Posts by Suzanne Baran

  • The Grammys’ Winning New Ad Campaign

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    When you think of the Grammy Awards, "snorefest"is a nice phrase which comes to mind. Consistently, The National Academy OfRecording Arts & Sciences puts on a lackluster show--year after year afteryear. Last year they achieved a ratings low. It'sMTV's Music Awards that garner themost eyeballs and hype.

    But this week the Academy threw down, launching the biggestadvertising campaign in the organization'shistory for the 51st Grammy Awards on February 8. According to Evan Greene,the Academy's CMO, the campaign cost"in the mutli-millions" and is the most the organization has spent onan ad campaign in its history.

    Developed by ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, the campaign includestelevision, radio, out of home, print, and online. In the TV ads, portraits ofsingers such as Thom Yorke, Rihanna, and Stevie Wonder are drawn onscreen usingtitles of songs that were critical to their development. The artists are heardtalking about importance of music.

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  • Bad Eliots Are The Cat’s Meow For Snapple

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    Another indie band lands a hot ad spot and lots of attention.

    A guy drinks from a bottle of Snapple Antioxidant Water, and hears bubblewrap popping. He looks scans his surroundings and notices the entire city is covered in the stuff. Off he goes, bouncing and rolling down stairs. In one single bound, he leaps off a rooftop.

    Check it out:

    The song playing in the background is "Cat's Meow" by the Bad Eliots. These relatively unknown artists hail from New York City. Their name hasn't become a household legend yet--but the musicians who make up the band are pretty close to it. Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist James Rotondi boasts an impressive career with the band Air and Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle. Drummer Ant Cee played with Megadeth, the Deftones, and on the Warped Tour. Bassist Jony Matias runs a studio and is a member of the Crash Moderns, and guitarist Paul Riario is the maestro behind a successful cover band called the Monster.

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  • Chairlift Gets A Boost From iPod Nano Ad

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    If you haven't seen the commercial for the brand-new, even slimmer iPod Nano--now is your chance:

    Apple made Canadian indie artist Feist a star, and after the MacBook Air ads, Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim became ubiquitous every time the ad ran between our favorite TV shows.

    Most recently, the Ting Tings' tune, "Shut Up And Let Me Go," was featured in heavy rotation for Apple's iPod + iTunes ad.  

    This time, the marketing gurus at Apple create another feast for the senses. The commercial begins with iPod Nanos lined up in a rainbow patterns sprawled with album art on their screens. Virtual paint starts to drip down from each device. Lyrics play in the background: "I tried to do handstands for you / I tried to do handstands for you / Every time I fell on you, yeah / Every time I fell for you-ooh-ooh-ooh / For you."

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  • Singing Their Way To The White House: Campaign Songs

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    Presidential candidates have long had a strange and wonky relationship with popular music. The first real hurrah of dedicated, candidate-specific campaign songs began in the 1952 election. The great songwriter Irving Berlin wrote, "I Like Ike" for Republican nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower. The song was popular and one of the last famous election slogans put to music. Some argue that this tune helped Ike beat Adlai Stevenson in the general election.

    Eight years later, the first modern election was held. In 1960, John F. Kennedy ran against Richard M. Nixon. This was the first election with televised debates, and Kennedy's youth shone through. His campaign song was aptly titled "High Hopes," with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. Frank Sinatra recorded it in 1959, and it was widely popular by the time Kennedy repurposed it.

    Republican rival Richard Nixon used a song called "Click With Dick," by Oliva Hoffman, George Stork, and Clarence Fuhrman. Though this campaign jingle, much like Eisenhower's ditty, was one of his better attempts, Kennedy won anyway.

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  • Let The Games Begin! Olympic Ads Go For The Gold

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    A bevy of Olympic-themed ads has aired since the Games' opening ceremonies last Friday. Seeing as how the games signify the triumphs and struggles of the world's best athletes, they're not just a platform for national pride, but global kudos, as well.

    So they're a great opportunity for advertisers to rally viewers by creating emotional branding that makes people feel good, rather than dwell on an unstable economy.

    General Motors tops the list of troubled companies attempting to turn misery into Olympic gold. In its main Olympic ad, the car company parades its seemingly endless range of vehicles across the screen, while a strong, powerful female vocalist sings a heartwarming ballad.

    The singer is Brandi Carlile, the song is "The Story," and it's become an Internet sensation. It's no wonder: If GM made cars as well as they create ads, maybe the automaker would be in better shape.

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  • Feist Moves To Sesame Street

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    Canadian indie star Feist's smash hit, "1234," has really risen to ubiquitous heights. She'll appear on the August 11 season premiere of Sesame Street performing a different version of the song.

    A video of the singer was leaked on the Internet over the weekend frolicking with muppets and holding colorful numbers.

    As if the popular iPod artist wasn't given enough of a boost, she now joins an extensive list of artists who have contributed their lyrics to the hit children's show.

    The lyrics of the upbeat, sentimental song have been changed from their tribute to "old teenage hopes...alive at your door" into "Oh, you're counting, counting with me/To one less than five and one more than three."

    There's also a revised chorus: "I love counting/counting to the number four."

    It's a cute song and video that's not syrupy, overdone, or too annoying. Watch her strolling down Sesame Street with her furry friends in tow:

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  • A Killer Tune Debuts In The “Dexter” Season Three Trailer

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    One of the greatest TV series of the recent past is returning for a third season. Showtime's Emmy-nominated series Dexter will return September 28 at 9 pm. Last week, Showtime aired a two-minute long trailer for the upcoming show.

    As the story line delves deeper into the complex and duplicitous emotions of "America's favorite serial killer," a song plays in the background. And quite apropos, a male vocalist sings, "Strange times are here." It's a fairly new track off the Black Keys' LP Attack & Release . Dan Auerbach fronts the blues-rock music duo.

    Interestingly, the band's name was inspired by an artist friend of the band with schizophrenia. He used the term "black keys" to describe people who weren't quite sane. There's another entendre here. The black keys on a piano contain a pentonic minor scale when starting on E flat, which is often linked with blues and rock music.

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  • “Step Brothers” Steps Up

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    It's rare to hear a catchy new tune by an avant-garde band in a film trailer of any kind. This is especially true for wide release films with huge stars like Will Ferrell.

    Step Brothers marks the third time Ferrell has teamed up with writer/director Adam McKay, the man who helped boost Ferrell's Ron Burgundy character to comic gold status in Anchorman . And it's the second time the two have joined forces with John C. Reilly, following up on the success of the NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights . Here, Ferrell and Reilly play two spoiled men who become competitive stepbrothers when their single parents get married and make them live as a family in one house. Ferrell and Reilly are forced to share a room, despite their ages. This leads to sibling rivalry, until they suddenly find they may have more in common than they thought.

    Watch the trailer here

    The tune that plays in the beginning of the trailer is called "North American Scum" by LCD Soundsystem off the album Sound From Silver.

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  • Acura’s New Generation Of Hit Tunes

    Suzanne Baran at Stop The Presses!5 yrs ago

    Honda is looking pretty hip these days (for a car company). Not only is it boasting an upcoming line of hybrids, but its ads complement the sleek new design of the other 2009 merchandise.

    There are two edgy and clever spots for the Acura TSX, whose "New Generation" slogan fits the bill. And here's why.

    A voice-over begins, "Sometimes luxury needs to howl at the moon." The familiar and subliminally seductive voice belongs to none other than actor James Spader.

    He talks about the surround sound in the car, and its souped-up capabilities. While he's touting the system's specs, a retro-leaning piano melody, coupled with a simple two-beat rhythm, begins to play in the background. The same song was used in the soundtrack of Will Ferrell's film Stranger Than Fiction . Another not-so-well-known fact is the same tune is also featured in a trailer for the 2008 motion picture 21 .

    Check it out:

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