How do soundalikes happen? Sometimes editors cut the commercial to a specific song as an intended placeholder, but then become attached to the song’s rhythms and mood. ‘It’s called ‘demo love’, and it’s the bane of my existence,’ says Josh Rabinowitz, a senior vice president and director of music at ad agency Grey New York.
Another scenario: the song itself helps shape the concept for an ad’s creators. ‘They love the song and it inspired their creativity. Everything’s beautiful until they make the call and the band says no. Then what do you do? That’s the rub, and it has kept musicologists in business,’ Mr. Rabinowitz says.