2019 Christmas Campaigns: The Music Supervisors Behind the Ads

By Vicky Bennett / GMS Administrator

There have been many magical and exciting Christmas Ad Campaigns this year and we had the pleasure to speak with some excellent music supervisors to understand the magic behind the campaigns and why they felt the music chosen was the right fit.

We spoke to the following music supervisors:

Leland Music for the Argos campaign, “The Book of Dreams” 

Wake the Town for Ikea campaign, “Silence the Critics” 


Leland Music has worked on “The Book of Dreams” 2019 Argos Christmas campaign. We had the pleasure of speaking with Codie Childs, who was the music supervisor collaborating on this project

Argos advert, The Book of Dreams’ starts out with a father beginning to drum along to the Simple Minds smash hit, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. Soon after, his daughter joins in, drumming along next to him in a ‘drum-off’ before it shows the viewers they are opening up together to a sell-out audience. This is showing the viewers that ordering a present from ‘The Book of Dreams’ can one day help you live out your dreams, pardon the pun.

It’s fair to say that there was a high level of arranging and recording the drums for this project. Can you give an explanation of this collaborative process?

Codie: We first met with the team at The&Partnership in the summer about this project, and at that script stage it was clear the idea was gold: we loved the thought of a Dad living out the dream of his youth and being able to share it with his daughter.

The process initially involved researching songs that could fit perfectly with the concept, and it was decided that “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was the best choice for this purpose. It’s a true classic that features that brilliantly hard-hitting 80s drum sound, and throughout the process, we (honestly) never grew tired of listening to it! We were all really thrilled when Simple Minds agreed to the project, too.

There was, of course, a need for on-screen miming to the song, but the script also called for a “drum-off” section. We brought onboard arranger and producer Chris Hill, who we’ve worked with on several projects in the past, along with his collaborator, drummer Brad Webb. Working closely with The&Partnership and Traktor (director), we developed a quite complex drum arrangement that became a call-and-response challenge between Dad and Daughter.

The process overall was very collaborative – we set up workshopping sessions early on with the agency and director, which helped to cement the visual side of the performance. Our team also attended the casting session and shoot, assisting with rehearsals and the final on-screen performances.

We worked closely with Universal, the record label to clear the video rights for the original Simple Minds promo, too. This proved essential as it truly kicks off Dad’s fantasy at the beginning of the ad.

Once the edit was locked we recorded the final drum performances to picture, mixing it with the original Simple Minds recording.

What was it that drew you in, to work on this project? 

Codie: To be honest, it was all about the script. It was so charming and fun, and as a music nerd, it really resonated with me. It was also set to be a multi-faceted and meaty project, involving all sorts of rights clearance, arranging, producing, etc. which I find very satisfying. And we’re so pleased with the results!

You can watch this campaign here


Wake The Town was the music supervision company who helped with the musical creative on the 2019 Christmas ad campaign ‘Silence the Critics’ for Ikea this year. 

This advert starts out with a mother receiving a text, with the sender asking if dinner is at hers tonight. The mother then looks disapprovingly at the mess in the house. Which then pans to various ornaments/toys expressing through a grime track performed by D Double E, how old and messy everything is – that she needs an upgrade from Ikea and she needs it now.

We had the pleasure to speak with David Bass and Arnold Hattingh from Wake The Town.

How had you come to collaborate with Mother London on this Christmas campaign and why did you feel that the music created was a good fit for the campaign?

David: We were asked by Mother London and Ikea to produce an authentic UK grime track –  we knew D Double E would be amazing to make happen, after all, he is one of the founding fathers and most iconic emcees in the game – and we did. Nobody from the client, agency, ourselves wanted to water down D’s delivery or style, that was crucial to keep his personality shining through including the music, this had to be a banging UK grime song.   The result is almost magical, you have a pure 140bpm grime beat that you cannot stop nodding your head to penned by one of the most unique emcees in the UK, delivering the ultimate home ‘diss’ track.

How had you come to collaborate with Mother London on this Christmas campaign and why did you feel that the music created was a good fit for the campaign?

ArnoldWe really enjoyed working on this. It was pretty easy going from start to finish. Star. One and Double were really fun to work with. I think one of the reasons why it had struck a chord is because it isn’t watered down or sanitized, instead Double was given freedom to be himself.  Mother was great to work with, they are creatively bold and the Ikea spot is a testament of that

You can watch this campaign here

Stream ‘Fresh N Clean (Silence the Critics)’ by D Double E here!

Thank you to each Music Supervisor for taking the time out to speak with us, and we wish you all live out your dreams and silence your own critics during this festive season! Have a Merry Christmas!

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