Knowing the music on Classic FM


Knowing the music on Classic FM


You know the one that goes: “da, da, da dah, da daaaaah…?”

How many times have you recognised the tune and the genre, but been at a loss as to the actual name?

This classical music conundrum, recognisable and relatable to many people, is at the heart of Mr. President’s new campaign for Classic FM, ‘You may not know the name, but you will know the music..’


When Global - one of the world’s leading media and entertainment groups - approached Mr. President about a national cinema ad for the station’s 25th birthday campaign, our challenge was to stimulate a powerful emotional response in potential Classic FM listeners.

Global is home to the UK’s biggest commercial radio business, and the Classic FM brand is already very well known.  In fact, it’s the market leader by a long way, and is well liked by its audience.  But how do you reach those people who haven’t yet tuned in and who dismiss the entire classical genre as being ‘not for them’?


We needed to show just how relatable classical music is, and how it is everywhere in popular culture.  The brave question we asked ourselves was ‘how do we make people reappraise classical music as a genre?’

Our bold answer, as seen in the ad, was to harness the power of people’s imaginations to leverage their emotions and build a clear connection to the music.  We worked with the key insight that classical music is extremely emotionally powerful, and that even if you don’t know the name of a song, you will probably recognise the tune.

By keeping our visuals incredibly simple, we show that people already ‘know’ classical music and experience it every day, often without even realising it.  In describing music in famous film moments, we reveal classical music as a powerful cultural force that can evoke vivid memories we didn't even know we had.

All animation for the 30 second ad, which will run in Picturehouse Cinemas, was done in house at Mr. President, and we worked in close partnership with the Classic FM team, who sourced the music and created the sound mix.

Roll-out of the campaign begins on 7 September 2017, exactly 25 years after Classic FM launched, in the prestigious Picturehouse Gold Spot - the commercial directly before the main feature – offering unbeatable, premium, stand-out positioning.

The cinema ad is set to be followed up with social and press placements in the next year.