A simple melody and the kitten from the Barilla spot: a soundtrack we’ll never forget

Who remember the legendary 1986 Barilla advert in which a little girl saves an abandoned kitten?

Lately you’ll have been hearing a lot about the Millennial Generation, the generation of the new millennium made up of people born between the early Eighties and the early millennium. The generation that really made the difference in terms of use of technology, familiarity with the concept of communication and their relationship with the media and the so-called new media.

We must still make some distinctions within this great melange, however, and the one we want to talk about today is the difference between those who remember the legendary 1986 Barilla advert in which a little girl with what is now an iconic yellow waterproof saves an abandoned kitten, and those who don’t. The little girl finds a kitten beneath the driving rain and decides to take it home with her. Her mum and dad are making lunch and waiting for her, while growing increasingly worried. They finally all come together and the kitten earns a place in the family because, as we all know, “Where there’s Barillia, there’s home”.

But in addition to the irresistible plot, what conquered an entire generation was the music. Hymne, from the album Opéra Sauvage by Greek musician Vangelis, is a simple melody that Barilla often used in the Eighties and Nineties.

You probably also remember his track for film Chariots of Fire, now universally associated with the Olympics.

Vangelis stands out for his frequent choice to base his work around small thematic cells, memorable melodies that lend themselves to brief scenes.

His work is also often characterized by simple scales, played in ascending and descending sequences and easily imprinted on our memory. The nature of his pieces made them very popular among young people learning musical instruments in the Eighties and Nineties, especially budding keyboard players.

If this reminder of your youth has made you a bit nostalgic, well, that’s just proof of what an effective soundtrack can do for a spot.


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