Ah, the swish-swish of windshield wipers, the engine's roar, wheels rolling across pavement, the insistent bleat of a horn.
Cars conduct symphonies all their own.
Hey, what if someone mixed such automotive tones with lofi beats to create a YouTube chillhop-style experience, complete with a cutesy anime video? You know, the kind of stuff millions of folks crank up these days as soundtracks for work or study?
What if a big oil company did it? Yeah, that'd be right on brand.
Well, Conoco's done just that.
Working with Carmichael Lynch, the brand produced "Glug Glug," 50 minutes of original, smooth instrumentals (16 of them) interspersed with … wait for it, have you already guessed? … car sounds!
When you fill up, gasoline goes "Glug, glug," and that's where the title comes from. Alas, no "glugs" appear on the selections below, but you can't have it all, right?
That manga-gal even has some Conoco knick-knacks on her dashboard. When she gets home, she'll probably strap on headphones and hit the books. Nice pooch, by the way.
"Conoco's audience is 18– to 24-year-old, extremely online young people who are savvy and skeptical of brands of trying to cash in on memes and pop culture," CL senior copywriter Zack Johnson tells Muse. "We think taking this lofi thing, with its built-in, passionate fanbase, and sincerely contributing to the culture is a refreshing move for a brand that is trying to appeal to a young crowd. And even if you're not a lofi hip-hop head, the music is good enough to appeal to anyone. Who doesn't want a chill soundtrack for their drive?"
Those tunes are poppy but not too peppy; notions of excessive speed—like the zippy metal riffs in this New York Lottery playlist—wouldn't do in a driving context. Conversely, "Glug Glug" is chill but not overly laid back. Nodding off at the wheel is a no-no, after all. Once you're safely home, Lincoln and Casper's snoozy tracks will lull you off to dreamland.
Wait, what? You're craving chicken for a bedtime snack? KFC's got you covered, song-wise. As for a nightcap, well, belly up to the bar for Bacardi's drinking song, featuring the sloshy sounds of rum cocktails. Flying out in the morning? Singapore Airlines delivers a track recorded in and around one of its planes.
Yes, brands of all sorts are tapping into music and cultural cues like never before, and we expect they'll turn up the volume on this trend moving forward.
As for Conoco, "our brand positioning is about encouraging people to 'Choose Go,' to explore and see the world and not sit still," says Johnson. "We liked that this could be both the soundtrack on their next journey and a good companion to relax, breathe and take a break before they start thinking about going again. For the music itself, we wanted tracks that would help listeners focus on the driving experience and conjure up that meditative feeling of long drives at sunset."
Campaign: Conoco LoFi Glug Glug Mix
Senior Director, Brand Advertising: Sarah Bolding
Brand Director: Jacqueline Johnson
Associate Brand Director: Rob Runnels
Social Media Coordinator: Kathleen O’Brien
Agency: Carmichael Lynch
Chief Creative Officer: Marty Senn
Exec Creative Director: Josh Leutz
Associate Creative Director: Chad Temples
Senior Writer: Zack Johnson
Senior Art Director: Kyle Johnson
Head of Production: Orlee Tatarka
Content Producer: Dave Lewis
Business Manager: Vicki Oachs, Tara DiNicola
Account Management Team: Jennifer Corrigan, Brad Wellman, Caleb Peabody
Project Manager: Abby Minea
Brand Planning: Brenna Smithson, Maria Pazos
Media: Sophia Lippold, Andrew Lapham
Social Engagement: Cavan Reagan Reichmann, Dustin Smith, Gemma Forbush, Irene Buettner-Salido, Billy Singvongsa
Edit House: Carmichael Lynch Studios
Editor: Brad Baker
Producer: Greg Bakun
Audio Mix: Brad Baker
Doug Lussenhop, also known as DJ Douggpound, is a comedian/video editor/podcaster. He also makes “dope beats” —in this case, with fellow musician Cer Spence.
Tracks: Overpass, Bumper to Bumper, Drive Thru
Kosher Spear is the chilled and waved alter-ego of Tal Tahir, one half of synth duo Escape From Minneapolis. He also composes soundtracks on the low.
Tracks: No Left Turns, Daybrake, Wiper Tears Away, Midnight Radio
Brano is a DJ, a person and a content connoisseur.
Tracks: Tropical Wrench, Rainy, Busy Day At The Pump
Longfellow is a human/producer/editor with a knack for arranging sights and sounds in a mostly pleasing order.
Tracks: Trunk Funk, Rearview Weird, Dashbored, High Beams, Roll The Windows Down, Smiles Per Gallon