Lubars: Yes. To me, a great campaign, wherever you see it, is like a welcome friend, who comes in a new outfit, but it’s nice to see them again every time, as opposed to the same old, boring, “Here they are.” You want to be able to add new things to a campaign. Tight parameters are good, choking parameters are bad.
Reese: So, you prefer the kind of audio style guide that offers more of an overall tonality for all of a brand’s audio assets.
Lubars: Yes, exactly. To me, a brand is like a person. Sometimes it can be thoughtful, sometimes it can be witty, sometimes it can be funny, sometimes emotional, just like you are or I am. That’s what the guidelines should reflect, while staying within a certain personality to every brand. As opposed to, “It’s always going to have this ending.” That’s where it gets problematic to me.
Reese: Just like a person, a brand should have their own voice, with which they can sing a hundred different songs, while it’ll always sound like the brand.
Lubars: Yeah, totally. That’s a good way to put it.
Reese: What’s the greatest challenge in finding a brand’s voice?
Lubars: That you don’t do what others have done. The best thing you can do for a brand is to separate it from the pack. The challenge is always to find the new, the fresh. Because there’s so many formulas that you can fall back on, but it wouldn’t be responsible and it wouldn’t be effective. Things that have already been done will just pass through people.
Reese: A big frustration for a lot of creatives is often how they communicate music to music providers. Do you have a certain tactic in which you get your point across? After all, you’re a musician yourself.
Lubars: Well, I’m not a great musician, but I do understand great musicians by just being an average one. I think the best way is for creatives to sit with the composer and just work it through together. It also goes much faster that way, you don’t have to sit through demo after demo, you just go in there and you do it. It’s the most organic approach to it. Even if you don’t play music yourself, you know when it’s good and you know when it sounds right. And then, of course, there are music producers who can help translate that language to them.
Reese: So, you prefer making sure people are not too detached from the process?
Lubars: Yes. But I’d never tell a composer, “Give us that and that chord.” I just talk feel. It’s all feel. I mean... I enjoy paintings. But paintings have never made me cry. Music can, so easily. It can make you do a lot of things.
Reese: True. And you can also close your eyes, but not your ears. Do you see a shift in how important music is becoming? If you look back at the last 5, 10, or 15 years – what has changed?
Lubars: To me, music has always been crucial. I worked on Apple in the early days. You know, in the ‘80s, they used that new age piano. It’s funny, I would never listen to that style of music at home but it had an amazing effect in the ads. To me, music has just always been a key tool. It’s always been important.