Pretty Piano Music From Old Serta Commercial?
December 11, 2008 7:38 AM   Subscribe

AdMusicFilter: Beautiful, haunting piano music from mid-90s Serta commercial. Google is only marginally helpful, and this search has been driving me nuts for over a decade now. Description and best-guess results are inside.

Note: Search terms should include "-sheep" as this predates that campaign.

First Google Groups hit, from this link:
"Does anyone know anything about the music from the Serta commercial? I am talking about the one where it ends with a shot of a little house at twilight and the moon overhead, and a light in the window going out, if I remember correctly. I haven't seen the commercial in a long time.

Side note: I also heard some very similar if not the same music on an episode of the X-files entitled "Kaddish." It was atmosphere music in a scene (at the very beginning of the episode) where they were having the funeral of a Jewish man."
Second Google Groups hit from this link (same poster, more detail):
"When I watched Kaddish, the background music in the burial scene at the beginning reminded me of the music in a Serta mattress commercial that played a few years ago. Some of it was almost exactly the same. The part I am thinking of went something like this (in the Serta commercial):

G A Bb A G Bb A D
G F Eb G F Bb*
Eb D C Eb D G*
A* Bb* A* .

*below middle C

I can never tell what key I'm in so it might not be the right one, but you get the idea.

The Serta commercial showed the moon rising at fast speed and I think at the end showed a house in the country (?-maybe) with the one light still on being extinguished. Anyway, I really liked the music in that commercial, and even when I first saw the commercial, it seemed familiar. But I could never figure out what it was. So when I heard the very similar part in Kaddish I had to find out. Does anyone have information for me on this?"
I actually called Serta's customer service department and asked, and they had no idea. I even looked at the site that was part of the best answer to this question, no luck. Arrgh! If I even knew who the ad agency who produced the commercial was, I'd ask them. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
posted by ZakDaddy to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A quick google search for the Kaddish X-Files episode reveals the following:

"4x12 Kaddish - Mark Snow's music influenced by the music of Schindler's List. Also elements of Fantasy On Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams sound similar."

A clue, maybe? Is there anyplace online that the ad or music is posted?
posted by jquinby at 7:56 AM on December 11, 2008 it, by chance, the Fantasia on Greensleeves, by Williams?
posted by jquinby at 8:06 AM on December 11, 2008

According to this article, Serta's ad agency for most of the Nineties was Hal Riney & Partners, now part of Publicis Group. Their main successful campaign was called "We make the world's best mattress".

Hope that helps, I've had no luck with Youtube.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:08 AM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: jquinby - thanks for jumping in so quickly. :) I'm in the process of acquiring that episode myself for review, and maybe Mark Snow wrote the music for the Serta ad as well. I'm pretty certain that it was solo piano, and while that Williams arrangement of Greensleeves is lovely it's not ringing any bells.
posted by ZakDaddy at 8:14 AM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: (Thanks for the ad agency lead, HD. I'm all over it.)
posted by ZakDaddy at 8:32 AM on December 11, 2008

Could it be How the Day Ends? Which was broadcast during the 1996 Superbowl. I don't have an account in order to see the video, but it might help you track it down.
posted by nightwood at 9:21 AM on December 11, 2008

Response by poster: That's the right visual aesthetic (I remember the little boy on the pillow, and the crescent moon morphing into the company logo) but the music's all wrong. Grrr. That's 2 Euros wasted on a super duper account. :)
posted by ZakDaddy at 10:36 AM on December 11, 2008

Sorry about that - since you paid for it - did you check the other early-mid 1990s serta ads there? It Happens Every Day (1995) and Naked Arms (1993)
posted by nightwood at 1:27 PM on December 11, 2008

"You Tell Me Your Dream, I'll Tell You Mine"?
posted by jca at 2:02 PM on December 11, 2008

Best answer: I know this is old but I thought I would try. Is it Fred Simon - "Simple Psalm"? It's available on the CD A Winter's Solstice 2. They have the album with samples on Amazon, track #10.
posted by msbutah at 9:27 PM on November 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Holy smokes -- that might be it! I'll need to see if I can find the whole song without buying the album. Thank you!
posted by ZakDaddy at 2:33 PM on November 16, 2009

Response by poster: Holy smokes, part II -- that *was* it! I hereby award you one hundred twenty six fazillion Internets!
posted by ZakDaddy at 10:12 PM on November 17, 2009

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