Thursday, June 01, 2006

MY Commercial Music (Pt. 2, sort of)

Like I said yesterday, I have freelanced for this agency that does a lot of Target stuff. I suppose they could be mad at me for writing about it here, to my oh couple of hundred readers (hee hee) but honestly I don't know if they will ever use me again. Not because I wasn't good. Of course I think I was good. But, well, you know the last time I was there it was for this roundtable of freelancers and in-house folk to brainstorm "big" campaign ideas. Now there was one guy, a freelancer, a copywriter, like me, but he was so the opposite of me. He was all jazz hands. He was fancy NYC retro suit guy. But when you washed the big words and smooth delivery away you were left with a whole lot of nothing. Still, the folks at the agency thought he was a freaking genius. And these are kind, smart people, but boy were they off base about this guy. We went back to the hotel and he proceeded to rip them all a new one about how gullible they were and dumb because he knew he was full o' crap. Me? I mostly kept quiet, took notes and turned them in after the meeting. But you know what? People. Don't. Read. Jazz hands win out every time.

They ended up hiring him full time and within a few months, he was gone. I don't know if he was fired or quit, I didn't pry. For all I know he still does freelance for them. For all I know he's the idiot who came up with Choxie.

My favorite part of the job, as you can imagine, was coming up with songs for my campaign ideas. They never took any of my suggestions for tunes though. Below are a few songs I picked for a previous holiday campaign (w/o using Christmas songs.)

This is just a sampling of the mountains of mix CDs I made for the agency. Oh and remember commercials only use 30 seconds (or less if they re-mix) of the song. So when Macy Gray sings "fine chocolate ass," well that doesn't need to be in the commercial, you know? Course maybe you don't want to play that one to your kids, but it goes by so fast, I doubt they will notice. Side note: we took our daughter to an all day concert thing and while we were waiting for Wilco to come on Macy was finishing. Now my daughter was two, and Macy let loose with a slew of expletives and my daughter's head whipped around so fast to pay attention to this bellowing pip-squeak voice spew colorful words and we thought, great, she's gonna learn her first curse word from Miss Gray. But they didn't stick. This song has such a joyous overall feel to it, even if only the last 20 seconds were used, it's just so damn celebratory.

Macy Gray, "Come Together"

More just happy soaring sounds that sound celebratory and uplifting. My kid sometimes likes Polyphonic Spree and sometimes finds it utterly annoying. I know a lot of people who feel that way about that band. I, however, love them. I think they really tug the same heartstrings that the original Coke song does (yesterday's New Seekers' track.)

Polyphonic Spree, "Have a Day" (Live on KCRW)

Another one that has the New Seekers schmaltz and yet is cool at the same time? This cover of "Sing" from Ivy. It was on a kid's CD a few years back and I just think it's beautiful. Have I posted this before? I think I have.

Ivy, "Sing"

And the last one, because this post is too long. Come the holidays I think that it's all about the smells and sights and sounds that really enhance the whole experience and bring it to the front and center of our lives. At least that was where I was going with a particular campaign idea I had and this is, of course, the song to bring it all home.

XTC, "Senses Working Overtime"

These aren't the songs I really pushed or thought were totally and completely right. I decided to hang on to those secretly for now, you know, in case they do call again. (Tee hee) Either that, or I'll wait and post them closer to Christmas!


Phil said...

I'm surprised we haven't seen more (or any) XTC songs in TV ads. Most of them are so crisp, catchy, and memorable.

How about "Dear God, hope you got the letter..." for the USPS?

Or "Don't need another satellite..." for a cable TV company?

Anonymous said...

oh that whole post just has made me giggle . I have worked with Jazz hands, not THE guy but you know one of his clones, and ewwwwww. That is all I say. Thanks for a great post!!!!!!!

deb in sf said...

I never get it why the jazz hands dazzle.

You're a genius. The XTC song is perfect! I'm sure it's going to be stolen and we'll see it next year.

And the Macy Gray! I love how you've thought about the songs in a non-traditional way. Cool.