I don’t talk about this much, it’s something I prefer to keep to myself. However, at this time of year, I’m probably one of the least popular people in the country.
Not with everyone. In fact, some people would love what I do. If they knew.
But there’s a significant number of people who turn their ire against me at the end of every year.
You see… I’m the person who makes Christmas music happen in the shops.
Occasionally, I don’t like what I do, either. I spend 10 months a year matching credible and authentic artists to brands. All of a sudden, I’m deciding whether people would rather hear Shakin’ Stevens or Boney M.
I thought it was time to raise my hand up and admit my secret. And to say that I have zero regrets.
For every Grinch of the world playing Whamageddon and trying to avoid Last Christmas, there are many more of us revelling in the tinsel tunes.
Christmas music encapsulates the very best of what we do all year:
- We love creating feelings and emotions with music. Christmas is all about good times, Christmas songs bring about that excitement and anticipation of the big day.
- We love when music makes you think differently. Christmas music inspires memories of Christmas past. Last Christmas takes me back to a school disco, White Christmas transports me to my gran’s front room. Few other art forms do that.
- Our music for retailers should enhance their space. Imagine being in a store, with a Christmas tree at the centre, snow painted on the windows and tinsel round the tills. Now imagine Club Tropicana is playing in the background. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Christmas songs turn up the festive vibe.
- Variety is a priority for us. There’s a perception that shops play the same 6 Christmas songs on a loop in December. Some may, but not the stores we work with. We work long hours ensuring there’s a variety of tracks being played, and the same ones don’t play too often. We value the sanity of store colleagues at this time of year.
- It’s one of the toughest tests of our abilities. Slade’s 70s sound won’t make the grade for brands aimed at teenagers, Mariah’s festive yodelling won’t cut it for a cutting-edge retailer. We have to dig deep and wide to find the right Christmas tracks for our partners.
To those who don’t like Christmas music, I’m sorry. But, you’re in the minority. As I write this, Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas is already the most streamed song of the week with Wham following close behind. Just grin and bear it, safe in the knowledge that it does end.
I could let you know of the brands who, for their own reasons, don’t play festive music… but where’s the fun in that?
As for Whamaggedon, I’ve seen the schedules for the next few weeks and escaping them is impossible!
Written by Euan McMorrow, Content Director at AVC Immedia.