Reimagining Super Bowl Ads as Music Therapy Ads

If you're a football fan, you probably felt like this year's Super Bowl was a dud. Unless you're a Seahawks fan. Or a sadist.

But the commercials never fail to disappoint, right? At a price of $4 million dollars for a 30-second spot, they sure better be good.

We've talked about the fact that music therapy is a small field, which also leads to lower funding for music therapy programs. That's slowly turning around.

So what therapy had enough money to run a Super Bowl ad? An American Music Therapy Association ad right smack in the 2nd quarter.

Well, it had better be good, right? Let's glean some inspiration from this year's ads and see how they might look as music therapy ads.

1. TurboTax, "Love Hurts"


I'm going to keep this one the same until the end when they go into the TurboTax spiel. I would change it to "sounds like you may be hanging onto some aggression from a past relationship. If this is interfering with your current relationships, consider talking to your psychologist about adding music therapy to your counseling program. Find a music therapist near you at"


2. Beats Music, "The Right Music"


Ah, c'mon Beats Music, this is a gimme! Do I really have to change anything here? Just chop off the part of Beats Music and add "You'd be amazed at what can be accomplished with the right music."

Ellen, have your people call my people. Let's get that endorsement deal set up, k darling? Ciao.

3. Squarespace, "A Better Web Awaits"


Alright, picture this: "A better hospital awaits!" A child in a scary hospital, filled with doctors with no bedside manner, cold, sterile hallways, pills forced on them to calm them down before procedures. YIKES! Then a hospital with a music therapist, who performs procedural support to reduce the need for medical sedatives, designs games and interventions that explain medical procedures to the child to help calm their nerves, and pair their rehabilitative therapy with motivating music interventions to make the whole process more pleasant. A better hospital awaits.

You'd go to that hospital. You know you would.

4. RadioShack, "The Phone Call"


Instead of "The 80's called, they want their store back," we put "The 1950's called, they want their healthcare model back." The disease centered model is dying out, folks. Healthcare is radically changing to a patient centered model, focusing on the patients needs as a whole rather than parts. And music therapy fits perfectly into that model.

5. WeatherTech, "You Can't Do That"


"You want to bring guitars into the NICU? You can't do that."

Actually, NICU music therapy has been shown to have significant benefits on important health outcomes for premature infants, and can even save $10,000 in medical costs!

6. GoPro, "Red Bull Stratos"


Meh, already did this one.


7. Heinz, "Hum"


Keep it the same, until the part with the guy in the full body cast. Then show him continuing to hum as he works with a music therapist in his rehab, using the same song to help cue his steps in gait training.

8. Microsoft, "Empowering"


This was, by far, my favorite ad of the night. But to make it a music therapy ad, all we need to do is replace the word "technology" with "music." Replace the scenes of people at play with people playing instruments and singing together. Replace the scenes of surgeons working with hi-tech devices with a music therapist working in a physical rehab setting.

"Music. Empowering us all."

9. Volkswagen, "Wings"


"Every time a child with autism meets a evidence-based, measurable goal in music therapy, a music therapist gets their wings."

10. Oikos, "The Spill", I'm just gonna leave this one alone.

We don't need a $4 million ad to show you what music therapy can do for your healthcare facility! Sign up for a consultation and we'll meet with you one-on-one to discuss the possibilities!



Image credit: Flickr user Tom Newby Photography