Friday, 8 May 2009

BMW parters with Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun are following in the footsteps of The Presets by providing the soundtrack for BMW's advertising.

Around a year ago, BMW partnered with The Presets, using a remix of "Are You The One" for their 1 Series, and now Empire of the Sun has re-recorded Blackbox Recorder's "Art of Driving" for the Z4 campaign (check out the ad here).

I found The Presets decision to partner with BMW quite interesting. Jonathon Zawada (the Sydney artist behind most of The Presets early album artwork) created a video for the brand, along with Sydney agency Collider, which featured images of the BMW vehicles... it looked like a regular music video with blatant product placement.

This campaign definitely helped to expose The Presets to a mainstream audience (after the remix was released the track went to #1 on the ARIA Singles chart), but BMW allowed them to retain creative control, so the partnership didn't impact on the respect that most original fans had for them. The duo didn't change their style, and continued to show their support for other local musicians and designers (included their incredible Aria's outfit from Sydney designers Romance Was Born last year!)

So, I like that this campaign also exposes Empire of the Sun, a band that is still considered relatively 'indie', to a mainstream audience. I'm also assuming that BMW gave Empire of the Sun a huge stack of cash for this - and I'm all for major brands supporting musicians in a way that enables the artist to retain control over their creative vision.

But what I dislike is that the track availability is currently too exclusive. According to the BMW website, if you want a copy of the track you can get it through Qantas valet... or EMI will be releasing it commercially in June for those of us who don't regularly use this service! Being able to initially only get the track through Qantas valet is a massive barrier to their current fans... seriously, how many Empire of the Sun fans use valet at the airport?! I also think that the track sounds a little like the rearranging of a brand jingle. If I hadn't been told it was an Empire of the Sun track, I'm not sure I would have picked it.

I feel this is 90% there. If they weren't alienating their current fans through the initial track distribution it would be a great campaign - for both brand, and artist.
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Wednesday, 6 May 2009

NEW AD: Bacardi Mojito - featuring Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim's 'Daylight' has been purchased by Bacardi for use in their latest campaign for Mojitos. I really like the spot. It follows a guy who moves slowly through a club and back through the decades until he reaches 1862, the birthdate of Bacardi.

This track was originally distributed through Green Label Sound - the label run by Mountain Dew. I wonder if Bacardi & Mountain Dew would make a good drink?

Matt & Kim are going to be touring the US over the next few months as part of the Bacardi B-Live tour, so I guess that the use of their track in this commercial was part of the deal.

The Bacardi B-Live tour in the US is also featuring Major Lazer (Diplo & Switch), MSTRKRFT, Jazzy Jeff, Tiga, A-Trak, and Santigold... why why why can't we have a lineup of this calibre on the Australian Bacardi Express tour?!

Here's the ad:
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NEW VIDEO: Swizz Beats - When I Step In The Club (dir: Hype Williams - BRAND FUNDED)

Hype Williams is top of my list of music video directors.

His videos are always interesting and often groundbreaking. I'm sure there are loads of copycats who took their fish-eye inspiration from early Hype videos. Some of my personal fave clips include Kanye's 'Gold Digger', Beyonce's 'Check On It', and my absolute all-time fave - Missy Elliot's 'The Rain'

The newest release from Hype is the video for Swizz Beats' new one - 'When I Step In The Club'.

I loved what he did with the movement of limbs in this clip. I liked the colours with loads of purples and blacks... and then I looked at the name of the person who uploaded this clip to YouTube - Hennessy. As in the cognac.

Even Kanye blogged about this clip - but as with all the other blogs I've been reading, he made no mention of Hennessy. After a bit more digging, I found that this clip has been released in conjunction with the launch of the Hennessy Black Cognac - for which an event was held in a New York club last night. Turns out that Swizz wrote the track specifically for the brand too. I wonder if they've tried to keep this all under wraps, or if music bloggers just aren't interested in this brand tie-in?

According to Billboard, there is more activity coming to support this promotion. "Hennessy will launch a dance contest titled "Up/Down" on their YouTube channel, where consumers will be able to create and post their own "Up/Down" dance for a chance to be flown to LA, where Williams will film and cut them into a new version of the video to "When I Step In the Club."

In addition, to push the comp, Hennessy have been hiring professional dancers to break out into original UP/DOWN dance routines in clubs around the US when the track gets played. Following the dance, consumers are then handed an all-black business card which directs them to the Hennesy Black website. It's kind of like holding multiple mini flash mobs.
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Kid Sister for the Reebok Classic Remix Project

In celebration of the Reebok Classics Remix collection, Reebok has chosen a selection of emerging hip-hop artists to re-interpret a 'classic' track from the 80s which will be distributed with the purchase of sneakers from the Reebok Classic collection - exclusively at Foot Locker.

The most recent addition to their collection of remixes comes from Kid Sister, who has worked with Treasure Fingers to provide an interpretation of the 1988 Jungle Brothers track, "I'll House You".

Kid Sister Reebok Classic Remix 30 Sec. Video Spot from reebokclassicremix on Vimeo.

Sneaker culture has been huge for decades, and this campaign is a nice way to tie in the old & new - from popular classic 80s style Reeboks that are now being re-released, to popular tracks from the 80s that never seem to go out of style. What they're doing musically with this campaign ties in perfectly with the 'remixing' of colours & styles of classic Reeboks. Plus, while fans of Kid Sister won't necessarily buy these shoes because they come with a free track (which is now easily downloadable via blogs, without having to buy sneakers)... Reebok knows that they will buy them because a respected indie artist like Kid Sister is wearing them, endorsing them, and backing the Reebok Classics campaign. Which makes these sneakers cool.

Here's the Kid Sister track:

And the video from the Jungle Brothers original version:

Let's hope that all the artists involved in this project are fans of Reebok, and happy to wear them on stage when they perform. Reebok got themselves a bad name in the indie music community earlier this year, by tasering Kid Cudi after he insisted on wearing his Air Jordan's on stage at a Reebok party!
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They can't beat Mac design... so Dell tries Brazillian beats

Dell have always struggled in the 'cool' stakes. Particularly when you put them up against Apple. Their computers aren't as aesthetically pleasing. They don't come with funky accessories. And I have never heard anyone call themselves a 'Dell junky'.

In an attempt to make their brand appeal to young tech lovers, they've enlisted the help of a Brazillian musician, MC Créu.

Last year in Brazil, the Dança do Créu invented by MC Créu became a dance phenomenon. The song was repetitive and came with a routine. Kinda like Vogue. Or the Macarena. Only hotter, because Brazillians always manage to bring that sexy edge to their dancing.

Dell has taken Créu's baile funk sounds and used them in their latest campaign, along with a host of images of Dell computers.

The track is catchy (but annoying). The best thing to come out of this campaign however, is that while researching it I came across the following video:

Those Brazillian boys. What can I say?!
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