Intensive research and pure instinct — the story behind discovering the perfect music for one of the best ads of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Who’s In Focus: http://www.menloparkmusic.com
We Are: Menlo Park Music. We are a boutique music production company based in London. We handle all aspects of our clients musical needs be it research, negotiation and licensing or bespoke composition, recording and production.
We have a concise client base and tend to work often with the same creatives and directors. We are proud to be regular collaborators with amazing directors such as Tom Kuntz, Romain Gavras, Rupert Sanders and Dougal Wislon. Working with great creative talent also tends to connect us with the most creatively ambitious agencies.
The Project: VW “WINGS,” “60 TV Commercial, Creative Agency: ARGONAUT
Check It Out:
Creative Brief: When we originally got the brief from Tom (the director) they hadn’t shot yet and he was thinking that it would be a simple, light-hearted composition, possibly a low-fi piece using old Casio keyboards. In essence highlighting the eccentricity and scientific qualities of the engineers.
We had some idea of the visuals from the mood board and script, but there was still a lot left up to the imagination at that point.
Inspiration: We started with a large round of research on Tom’s brief, delving into the Neue Deutsche Welle and Bitpop, the work of Giampiero Boneschi, Jean-Jacques Perrey, Dana Countryman and other artists in the field of novelty electronics. We knew there had to be a sense of humor to the music, but it was a real balancing act. The joke needed to play itself out without having its hand held.
We also explored some off-brief ideas including classical covers, beer hall music, yodelling and accordion orchestras just to see if anything like that might stick. When the rough cut came back it had a piece of beer hall music and everyone was quite happy with it, they liked how the energy and humor were connecting. However there were a few issues with it being a little too specifically German.
So we embarked on a marathon phase of research and demos exploring many directions. The deadline for the Super Bowl was rapidly approaching. I believe we were actually quite focused on trying to find an electronic music track, when we decided to explore all the early works of Giorgio Moroder and found the Schlagermoroder record. It has these rather incredible tripped out novelty tracks that have nothing electronic about them at all.
We tried a few up to the film and “Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo” really made us smile. It was also a welcome break from the hundreds of electronic tracks we had been listening to all day. So when we sent in the search with most of it on brief and then a few wild cards we immediately heard back from the creative team, saying they really liked “Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo.”
We then began to explore other options in this genre and very quickly found that the Moroder track had the perfect balance between fun and cool and we could not beat it.
Magic Track: I think any music supervisor who says that a track they sent in was definitely “the one” is likely exaggerating! We send in many tracks that we think are usable and interesting and hope that the creatives and clients agree.
Sometimes, as in this case, we really loved this track for the film and so did the creatives, director, and client. A perfect storm!! If only it could always be like that!
Synchro Nicety: I think we all agreed that the track had this undefinable sense of cool while still being eccentric and fun.
It allowed the VW engineers to seem serious about their jobs and allowed the viewer to laugh with them, not at them. The music is sparse, simple, familiar, and effortlessly draws you in.
The Payoff: We don’t tend to keep track of statistics and metrics on the projects we work on but this one was quite clearly getting a lot of buzz on TV and on-line so it was pretty easy to feel that it was connecting. Always a very nice feeling!
— Christopher Taylor & John Greswell, Founders, Menlo Park Music