Pandora Celebrates You, and Your Ridiculous Dance Moves, in Giddy New Campaign

Tunes to lift you up ... morning, noon and night

Mundane daily tasks like making breakfast, mowing the lawn and commuting home at night all go better with music, right?

Sure, you're really just setting the table, pulling out weeds and waiting for that damn bus to arrive. But with great tunes blasting—say, from artists like Halsey, Tones And I, and Normani—the tedium melts away. Suddenly (if only in your mind) you're busting moves with carefree abandon to the bass-heavy beat as strobe lights caress every sensational shimmy and sway. 

In a multichannel campaign that breaks today, music streaming service Pandora salutes that unfettered, carefree, dancing-machine you.

"Be you. We'll be your music," says the tagline on a trio of humorous, kicky spots developed by Pandora's in-house team with production company Tool of North America and director Paul Brignati:

Pandora | Be You | Morning | Commercial 2019
Pandora | Be You | Afternoon | Commercial 2019
Pandora | Be You | Night | Commercial 2019

"Our listeners look to Pandora to help transform life's everyday moments by adding the exact right soundtrack for whatever they are doing, from cooking to commuting," Pandora vp of brand marketing, creative and communications Brad Minor tells Muse. "They love being able to open Pandora, set the tone by selecting an artist or a song, and let Pandora do the rest."

The campaign arrives at a pivotal time for the service, which was acquired for $3.5 billion in February by satellite broadcaster SirusXM, and saw its total monthly users slide by 8 percent to 63.1 million in Q3, compared to the same period in 2018. Now, with Pandora seeking to move in a positive direction, the campaign backs a major app update that promises enhanced artist and song discovery, improved personalization and more on-demand music, podcasts and programming across free, ad-supported and premium tiers.

This clip hits some of those highlights:

The All-New Pandora

"While our active listeners told us they love that Pandora 'just gets me,' our lapsed users said they wished Pandora would let them play what they want, when they want," says Minor. "The reality is, Pandora has had on-demand capabilities for several years, but we just hadn't done a great job of telling our listeners."

Colorful billboards created with agency Boyce Mangin amplify that aspect of the pitch:

The work represents an evolution of the previous "Sound On" brand campaign, and some elements will retain the service's playful sonic logo introduced in March. 

"Pandora's target audience is literally everyone in the U.S.," says Minor. "You have to balance how you can connect with everyone on a massive scale, without being so broad in your point-of-view that you don't resonate with anyone."

The notion of people shedding their inhibitions to music might seem a tad obvious or overdone, but that familiarity is probably a plus, owing to the basic, underlying truth the campaign taps into. Director Briganti, best known for directing short segments on Saturday Night Live and innovative comedy shows such as Adam Ruins Everything, channels just the right mix of manic energy and absurdity throughout. 

"We made a mess of that kitchen," recalls Casey Price, creative director and VFX supervisor at Shipping + Handling, of filming one of the spots. "I was worried that the dancer was going to slip or bump into something in those close quarters, but she was a pro and never missed a step. We helped elevate the scene by adding flames to the stove stop and lighting effects." 
 
Catherine Bull, editor at Spot Welders, notes that across the campaign, "when you're cutting a spot to music, you listen to the track a billion times, and it is a testament to these artists that I never ever got sick of the songs. Each night I would wake up with a different one playing in my head, and it always made me smile." 

Overall, the team strove to help users "see themselves reflected in our TV spots," Minor says. "We want them to feel like Pandora hears and sees them, that we celebrate them, and that we want to do our part to help them live their lives at full volume." 
 
Digital street murals from local artists—linked to Pandora playlists curated by their creators—are in the mix for markets including Atlanta (see below), Boise, Denver, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans and Tucson.

In press materials, Pandora also touts a live-streamed Halsey concert on Dec. 10 from Brooklyn, and "top-tier partnerships for immersive experiences across the U.S., leading up to one of the biggest Pandora/SiriusXM concerts to date during the biggest weekend in sports." 

Gee, which weekend could they be referring to? 

CREDITS

The campaign was designed and executed in-house at Pandora
Media buying agency: Digitas
Out of Home agency: Boyce Mangin

Production Company:

Tool of North America
Director: Paul Briganti
DP: Wyatt Troll

Post-Production Companies:

Spot Welders Editorial
Editor: Catherine Bull
Managing Director/Executive Producer: Carolina Padilla
Managing Partner: David Glean

SHIPPING + HANDLING
C.D./VFX Supervisor: Casey Price
Lead Flame Artist: Chris Moore
C.D./Flame Artist: Jerry Spivack
Flame Artist: Paul Heagney
Colorist: Matthew Schwab
Executive Producer/Producer: Scott Friske
Managing Partner: David Glean

Interactive mural artists:
Atlanta: Chris Veal
Pittsburgh: Brian Holderman
Tucson: The Fortoul Brothers
Denver: Gamma & Pat Milbery
New Orleans: Ian Wilkinson
Milwaukee: Big Shot Robot
Nashville: Alexandria Hall
Boise: Ashley Dreyfus

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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