PRODUCTION & POST-PRODUCTION: Sounds from Madison Avenue
By Jim Edwards, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 24 October 2003 12:00AM
Jim Edwards looks at some of the latest ads from the US and which music they've used.
1. Mitsubishi; Deutsch, Los Angeles
Deutsch's Mitsubishi campaigns have propelled unknowns such as The Wiseguys and Dirty Vegas into the charts. The campaign has been toned down recently so that the coolness factor does not alienate too many moneyed consumers.
"It has been a tad too exclusive, but we're taking steps to broaden it," Eric Hirshberg, the managing partner and executive creative director, says. The latest incarnation, for the Endeavor SUV, uses Horn Dog by Overseer.
2. Coors; FCB, Chicago
The agency managed a rare feat, here: it wrote an original piece of rock music that has been widely mistaken for being a real song, and that has become an anthem for young men in bars. "It's based on a parody of a Tom T Hall song called Love Songs," says Chuck Rudnick, group creative director.
The song also lends itself to newer iterations as the campaign progresses, and has a similar sound to some of Coors' other musical choices, which have included Andrew WK's It's Time to Party.
3. Dr Pepper; Young & Rubicam, New York
LL Cool J pays tribute to Run DMC in this original score. The ad was made before Jam Master Jay was shot dead on 30 October 2002, but the agency, client and artists decided to air it. It now concludes with two seconds' silence under an image of Jay. "It was the last thing they recorded together," Josh Rabinowitz, the associate partner and music producer, says. "It was done respectfully and elegantly."
4. Sheraton hotels; Deutsch, New York
Deutsch auditioned around 100 bands to find one that could perform a noisy cover of Let's Spend the Night Together by The Rolling Stones. The ads show San Diego garage group Convoy rocking in the lobby and the lift - an unexpected choice given the shared history of rock bands and hotels.
"We wanted to evoke a more innocent time when bands stayed in hotels before they started destroying them," Lisa Garrone, the vice-president and group creative director, says.
5. Hummer H2; Modernista!, Boston
For this campaign, the agency made a video featuring the H2 for the song Ching Ching by the rapper Ms Jade, and cut an ad for its own use from the footage. So the shop doubled its production investment as the brand appeared in ads and in music programming content. The only downside was meshing the interests of Modernista and the talent. "The artist would say: 'I want to go in and smash something!' and we'd say: 'well, right now in the story there's no smashing part'," the agency founder Lance Jensen, says. "It was not without its challenges."
6. Chrysler; BBDO, Detroit
Celine Dion inspires as many detractors as fans, which has generated buzz around Chrysler's use of her as a sponsor. Her on-screen presence has been scaled back in recent spots, although the work features her songs throughout. One spot shows detailed shots of the Crossfire driving through a wilderness - and only at the end is it revealed that Dion is the driver crooning Roy Orbison's I Drove All Night.
The balance both keeps the Dion equity and addresses the criticism that previous ads featured too much French-Canadian and not enough sheetmetal.
7. Cadillac; chemistri, Troy, Michigan
The use of Led Zeppelin's Rock 'n' Roll had die-hard fans gnashing their teeth in online forums. The lyrics - "It's been a long time since we rock and rolled" - fit the brand's repositioning perfectly and the era of the music resonates with the target audience. "We did talk to the band about it, obviously there was a bit of trepidation - nobody wants to disappoint a fan," John Van Osdol, chemistri's broadcast director, says. "The energy and the bigness of sound that Led Zep provided seemed to fit with the statement we were trying to make ... it's been a long time since Cadillac has been on top of its game and we're basically announcing to the world that it's back."
8. Pantene Pro V; Grey Worldwide, New York
Thomas Dolby's She Blinded Me With Science was an 80s hit. It's not an obvious choice for Pantene, but the positioning touts the brand's technical superiority. The risk Grey took was using a hit that its audience is likely too young to remember. "The nostalgia factor will work on the older cosumer and for the new consumer there's a quirkiness to it that they can enjoy," Linda Mummiani, Grey's senior vice-president and group creative director, says.
9. The Hartford; Arnold Worldwide, Boston
Thomas Newman's soundtrack for Pay It Forward accompanies spots featuring scenes from everyday life, such as a little girl trying on her mother's jewelry. The ad asks whether or not the daughter will inherit the family's wealth. "It has this sort of high-quality intelligence," the senior vice-president and creative director Mary Webb, says.
10. Pizza Hut; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland
W&K asked Ween to record a song on the theme Where'd the Cheese Go? The client yanked the result after a week. The band, in revolt, posted an MP3 of their work on their website, along with an obscene version to taunt their agency taskmasters. The New York Times reported on 7 August that the swear-word laden version was the second-most popular Ween song in an online poll of fans.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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