Katy Perry Explores the Color of Music for Behr Paint

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA matches songs and hues

Katy Perry explores the connection between music and color for Behr, introducing an interactive audio tool that matches songs in Spotify's vast library with different hues.

To illustrate the "Music in Color" experience, Perry presents a selection of her hits in a brief film from director Emil Nava. Each track yields a bold transformation in shade for the singer's outfits and backdrop.

BEHR x Katy Perry - Katy in Color

On display in the clip: Laser Lemon (evoking a sunny day), Flirt Alert (a rich red) and Sea of Tranquility (turquoise). These tones play across the screen during "Never Really Over," "Waking Up in Vegas" and "Teenage Dream," respectively. Those colors and nine others appear in a new Perry-inspired paint palette from Behr.

"Every time I write a song, seven out of 10 times I can see a visual, whether that is a full-on music video or a vibe of sorts," the singer tells People. "And if I had to explain my songs with colors, that would be so easy to do. I think they're kind of synonymous."

On a microsite, you can plug in tracks from Spotify to generate colors from Perry's palette based on a song's rhythm, tempo, key and other components. Related experiences are planned for TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.

The process stems from the cognitive principal of synesthesia, where one sense influences others. Similar notions informed a 2019 initiative from cookware brand Tramontina, which employed an algorithm to convert Spotify songs into recipes. Behr's campaign feels more mainstream and accessible, however, and Perry's presence provides punch in a category not known for its star power.

"It started by looking for interesting ways of getting millennials into painting, and more specifically helping them overcome color paralysis," says Jason Karley, group creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, Behr's agency partner. "From there, we landed on the idea to combine two big passion points: music and color."

After mulling various artists for the project, the team chose Perry based on her high profile, and because color informs her work "in bold, decisive and powerful ways," Karley says.

"Bold," "decisive" and "powerful" could also describe Judas Priest's classic '80s thrasher "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," with shrieking vocals from Rob Halford, who popped up this week in ads for Plymouth Rock insurance.

For kicks, we ran that track through "Music in Color," which matched the guitar-driven diatribe with Breezeway, "a soft sea-glass green that brightens with an air of vitality and confidence." The live version pulled up Surfboard Yellow, which "strikes the perfect blend of sun and sand" to help DIYers "transform any room into an exotic, active escape and find joy in its everlasting cheerfulness."

Sorry, Rob, this week the indignities just keep coming.

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