Tagged: Inspiration

INSPIRATION: Even UKIP would love this Foreigner from Freeview

I know it is Christmas and I should be focusing on the enormous budgets of the big supermarket and perfume campaigns but through a combination of events I’ve skipped the lead up to Santa’s big day. In summary, Sainsbury’s got beaten up for exploiting the Great War, John Lewis went merchandising crazy, Tesco took use back to a brighter past with Flashdance, Aldi got out the crown Jools and the list goes on. I would say it is a mixed Santa sack this year, some big budget, some more sensible, some very safe, some just safe.

Sitting amongst all things festive there was this little bundle of joy in the form of the new Freeview ad from Leo Burnett. Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is” is the kind of track that sets a real challenge to ad creatives. It is a huge song, massively uncool and yet everyone knows the words, immediately sings along and deep down loves it. How do you make an ad that isn’t in the shadow of the music? How do you avoid using the track as a backing to some schmaltzy montage of sad then happy beautiful people?

They have overcome all the challenges and created a piece of creative that should become the official music video, the competition for this role is not fierce, just see below. In field dominated by big budget Christmas ads it is hard to grab people’s attention but the Singing Toys have managed it, who doesn’t love the bit with the Wrestler toy. Well done Freeview and Leo Burnett, you have made Christmas better without even mentioning it.

Hudl round for some happy sounds

WARNING: ADVERTORIAL (My version of it)

It is rare that I get a chance to showcase creative work that I’ve delivered for a client. As I’m not a musician or sound designer all my work is done in the shadows so I wanted to share this recent work for the new Hudl 2 tablet from Tesco. The device has been getting a lot of rave reviews since it launched a couple of days ago and a lot of them have focused on the physical design, which is impressive. What people have not yet talked about is the audio experience of the new Hudl.

The Tesco Connected Devices team were very thorough in their approach to creating the Hudl experience and left no stone unturned in making sure everything communicated the values of brand and the purpose of the device. A key part to this communication are the sounds that the device makes as it does its thing. Not happy with the stock Android sounds they instead chose to create a unique sound world for the Hudl so that what the user hears matches what they see.

I was lucky enough to work closely with the device development team to create the sound of the Hudl. They embraced the whole process of translating the brand and user experience into sound and with the composition and sound design talents of Paul Sumpter of The Futz Butler we made the Hudl brand sing (and beep). The best thing about it was that rather than explore the safe and the average we were given the freedom to really experiment, you can read more about Paul’s work here and watch a video of him smashing things up in a calm and non-aggressive way.

A lot of the sonic branding created today is bland and generic because while its starting point is one of exploration the end point is usually one of mediation. For the Hudl sonic branding the aim was to simply communicate the brand and with that in mind we were allowed to focus on creativity and values rather than compromise.

I’m really proud of the work and I want to give huge thanks to the Joe and Danny from the Hudl team for their commitment to eating stinky lunches in the studio and allowing us to experiment, Martin Lawless for his amazing insight into the Hudl brand and reflections on the Hacienda days and Paul Sumpter for his superb creative work and comfy packing crates.

The best way of checking out our work is of course to go and buy one and if you want to learn more about how we created the sound of the Hudl or want to know more about sonic branding feel free to contact me.


INSPIRATION: Grey show Simon Fuller what Spicey music should sound like

I love it when the title of an ad starts with the words “The Sound of…..”, it means I get to watch some highly synced, brand based visuals. So here we have “The Sound of Taste” an ad created for Schwartz spices by the London outpost of Grey. The music has been provided by MJ Cole who is more commonly associated with “Crazy Love” rather than spice inspired classical compositions but it certainly an interesting foray into advertising.

It is kind of interesting. Blowing up colourful stuff, be it food or paints, is nothing new in advertising, Sony love a bit of it. But what makes this feel a little different it is that the music is just so damn calm while the visuals are quite the opposite, plus I have never thought of Schwartz’s products as being the kind of stuff I would like to munch on while relaxing in a big armchair listening to a Ministry of Sound Ibiza Chill Out mix. In summary we have spicy stuff exploding in sync with a nice calm piece of music. Works for me.

P.S. For those who really have absolutely nothing to do with their time you can even watch the making of video. I’m not actually sure when advertising agencies decided that we needed to know how they made their ads but can someone tell them to stop. I could go on a massive rant about this but since life is too short and I really want to keep some time free to find out how they make the moustache on the Go Compare guy so wavy, I’m going to leave it there.

JUST GOTTA SHARE: We’ve all been in this meeting

So when I’m not working, listening to music, reading about music and brand or writing this stuff I spend my time generally watching videos of amazing skateboarders, check this one out it has a great soundtrack and some seriously hairy moments. I do also occasionally watch other stuff and this is something that I really think it is worth sharing, we’ve all been in this meeting, big ideas turn to safe options over some bad coffee and danish.

Zulu Alpha Kilo are a Toronto based agency who must be pretty decent as they are currently up for Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year but I’m not sure whose giving out the awards.

Warning: This video is only suitable for people in the marketing world, the rest of you will have no context whatsoever for it. Oh yeah and there is some swearing so try not to show it to the kids or your in-laws.