Someone once told me that the obvious choice for music can make a spot good. But often, the less-than-obvious ones become the stuff of legend...
Volkswagen - 'Milky Way (Pink Moon)'
Agency: Arnold Boston
Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
There are a million songs about the sky and moons, and anything else that would make sense in launching a Cabriolet. So why did the geniuses behind this special spot choose a little-known song from a long-dead footnote in folk / rock history in Nick Drake? Who knows!? I’m just happy they did.
Gears of War - 'Mad World'
Agency: McCann Erickson San Francisco
Production & Post: Digital Domain
Director: Joseph Kosinksi
Video games are rarely marketed with anything other than fire and brimstone. But this...this was offered up with rare sensitivity and genuine emotion. You feel all the things you never thought you would about a shoot ‘em up game. All thanks to a zig when other zag music choice.
Playstation - 'Mountain'
Production: Gorgeous Enterprises
Director: Frank Budgen
Post: The Mill London
Editorial: Final Cut London
The first instinct when showing action is to add music that normally feels action adjacent. Instead, the choice here was to launch a bleeding edge game system with a 75-year-old song sung by a child. Obvious? Hardly.
Hummer - 'Illumination Night'
Director: Arni & Kinski
Nighttime. Dessert. Luminary balloons. All to help soften the image of a former military vehicle turned suburban SUV. Add a song that made all listeners scramble to find out who the heck it was made 'great'...even greater!
Apple - 'Powerful'
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab Los Angeles
Production: Park Pictures UK
Director: Lance Acord
Editorial: The Den Editorial
Well, given the subject matter of the song, the likelihood of it ever being used in a commercial was...less than likely. But here it was, being sung by all sorts of folks in a global rallying cry for Apple Music. Kim Deal must have been thrilled when this somehow worked, and somewhere, a man named Paul also smiled. The masters of unexpected music usage did it again...