Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Music makes a good thing great

Cadbury gets it.

Music gives you an emotional connection to a brand or ad. It triggers memories. Images stick in your head when they're viewed alongside music. And it can make strange things more likeable.

Their 'Gorilla' ad wouldn't have been as good without Phil Collins

and their new ad 'Eyebrows' uses a track from 80s Swedish electro group, Freestyle, called "Don't Stop The Rock".

I'm assuming that Cadbury are looking to target people 25 - 39, many of whom grew up with both of these tracks ("In The Air Tonight" is from 1981. "Don't Stop The Rock" is from 1985). The songs grab your attention as you remember them from your past, and probably haven't heard them regularly in a long time. Plus memories of chocolate from your youth don't include any guilty thoughts... because when you were young chocolate was a treat, not something that went to your hips!

As an extra - if you like a bit of Baile Funk, check out this remix from a few months back: Freestyle - Don't Stop The Rock (Daniel Haaksman rmx)
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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Creating hype with music, dance and a flash mob?

The new T-Mobile campaign in the UK seems to have all the right elements to make it popular... music, dance and a flash mob. So why don't I like it?

350 people congregated in Liverpool St Station at 11am on 15th January, and a choreographed dance spread through the crowd to a mega-mix of tracks including Kool & The Gang's 'Get Down On It', Contours' 'Do You Love Me', and Pussycat Dolls' 'Dontcha'.

The dance was filmed by hidden cameras, and turned into a 3 minute spot which was premiered during an ad break in UK Big Brother.

The spot is fun, and the break begins with a Channel 4 voice over which doesn't mention any brands by name - a good way to spark curiosity. As the dancers complete their routine, they jump onto their mobile phones, and the spot finishes with some T Mobile branding.

The initial subtlety of the branding got me interested, as did the fun dance routine (and in particular I loved watching the crowd try to get involved), but this idea is not original, and after seeing dozens of flash mobs used in promotions during 2007/08, it feels stale.

The crew at Improv Everywhere were behind a similar large-scale flash mob stunt in Grand Central station over 12 months ago. But their stunt was not branded or sponsored, it was simply to cause a "scene of chaos and joy in a public place".

Singaporean company, Mobile 1, used a staged flash mob in their 2006 commercial... which also ends in a very similar tag line to the T-Mobile ad (are these two companies related?).

Dance music website inthemix organised a flash mob rave back in 2007, and a flash mob finger gun fight was held at the Tate in November of that year.

If you're going to appropriate an existing idea or trend for your campaign, use it while it's still fresh. Because T-Mobile have jumped on the flash mob craze a little too late, it actually makes their brand look uncool and out of touch. Kind of like a parent using lolz or zomg in an email because they heard the kids were doing it.
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