In recent months, we've seen various brands make innovative use of music. Harlan Coben's latest suspense novel includes a gripping ambient soundtrack. Louis XVIII created a one-note mini-symphony based on the clink! of cognac glasses. Bacardi and Singapore Airlines mixed sounds from bars and cockpits, respectively, into dance tracks.
Those are just some of the notable efforts we've covered here on Muse, and they all involved considerable planning and preparation—over weeks, and in some cases months—to produce a pleasing audio product.
Now, LVMH wine and spirits e-tailer Clos19 chimes in with musical marketing that stresses improvisation.
First, the brand launched a contest on social media and received more than 800 entries from fans requesting a special song for a loved one or friend. Cue English jazz-pop artist Jamie Cullum, who composed 19 short, distinct tracks—words and music—in a single (very long) day as the cameras rolled.
"Jamie thought the idea was mad, but loved it, so he really put the work into making it as good as possible," says Jennifer Grant, creative producer at Uncommon, which developed the campaign. "He managed to nail pretty much every song in one take."
Given the set-up—an artist, a piano and a tight time restriction—it's little surprise that the tracks run fairly short (a minute or two at most) and sound like cuts from an album in progress. Cullum earns points for varying his neo-lounge stylings just enough to make each ditty sound sufficiently different from the rest.
"The reason we used Jamie was because we needed an incredibly talented musician with a wide musical range who could riff and nail it under immense time pressure," Grant says. "There aren't many people who could turn a rambling message full of emojis into a beautiful, finished track in minutes."
Since he's working from fan suggestions, the subject matter varies wildly. There's funny stuff, including paeans to a guy who plays his saxophone while leaping out of cakes, and some dude who stripped off one chilly night at Hong Kong Stadium:
At the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, the feels run high on "Beautiful Kids," written for a young mom named Nicola, who shared this story:
"I'd love it if you wrote a song for my two girls, 7 and 8 years old. Something funny and cheerful, as they love to dance and sing. I lost my husband, their dad, two years ago, and everyone tells me what a great job I'm doing bringing them up on my own and what brilliant, kind and funny kids I have. But you know what? It's my kids that have kept me going and given me a reason to get up every morning and make me smile and laugh."
Based on that input, Cullum composed a keeper:
"You know your dad would be happy
for all the smiles that you bring
and you know that I feel so lucky
when I see you dance and sing
You are, you are, you are, you are, you are,
just beautiful kids."
"The World Needs You," celebrating a beloved brother, also shines:
Predictably, we get pet sounds too, with Norman the cat and Jessie the cocker spaniel saluted in song:
As for the brand lift, Grant explains, "It's not what you say, but how you say it that really counts. That goes for a personalized gift from Clos19 as much as it does for a personal tribute put to music. It's that idea of thoughtful gifts meaning more that we really wanted to communicate with this work. It also allows Clos19 to show their personality."
Creative Agency: Uncommon Creative Studio
Music Supervision: Dom Bastyra @ Wake The Town
Director: Stella Scott
DOP: Jaime Ackroyd
Production Company: Pulse Films
EP: James Sorton
Production Company Producer: Emma Wellbelove
Sound: Ade Pressly
Grade: Vic Parker @ Raised by Wolves
Post: Jon Hollis @ Raised by Wolves
Editor (tributes): Pablo D’Ambrosi
Assembly Editing: Marnie Hollande