Our top 4 uses of sound and music from ad-land in July. Hurrah!
Method – Method for change
This vibrant, joyful, and immersive spot from Uncommon centres the idea that people are (generally speaking) seeking ways to do good for the planet and each other. Here, we see the usually chaotic streets of New York take on a new kind of chaos in the form of a euphoric foam party, wherein a diverse crowd of New Yorkers pause their busy lives to come together, dance and celebrate, well… life. What a concept!
As would be expected of a film directed by Jonathan Alric of The Blaze, the music plays a significant role. The track, titled “Must I Evolve?” by Jarvis Cocker’s band JARV IS…. is, to me, both the centrepiece of the campaign and the thread that sews everything together; allowing the spot to go further and reach both a weighty and meaningful place that wouldn’t have been possible with a lesser track.
The driving drums and relentless bass gain momentum throughout and, when paired with Cockers’ energetic yet exasperated and affected vocal, the spot can’t help but take on an uncompromisingly exciting pace and feel. The call and response style lyrics (“Must I evolve? Yes yes yes yes. Must I change? Yes yes yes yes Must I develop? Yes yes yes yes”) feel both essential and perfectly placed to deliver on the campaign’s idea that change-making is possible with a little creativity, the power of community and vast quantities of washing up liquid.
Agency: Uncommon, Production Company: Iconoclast, Director: Jonathan Alric
George ASDA – Arrive like you mean it
What do you get when you combine grime, sustainably sourced uniforms and kids rapping about their excitement regarding going back to school? …the latest George at ASDA campaign, of course!
Not to state the obvious but it’s been a rather tumultuous year, especially for those of school-age (not to mention their poor, long-suffering parents), so it seems justifiably appropriate to tap into the (what I assume is) excitement around the start of a (hopefully) pain free, upcoming back to school experience to market your new, sustainable school uniform range.
The ad is shot in the style of a grime music video and features a cast of kids confidentially rapping about their classmates, fresh school-wear and upcoming lessons. The track was written and produced by Impero (agency) and Producer, KZ (who has worked with artists including Emeli Sandé and Professor Green). The track production is clean and engaging and the kids’ rap performance’s feel authentically cool whilst retaining an innocence that plays into the humour – a difficult balance to achieve with a creative concept such as this, which could easily fall victim to being extremely cringe-worthy. But luckily, in this case, the track, lyrics and performances really work and the campaign feels fresh, relevant and unique.
Agency: Impero, Production Company: Armoury, Director: Mr. Yankey
Royal Navy – Circles
This new recruitment campaign for the Royal Navy features an original composition that serves up a fresh blend of urban contemporary beats, immersive sound design, a sprinkle of classic 808 moments, and catchy vocal hooks. The production is fresh, clean and dynamic, perfectly underpinning the bold shots and quick cuts by being neither too overpowering nor losing pace. Instead, when paired with the eclectic visuals it works to successfully capture and retain the watcher’s attention.
Agency: Engine, Production Company: Private Island, Director: Chris Boyle
McDonald’s – Me time
Ahh McDonald’s, here we find ourselves again. You, once more a prominent feature on my coveted Ad round-up and me, yet again thinking about opening Deliveroo and placing a McDelivery. The omnipotence of the golden arches!
This spot sees our cast enjoying some ‘Me Time’ with their McDo order of choice whilst being serenaded by the sweet, soulful vocals of The Flamingos. Namely, their 50s classic hit “I Only Have Eyes For You”
The tranquil pace and soothing nature of the song perfectly serves the campaign messaging that a McDonald’s is best enjoyed whilst indulging in some alone time and alone time is best enjoyed whilst indulging in a McDonald’s. The apt lyrics, such as “I can’t see anyone but you” are the perfect lyrical accompaniment to us (me) looking on in envy as each individual blissfully savours their meal.
McDonald’s, you simply never miss.
Agency: Leo Burnett, Production Company: Academy Films, Director: Billy Boyd Cape