This music-video concept is something of a stretch.
A guy starts his day by applying Axe's limited-edition Martin Garrix body spray (Garrix is a famous Dutch DJ), then spies a single earbud on his bed. Miles away, a young woman finds that earbud's mate.
It turns out those buds are connected by an impossibly long, magical wire, allowing the couple to groove together to Garrix's new single, "These Are the Times," while they separately enjoy playful adventures all around town.
Will they meet up before the final catchy dance-pop chorus fades away? Hey, Axe and director Ivana Bobic wouldn't just string us along:
Aww, they stare longingly into each eye's on a rooftop high above the city. (And if the elevator breaks, they can use that hella-long headphone wire to climb back down.) Garrix makes a cameo, managing somehow not to trip over that amazingly extended cord.
"These Are the Times" marks the second collaboration with Garrix for Axe and ad agency 72andSunny Amsterdam, following last year's immensely popular "Burn Out," which garnered some 57 million global views. (The new clip is approaching 1 million in its first 24 hours.)
"We are always thinking of new ways to visually show connection and attraction. It's tough," Adam Koppel, creative director at 72andSunny Amsterdam, tells Muse. "There's only so many things you can do, especially when people are really sensitive about anything in that world. So we liked the innocence of just sharing headphones. And sure, it's a little retro, but I think that is what gives it some charm. It's not a mirror of behavior but a trigger for memory. Also, I'd be curious how many people outside of well-to-do ad folks in major cities have wireless ear buds, especially teens."
The effort falls under the Axe Music platform, targeting the Gen Z crowd who are masters of ad skipping, Koppel says, "so creating a Trojan horse of sorts—that's not an obvious commercial—makes sense. Our last music video ('Burn Out') had 57 million views, and 99 percent were organic. So it's working. And it's adding value to something they already care about."
Further emphasizing connection, ahead of the clip's release, Axe and Garrix asked fans to submit earbud-sharing stories and videos via social. (A dozen fans who sent in stories are featured on the TV screens toward the video's conclusion.)
Next month, in collaboration with Sony, Axe will ship a special-edition gift pack of Martin Garrix body spray and body wash along with a set of blue earbuds matching those in the video. Alas, the cord will be standard length. We think.
"In this campaign, we've highlighted the obvious relationship music has to attraction, and we'll continue to draw on this in the future," says Axe Music global brand manager William Humphries.
Creative Agency: 72andSunny Amsterdam
Director: Ivana Bobic
Production Company: Riff Raff
Sound Design Company: Wave London
Post/VFX Company: MPC London