How They Changed the Song in ‘Us’

It seems obvious that the collaboration between auditory and visual elements can enhance any experience, including advertising efforts. Sound can alter your perceptions of a brand, product or service and if paired well, can make you feel a stronger connection with what it’s selling. 

But occasionally, music can make you feel something you didn’t expect.

This is the case in a recent movie trailer for “Us”, directed by Jordan Peele and released by Blumhouse Productions. The trailer follows a family who eventually becomes terrorized by four masked strangers. When the masks come off, the family realizes that the strangers look like them. Combined with very creepy editing, music and pacing, it’s easy to see that this movie will find a loving home in the horror genre.

The surprising part of the advertising effort (a.k.a. movie trailer) is the use of the song “I Got 5 on It”. Recorded by the American hip hop duo Luniz in 1995, “I Got 5 on It” was a song about paying for drugs. Only after the music was altered to work in tandem with the pacing of the trailer’s story, did it begin to take on new meaning. 

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jordan Peele said that “… I love songs that have a great feeling but also have a haunting element to them and I feel like the beat in that song has this inherent cryptic energy, almost reminiscent of the Nightmare on Elm Street soundtrack.”

It’s easy to understand the impact music has on marketing. What’s unusual is how marketing also plays an important role on how we perceive music. Give a familiar song new context and it has the ability to transport you into a seemingly bizarre nightmare filled with horrifying people who want to kill you (it’s not real… it’s not real… and breathe… and breathe).

What do you think? How did this trailer and the song choice affect you?

  • SOURCE: YouTube
  • BRANDS: Blumhouse Productions
  • WHY YOU’LL BE TERRIFIED: You’ll likely associate this song with the movie’s haunting images forever