A-ha! Halsey Made a Coca-Cola Ad Channeling 'Take On Me'
Back in 1985, director Steve Barron's video for A-ha's peppy synth-pop hit "Take On Me" ran on MTV about 20 times a day. Its distinctive fusion of colorful live action and monochrome rotoscope animation tells the tale of a flesh-and-blood woman drawn to a new-wave motorcycle-racing dude who lives in a comic-book world.
It's one of the most iconic music videos of all time, with 1.5 billion views on YouTube alone, plus countless homages and imitations—including a Volkswagen commercial—to its credit.
Now, Halsey channels that Reagan-era vibe in a 40-second teaser for her latest single, "So Good." Directed by Matthew Dillon Cohen and developed with VMLY&R, the film premiered last week exclusively on Coca-Cola's Coke Studio digital platform.
Mirroring the look and feel of "Take On Me," the narrative finds Halsey decorating a canvas that might serve as a portal to an alternate universe:
So, it's a cute comment on art and life inextricably entwined. Viva creativity! (Fueled by an icy-cold Coke, of course.) The short features the last chorus from "So Good." Here us Halsey's full-length video for the track, sans callouts to soft drinks or '80s pop bands:
Coca-Cola has a long history in the music space, dating back to its "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" jingle from the '70s through its recent efforts with Tyler the Creator and Marshmello.
Relaunched in expanded form a few months back, Coke Studio seeks to build a "more deliberate and sustained presence," providing a hub "for experiences and content to live and be enjoyed by fans at any time," Coca-Cola brand director Brandan Strickland tells Muse.
Coke tapped Halsey because "her massive, diverse, primarily Gen Z fanbase—as well as her passion for inclusion and togetherness in music—align perfectly with the purpose of Coke Studio: uniting young people through a shared love of music," Strickland says. "On top of that, she's an authentic Coke fan and fully understands the feeling of 'Real Magic' the brand is striving for."
The company launched that global positioning last year in a splashy film aimed at gamers that garnered mixed reviews, though a subsequent "Real Magic" holiday spot drew considerable praise.
In addition to the Halsey video drop, Coke Studio will present summer content from Khalid, The Kid LAROI, BIA and Ari Lennox, and offer concert tickets, artist meet-and-greets, autographed albums and more.
In addition, Coke will provide OOH support for Halsey's "Move On," and she's hyping the collab across social.
Brandan Strickland - Brand Director, Coke Trademark
Ali Cascino - Director, Content and Shopper Programs
Morgan Bullock - Brand Manager, Coke Trademark
Michael Hughes - Sr. Manager, End to End Connections and Media
Aly Hite - Sr. Manager, Strategic Communications
Richard Toranzo - Director, Social Center
Chelsey Wilkins - Media and Influencer Lead
Jennifer Spillers Kramer - Sr. Manager, Creative Production
VMLY&R (Creative Lead)
Debbi Vandeven - Global Chief Creative Officer
John Godsey, Chief Creative Officer
Nick Allegri - Group Creative Director
Megan Steidl - Group Creative Director
Jessica Walden Morden - Creative Director
Jennifer Farquharson - Creative Director
Pedro Assis - Sr. Art Director
Breno Oliveira - Sr. Copywriter
Shaun Campbell - Group Executive Producer
Mary Anthony - Director, Strategy & Insights
Damian Dawson - Associate Connections Director, Social
Megan Mills - Group Director, Client Engagement
Andrea McDowell - Director, Client Engagement
Devin Rote - Supervisor, Client Engagement
Camille Lewis - Sr. Program Manager
Michelle Sanchez - Talent Director, North America
Theresa Notartomaso - Executive Music Producer
LFR (Production Company)
Matthew Dillon Cohen - Director
Luigi Rossi - Executive Producer
Gianfranco Svagelj - Line Producer
Vikkal Parikh - Creative Director
Rasha Clark -Head of Production
Meghana Murthy - Producer
Cameron Gray - Executive Producer
John Marinis - Editor
Jeremy Baumann - Editor
Dess Quiñones - Designer
Daniel Cordero - Animator
Adam VanDine - Animator/Compositor
Alex Wood - Junior Animator
Sara Scooch - Music Brand Partnerships, United Talent Agency
Alisann Blood - Music Brand Partnerships, United Talent Agency
Anthony Li - Artist Management
Jason Aron - Artist Management