"My rocket is skint."
Elton John schools Lil Nas X on British slang in one of several fresh, funny spots the musicians made for Uber Eats.
Sir Elton sits astride a coin-op kiddie rocket, while Nas rides a mechanical horsie. Their chemistry shines in this latest installment of the "Tonight I'll Be Eating" campaign from Special Group U.S./Australia and Smuggler director Guy Shelmerdine.
As the Rocket Man's missile runs down, he turns to the Old Town Road rapper for assistance.
Elton: Spare a pound?
Elton: You know—bones, shillings, lolly?
Nas (confused): Lolly?
Elton: Bangers and mash?
Nas: I'm ... I'm sorry...
Elton (perturbed): I don't have any money.
Nas: (takes in their sumptuous drawing-room surroundings, and responds in the worst British accent ever): "You don't look broke!"
And by "worst" accent, we mean it's absolutely the BEST! When it comes to commercials, Nas can do no wrong, as he's shown in recent outings for Taco Bell and others. Here, timeless Sir Elton proves the perfect foil. It's jolly good!
Next, the guys make fashion statements and debate whether mayonnaise goes with French fries:
Here, they swap legendary looks:
Finally, Nas solos to spotlight Uber Eats' alcohol, convenience and grocery offerings:
More feathers, please!
Previous "Tonight I'll Be Eating" campaign entries featured a Wayne's World spot on the Super Bowl, space-shots with Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill, and comic gymnastics from Simone Biles and Jonathan Van Ness, among others.
Those pairings were great. But Nas and Elton—who've been recording together—take the concept to new heights, with sequined star power that sparkles on-screen.
"When ideating spots for the campaign, we look for two people who have a connection that we get to uncover. Not necessarily people you would normally put together, but two people that once put together make absolute sense," Special Group executive creative director Dave Horton tells Muse. "Just seeing Elton and Nas together jumped off the page, and we knew we needed to make this happen."
"When we approached them, we found out they were working together on a song for Lil Nas X's album," he adds. "Anytime there is a real-world connection, the energy is already there, and you can bring it to life. This energy is the same thing we saw with Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill. They weren't necessarily friends, but they had this relationship in culture that existed for years."
Horton continues: "We love tapping into fan culture, harnessing the energy of subcultures, and paying homage to them with Easter eggs that we know they'll appreciate."
To wit, Nas tries on Elton's vintage Crocodile Rock regalia, with EJ modeling one of the rapper's pink cowboy suits.
"It was amazing to see them together on the set," recalls Matthew Woodhams-Roberts, also an ECD at Special Group. "They had a respect and fondness for each other. They were playing off each other, which made the whole shoot so much easier."
"Sadly, no medley was performed," says Horton. "At one point, however, Elton did start to play the piano, and for 10 minutes the whole crew stopped working and just watched. That was a pretty special moment for everyone working on this project."
This is super stuff, a celebration of music and pop sensibilities spanning generations, and laser-focused through marketing's glitzy prism. These spots made this cynical scribe feel slightly better about the human condition (no mean feat!) while boosting Uber Eats with positive vibes.
I think it's gonna be a long, long time until ads packing this much fun touch down again. Not until the next Elton-Nas team-up, at any rate. Surely one's in the works?
"You'll have to wait to find out," Woodhams-Roberts teases. "That's the beauty of this campaign. So many people now look forward to the match-ups and even provide their recommendations on which celebrities would make a great duo."
Client: UBER EATS
Chief Marketing Officer: Thomas Ranese
Global Head of Brand: Shivram Vaideswaran
Head of Marketing U.S. & CAN: Georgie Jeffreys
Global Creative Director: Natalie Purbrick
Global Executive Creative Director: Danielle Hawley
Director of Global Production Carey Head
Head of Business Affairs: Rashad Suarez
Global Social Media Lead, Delivery: N'Yaisha Aziz
Creative Producer: Alexis Bley
Senior Marketing Manager: Liza Keller
Senior Consumer Communications Manager: Lexi Levin Mitchel
Brand Media Lead: Gracie Childress
Agency: SPECIAL GROUP U.S./Australia
Founding Partner US/CCO: William Gelner
Executive Creative Director: Dave Horton
Executive Creative Director: Matthew Woodhams-Roberts
Creative Director: Brandon Davis
Creative Director: Jon Marshall
Associate Creative Director: Alyssa Cavanaugh
Associate Creative Director: Ryan Siepert
Associate Creative Director, Design: Alex Lumain
Social Lead: Lachlan Stewart
Founding Partner US / Managing Director: Caroline Jackson
Senior Account Director: Rafik Massoud
Account Supervisor: Sarah Newton
Founding Partner US / Head of Strategy: Kelsey Hodgkin
Strategy Director: Janet Shih
Head of Production: Esther Perls
Senior Producer: Chelsea Larner
Producer: Chloe Seitz
Head of Business Affairs: Latanya Ware
Head of Operations: Veronica DeLaRosa
Head of Finance: Karen Lo
Founding Partner Aus / CEO: Cade Heyde
Founding Partner Aus / CCO: Tom Martin
Founding Partner Aus / CCO: Julian Schreiber
Managing Partner, Strategy: Rob Frost
Managing Partner, Video Investment: Martin Blich
Group Account Leader: Laura Lefever
US Planning Lead, Uber: Emma Rogers
Associate Director of Strategy: Bobby Edwards
Associate Director, Planning: Meg Blauvelt
Associate Director, Video Investment: Diana Bartumioli
Media Supervisor: Caroline Nee
Director: Guy Shelmerdine
Co-Founder: Patrick Milling-Smith
Co- Founder: Brian Carmody
Executive Producer: Allison Kunzman
Chief Operating Officer: Andrew Colon
Head of Production: Alex Hughes
Producer: Donald Taylor
Social Production: FANCIFUL FOX
Director: Richard Downie
EP: James Toth
Producer: Christopher Broyles
Edit: WORK EDITORIAL
EDITOR: Rich Orrick
EDITOR: Nick Rondeau
EDITOR: Oliver Hecks(social)
HOP: Marlo Baird
EP: Brandee Probasco
Producer: Evan Cohen
Color: MPC Color
Colorist: Dimitri Zola
Color Assist: Taylor Pool
Executive Producer, Color: Meghan Lang
Producer: Phoebe Torsilieri
Sound + Mix: ELEVEN
Audio Post Studio: Eleven
Mix/Sound Design: Jordan Meltzer
Asst Mixer: Marco Tornillo
Executive Producer: Melissa Elston