A cracking Stormzy sync for Very.co.uk, Samsung goes Lloyd-Webber all of a sudden, and Whiskas are making music for stressed out cats. A real stonker of a month was August – here are our picks of the best and most creative uses of music and sound that came out of it.
Very – “The throne”
It’s oddly comforting knowing that the age-old institution regarding the school bus back row policy (i.e., it being specifically reserved for the ‘cool kids’) still prevails. I can’t help but be reminded of my school days – when I too took the bus, although I, sadly, never quite made it to the back row. Even in Year 11 a group of (genuinely intimidating) Year 10’s laid claim before I could even get a look in. Anyway, enough about my secondary school popularity concerns, more on this fantastic ad for Very.co.uk.
The string & horn stabs perfectly encapsulate & communicate the confidence required to even contemplate embarking on the audacious journey of attempting to lay claim to the royal back row of the bus.
As the opening to Stormzy’s 2017 classic ‘Big for your boots’ blasts through your speakers, you can’t help but be transported inside this on-screen moment. The string & horn stabs perfectly encapsulate & communicate the confidence required to even contemplate embarking on the audacious journey of attempting to lay claim to the royal back row, whilst the lyrics cut through as perfect translation for exactly what we, the audience, are meant to be thinking. And although, sadly, it seems the young kid truly was getting too big for his boots, the track does a stellar job of placing us right there with him as he valiantly embarks on his quest.
We all must live out our main character moments once in a while.
Creative Agency: Grey London, Production Company: Blink, Directors: The Bobbsey Twins
Avanti West Coast – “Feel good travel”
It’s not everyday you hear a 70s Arabic disco-funk track on an ad for UK train travel, but this feel-good tune provides the perfect soundtrack to one young turtle’s rollerblading adventure as he weaves skilfully through various city and country-scapes – intended to symbolise the freedom and ease of train travel (lol).
Despite having a moment in France and being recently championed by Berlin-based reissue label ‘Habibi Funk’, “Badala Zamana” by French-Algerian artist ZOHRA feels relatively unearthed. Really cool to see UK brands lending a platform to showcase such undiscovered gems as this.
Creative Agency: Adam&EveDDB, Production Company: MJZ, Director: Tom Kuntz
Samsung Galaxy – “I’m open to that”
Well, if there were ever to exist a compelling argument for which to switch from Apple to Samsung, this ad might just be it. A splashy, 2-minute, show-stopping (pardon the pun) musical journey, full of dazzling visuals and constant motion, helping to convey the brand message of “Life opens up with Galaxy”. And, whilst neither the spot nor musical number takes itself too seriously, it manages to avoid crossing over into ‘over the top’ territory also. Even Andrew Lloyd Webber himself would find this a tough balance to strike.
And that, kids, is how we create ourselves an authentic-sounding Broadway original cast recording classic. Kudos, Samsung.
The vocal delivery is full of character, retaining a solid musical theatre charm whilst seamlessly blending professional, recognisable theatrical tonality (*vibrato*) with a couple of belt moments, a touch of falsetto and some ensemble backing harmonies. And that, kids, is how we create ourselves an authentic-sounding Broadway original cast recording classic. Kudos, Samsung.
Creative Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, Production Company: Iconoclast, Director: Alaska
Whiskas – “Purr More”
Music that is scientifically proven to appeal to cats!?!? As a dog person I can’t help but turn my nose up and yet I am intrigued…
Bafta-winning animator and director Nina Gantz teamed up with National Symphony cellist David Teie in an effort to help us better understand why cats purr. Teie is an animal composer (amazing Linkedin profile title) whose work has been scientifically proven by the Journal of Feline Medicine to reduce the stress levels of cats. Teie devised both the ad’s soundtrack and an accompanying playlist, which is available on Spotify and YouTube.
Teie said: “Cats listen to sounds at different frequencies to humans, so we’ve created a piece of music that appeals to their unique audio range.” The Whiskas team at Mars Petcare also tested the new melody with cats around the globe, with the majority reacting positively compared to classical music or nothing at all (Release the footage!!!)
The launch track of the playlist, titled Purr More, has its own music video, created by animator Daniel Stankler. Not only that but the Whiskas team also plans to print a limited-edition collectible vinyl. Each vinyl has a fish printed on the top that will revolve when played and entertain cats as they enjoy the music. Influencers will be invited to play it to their cat and share the interaction on… you guessed it – TikTok.
Pet food brands have been trying to crack the world of animal sonics in a variety of ways, but have Whiskas properly done it? We’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it’s pretty cool!
Creative Agency: AMV BBDO, Production Company: Blink Ink, Director: Nina Gantz
Mini UK x Dogs Trust – “Dogs Love Mini”
Dogs, cars, and a simple, on the nose sync. Gotta love it.
Creative Agency: The Brooklyn Brothers
Production Company: Making Pictures
Lizz Harman is a Creative Music Consultant at DLMDD working with agencies to make sound and music work as hard for brands as the examples above. She writes a great article too. Link up with her here!