Media Observation – Brand Recognition in TV and Movies

Dun, du-dun dunnnn, dun du-dunnnnnnn.

That was Indiana Jones. Did you get it?

If you did, it’s because of some really powerful branding, done through one of the most emotionally based media available: music.

Theme songs have been an element of television programs nearly since TV with sound became available for mainstream consumers. Whether it’s Glee, the Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, or any other well-known television show, the theme song is something designed to get your ears to perk up and pay attention, like a Pavlovian reaction. Ring the bell and the dog’s mouth waters. Play the theme song and the viewers gravitate to the sofa to watch.

Movie themes can be equally iconic, but are different in that they get very few passes to stick in the viewer’s consciousness. Some composers have proven themselves in creating striking themes that stick with just one go; one trailer may be the only shot the theme gets at becoming an earworm.

Some examples of movie-score composers are the famous John Williams, who has composed more memorable movie scores than perhaps any other composer, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter; Hanz Zimmer, who has written for a wide variety of movie genres, some of the more notable instances being Inception and the latest Batman trilogy.

What movie scores or theme songs have stuck in your head the most effectively? What ones do you enjoy the most?


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