like little girls, please shut the fvck up.
Next, the hipster chants a la Arcade Fire, just 'aaah-oohs' over floor tom driven beats, zzzzz...
Oh wait, then there's the ubiquitous 8th note piano riffs that start off just about 50% of most commercials.
Come on, you know the ones I'm talking about.

Pair any of that with a glockenspiel and...oh wait...did I already mention that?

Ugh.

I was also was just having a friendly and fun venting session with one of my peers a few nights ago, about this whistling trend.
So Dan P, your timing is just perfect.
I'm just afraid of not being able to stop with my tirade on this matter.

Let there be a vessel for us mortal composers who would love to just dish out some dirt and let off some steam when it comes to this industry, for it is riddled with politics, BS, cut-throat competition, kickbacks and preferential partnerships, creatives with no creative, producers with no production skills, it's all about what is in the now and will help sell the product, which is $h!t to begin with.

There's also some negative stuff but whatever, maybe for another post.

Funny to say all this, after doing it some 10+ years.
Making music that has absolutely nothing to do with making music.
Granted, I (like many) feel lucky to be able to do this.
However, if we can just cut the crap for one second and talk honestly, we know it's all about the money.

Dear ag agency:
Fvck your whistling over the bed of ukelele vamp and glockenspiel 4 note hook.
It's bland, it's old, it's tired, it's really just plain fvcking boring.
I don't care that it's for a fabric softener spot, your client will not sell more of it because of this horrid music.
Stop persuading your client that this is what's cool, because it's really not.


Spoken in my best Lewis Black impression.

















































Oh yeah, and you 2 'happy' ukelele hipster dudes who appear at the end of those GEICO spots.
FVCK YOU TOO.
Old 5th March 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
Whistling, ukelele, banjo...

Any or all of the above paired with a glockenspiel and I'm ready to sound off.
Also, the 'twee' female semi-raspy vocals sounding like little girls, please shut the fvck up.
Next, the hipster chants a la Arcade Fire, just 'aaah-oohs' over floor tom driven beats, zzzzz...
Oh wait, then there's the ubiquitous 8th note piano riffs that start off just about 50% of most commercials.
Come on, you know the ones I'm talking about.

Pair any of that with a glockenspiel and...oh wait...did I already mention that?

Ugh.

I was also was just having a friendly and fun venting session with one of my peers a few nights ago, about this whistling trend.
So Dan P, your timing is just perfect.
I'm just afraid of not being able to stop with my tirade on this matter.

Let there be a vessel for us mortal composers who would love to just dish out some dirt and let off some steam when it comes to this industry, for it is riddled with politics, BS, cut-throat competition, kickbacks and preferential partnerships, creatives with no creative, producers with no production skills, it's all about what is in the now and will help sell the product, which is $h!t to begin with.

There's also some negative stuff but whatever, maybe for another post.

Funny to say all this, after doing it some 10+ years.
Making music that has absolutely nothing to do with making music.
Granted, I (like many) feel lucky to be able to do this.
However, if we can just cut the crap for one second and talk honestly, we know it's all about the money.

Dear ag agency:
Fvck your whistling over the bed of ukelele vamp and glockenspiel 4 note hook.
It's bland, it's old, it's tired, it's really just plain fvcking boring.
I don't care that it's for a fabric softener spot, your client will not sell more of it because of this horrid music.
Stop persuading your client that this is what's cool, because it's really not.


Spoken in my best Lewis Black impression




























An updated Tiny Tim?
Maybe the high pitch reasonates with babuy in the room and baby look at mom and we buy that product........
Certainly agree about the BS and the:Here,use this music for free while we build a publishing empire @ your expense........
Old 5th March 2014
  #7
007
Lives for gear
 
007's Avatar
 

my post was meant in good fun...kinda sorta....not to be taken too seriously.


xept the glokenspiel bits, damn I can't listen to that thing anymore, and I used to love playing it.
Old 5th March 2014
  #8
Mrx
Gear Addict
 

Since that tune by Peter Bjorn and John or whatever they're called it seems that everyone walks around whisteling and I have to admit me and my co-writer joined band wagon with a track that has already been on 2 adverts.

I think the subtext of these whisteling tunes is: life is great and full of great news.
Old 5th March 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
jazz4's Avatar
 

I wonder if any other UK natives have seen that disgusting trend in advertising recently, where people just sing about the product together? Like, one person will start whistling or humming it, then someone else will pick up the tune, and by the end of the ad, 20 people are singing about how much they love car insurance. Makes me want puke into a bucket.

Hipster chants are big one here, too. Ohhh wuh ohhh!

Another trend is agencies trying to ride off of this random viral video age. So they'll put a dancing bear singing 'ice ice baby' as 'rice rice baby' advertising rice pudding. This desperate need to be viral and 'crazy' is hideous. Each commercial hijacks a well known pop song and just changes the lyrics slightly.

But by in large, 97% of commercials I watch go with the tried and true tested ukelele, whistling, glock combo. It's like white noise now.
Old 5th March 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Sam Watson's Avatar
(whistling the break from Sitting on the Dock of the Bay...) I'm enjoying the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
Making music that has absolutely nothing to do with making music. Granted, I (like many) feel lucky to be able to do this. However, if we can just cut the crap for one second and talk honestly, we know it's all about the money.
This is quite true. I often refer to my commercial music as Artificial Music. (Or musical herpes. Fun for a few minutes but far too catchy... *ba-dum-crash*) I enjoy the challenge of genre hopping and figuring out what makes those things tick. But I have to bite my tongue when doing happy music for a bank spot that is nylon stringed guitar with a capo (semi-ukulele) with clapping and glock. And they don't like that direction because it is too tuneful and instead go with a needle drop that is.... ukulele, clapping & glock. I should have gone FULL UKULELE! *grin*

One day disco will come back and we'll be churning out endless versions of that again.

Whistling while I work,
Sam
Old 5th March 2014
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
This thread reminds me of rants from 20 years ago - the only difference is the "trends" have been changed to make things more "modern" in 2014. The game is the same, the politics are the same, the annoyances are the same. Just the names have changed. Embrace it, change the trend, or find new work. It will be no different 20 years from now - just new annoyances to replace the old ones.

If these things truly annoy you, I suggest a different area of music making where you do not need to bow down to the powers that be - because they will ALWAYS be there, making stupid musical choices. Best of luck to you all in making music that moves your soul. I have left behind the annoying aspects of making music for Feature Films in Hollywood, and embraced a new horizon. Along with it a location shift to make life even better. Making new creative music has never been better for me.
Old 6th March 2014
  #12
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

we mix hundreds of ads here (not reponsibile for the music) - but heres my 2p

- i whistke! I whistle when Im happy. So do most people

- 97% of ads are not ukulele etc - but the ones you notice might be!
Old 6th March 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
That sound is so overused it does make me shout at the tv.

But I am just bitter that I don't have some of that action because I can't whistle and I bought an untuneable ukulele.

I thought it would blow over, but no, 5 years later it is THE corporate must have
Old 6th March 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
old ghost's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan p View Post
I never hear any one whistle ever,but happens often on TV.
Really? I hear people whistle all the time. I've noticed that it is contagious, too... I'll be whistling while walking by someone in a store and later in the checkout line I'll hear them whistling too, etc.

Advertisers probably picked up that it reinforces happiness and want people to associate their product with those feelings.
Old 6th March 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

I WISH I could whistle. Sounds like a high pitched lazy long fart when I try.
Old 6th March 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
 

For those in the UK - remember the Old Grey Whistle Test? The title referred to Brill building writers who used to whistle a tune they'd just written to the (old, grey-haired) doorman - if he could whistle it back straight away, they knew it was worthwhile melody. Maybe that's something to do with it.

I hold my hand up as a whistler, too, and so's my ten year old daughter.
Old 6th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

Okay so the high vibration of said whistling,creates a positive
vibration,Literally that string on the uke is vibrating very fast,
Vibrations on high pitched sounds from a physics point do create
more of an inspired feeling,listen to commercials during the day and they are geared towards Moms and kids,Babies.Has not changed......
Listen to commercials on night time TV and they are geared more for adults,a bit of a wider range and there is your socio ilogical viewpoint that ad agencies,and the networks deliver daily on Media everywhere.
Obviously a much wider subject but one that is slightly different everywhere.
Old 6th March 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleeden View Post
For those in the UK - remember the Old Grey Whistle Test? The title referred to Brill building writers who used to whistle a tune they'd just written to the (old, grey-haired) doorman - if he could whistle it back straight away, they knew it was worthwhile melody. Maybe that's something to do with it.
I never knew that, that's great! I whistle all the time. Ukeleles are truly evil though.
Old 6th March 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleeden View Post
For those in the UK - remember the Old Grey Whistle Test? The title referred to Brill building writers who used to whistle a tune they'd just written to the (old, grey-haired) doorman - if he could whistle it back straight away, they knew it was worthwhile melody. Maybe that's something to do with it.

I hold my hand up as a whistler, too, and so's my ten year old daughter.


That's a good - often forgotten - point.

Normal folks are just more used to whistling and singing than to super-saws and FM. It's a psychological and social phenomenon which makes it easier for a company/agency to establish an identification with a brand.

Scientists dated the first flute invented by humans at around 40.000 years ago. Whistling hence is deeply engrained in our biological structure. (Sadly) the whole advertising business works this psychological way - and that's just the surface.
Old 7th April 2018
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
terence's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan p View Post
Every time I hear a commercial with someone whistling a tune
I think what are the ad agency's thinking?
Is it appealing to our happy side by the high vibration of the whistle?
I never hear any one whistle ever,but happens often on TV.Could be a synth at times too.
A sales pitch of some sort?
They do whistle quite a bit in the UK (but they're a funny lot - in the best sense) hardly ever here in Canada or the US.

But here's my comment: I have grown to HATE the ukulele, hand clapping and whistling now in 70% of commercial advertising music. Please make it stop!
Old 7th April 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 
feck's Avatar
Because it's universal. People of all genders and races do it.
Old 8th April 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by feck View Post
Because it's universal. People of all genders and races do it.
True, and whether it's either gender, male or female, or no matter the race I think it's more that a whistle sounds identical regardless. It has no accent or change in pitch in that a female whistle doesn't sound higher than a male whistle.
Old 8th April 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 
bitman's Avatar
People whistle when they are happy generally, so generally advertisement agents will try that to make us think carefree and easy.
Forget serial killers who probably whistle while they work too.
Old 8th April 2018
  #24
Great idea guys. I will start working on a few happy whistle tunes and stick them on some RF site to make a few extra bucks.
Old 8th April 2018
  #25
Here for the gear
 

D.I.
Old 8th April 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terence View Post
They do whistle quite a bit in the UK (but they're a funny lot - in the best sense) hardly ever here in Canada or the US.

But here's my comment: I have grown to HATE the ukulele, hand clapping and whistling now in 70% of commercial advertising music. Please make it stop!
You hate ukulele, hand clapping and whistling so much that you do a search for those words and revive a 4 year old thread.
Old 8th April 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Damn, this thread sure makes me feel friggin' old:

Back when I was a young child (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), recorded music was not a 24/7 kinda thing.

I'm so fvckin' old that I remember a time when folks use to actually look forward to the next time they might be able to experience music in any form.

Believe it or not, people used to actually entertain themselves, sometimes by singing, humming, or maybe even whistling a tune as they went about their daily affairs.

In other words, such behavior was quite commonplace.
.
Old 8th April 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
terence's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
You hate ukulele, hand clapping and whistling so much that you do a search for those words and revive a 4 year old thread.
Haha! I guess I was looking to see if anyone shared my grievance.
Old 8th April 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

.
.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #30
Here for the gear
 

I think I get why a whistle is used.
Amongst other places to listen to commercial radio, we are often subjected to stations that we would not listen to by choice.
Let's just assume that you are working in a building that has quite of a lot mechanical noise, and constant drones from motors etc.
There's a radio playing, and it's just audible above the noise floor, and every so often you might work out what the song was. And then comes the Ad Break, again, you are pretty much unaware that it's even ad Ad Break up until a Whistling Ad.
I can think of a particular fast food Giant that uses this!
Anyway my point being, is that You will hear the whistle, and then back to just occasionally catching bits of songs.
Of course for most people, this will most probably go unnoticed. Once you are aware of it, that's a different story.
I could not tell You a single song that played during an experiment I did, where in total during a 6 1/2 hour potential listening period, but I can tell You that My Mac Count got to 9, and I'm certainly not loving it!
Top Mentioned Products
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump