Vodafone has hired Amp.Amsterdam to manage all its music affairs; as from now on it will advise the mobile provider on a strategic, tactical and operational level. Quite unique for a brand, but it matches with Vodafone’s new business strategy to hire specialists, rather than just one lead agency who is responsible for everything. Simon de Koning, Head of Production and Licensing at Amp; “We are the shortest link between brand and music and our goal is to optimise the impact of music and to be transparent about costs and rights.” Amp, founded in 2013 by Joost Haartsen, Dagmar Heijmans and Simon de Koning, has in no time found itself a solid position in the Dutch music market and works already for the biggest agencies in town. Part of the agency’s success is the fact that it’s the exclusive music licensing partner of Universal Music Publishing Benelux.
The Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds (Vogelbescherming) organises the National Bird Week – from 17 till 25 May. A week that aims to stimulate people to discover new birds. But instead of urging people to go out with their binoculars, the society has given 140 birds a voice through Twitter – how appropriate. Phonetically you can study the sounds of typical Dutch birds, such as the tomtit (“pienk tiek-tiek, pittik. Pruu-tie, pruu-tie, tie-tie-fuu tie-fwie-fwie”), blackbird and magpie – that latter can be quite annoying, we already knew. And of course the less ubiquitous birds are represented through a special Twitter handle: @twiettwietweek. Fortunately every tweet also contains a link to the actual sound, cause reading the phonetics requires some skill – as the tomtit clearly proves. Created by THEY.
Sizzer Amsterdam created the sound for a commercial made by Leo Burnett Chicago for real estate company Re/Max; “Dream with your eyes open.” We found the commercial so so, but when we saw this short film about the instrument that created the special sound behind it, we at least appreciated the skills of the sound designer. Sizzer approached Thomas Bloch who has worked with Daft Punk, Gorillaz and Tom Waits, and is one of the few artists still playing and mastering instruments like the Theramin, Glass Harmonica, Ondes Martenot and Cristal Bachet. The reason why not many people still play these instruments is because their typical sound is relatively easily mimicked by computers. When we asked Marcel Alexander Wiebenga from Sizzer why they wanted this particular sound, he told us that it’s very good at generating associations of dreams and, particularly, nightmares. Sizzer’s film was shot by Roel van Tour.
To promote Fogg, a borderless internet access solution, Amsterdam and Stockholm based creative agency Perfect Fools re-imagned London’s skyline in soundwaves. The track “The Sound of London,” composed by electro-house producer Prova, has taken the distinctive skyline of London and replicated the shapes of the buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Big Ben. The ‘highest’ point of the track represents The Shard, the city’s tallest (and newest) iconic structure. With this first “architectural music” track, travelers are encouraged to use applications such as Soundcloud, also when abroad, without having to worry about roaming costs – when using Fogg’s SIM card. Last month Perfect Fools already promoted Fogg by enabling pigeons to “tweet” while flying across Europe with tiny SIM card backpacks.
Though the digitalization of our world has opened up numerous possibilities for dynamic animated logos, you don’t see them too often. But here is quite a nifty example for Coca Cola Music, made by Wieden+Kennedy’s design studio. It shows how versatile a logo can become when you optimally use the flexibility of digital. The constant in the logo – which you obviously need to be recognizable – is the iconic contour bottle. Around it, a reactive application (the “Dynamic Logo Creator”) creates dynamic sound signatures that resemble bubbles, and emanate from the bottle as sound waves. This way different music tracks can inspire an unlimited amount of logos. You can check out the demo here.
The only Dutch sound studio winning a prize at the Music + Sound Awards last week was Audenity with “Torture” for Amnesty in the category “Best Sounddesign in Non-broadcast/Viral” advertising. Niels den Otter: “I don’t want to sound cocky, but I think we deserved it. Recently the film passed by through social media – because it also won a Young Director Award – and I saw it again. It made me feel sick, even though I created the sound myself. So I can imagine that the experience is even worse for those who are not prepared.” Last year we wrote about the film: “It is especially the sound design that makes you gasp for air.” So, indeed, well deserved.
Known for their intelligent lyrics and even for introducing new words in the Dutch language (like ‘watskeburt’) De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig is one of the most loved hiphop bands in the Netherlands for the past years. Indie Amsterdam was able to get (read: pay) one of the singers, Faberyayo (together with Sir OJ and OpslaanAls), to do a ‘one phrase serenade’ to explain to us how great Domino’s’ pizza’s are. The words in the serenade – like ‘meat-machine-feast’ – were crowd sourced through an online activation that asked the consumer to review the newest ham Pizza from Domino’s in one word. The song already got picked up by some radio stations and will be sold in the iTunes store soon. What a ‘deliciata’ piece of advertising.
The Dutch Metropole orchestra is not subsidised anymore and therefore its existence is currently under threat. To raise some awareness around the orchestra’s precarious situation Havas and Perfect Fools created this ‘Tweetphony’ concept, a dedicated website on which you can write your own ‘symphony’ in 140 characters, using either the keyboard as shown on the site or by simply writing down the notes and spaces. The best ‘tweets’ will be performed by the Metropole orchestra on the 26th of October and spread through YouTube. Wonderful idea. If innovation is the prerequisite of surviving these economic times then we’re quite confident the Metropole will stay alive.
In advertising mobile is still not a very dominant medium – only since this year it was introduced in Cannes as a new award category. And that’s surprising, since a mobile phone is the device to unlock SoLoMo (Social Mobile Local), a mix that easily has the potential to add relevance to a brand. Here’s an example, by Olmeca Tequila and its agency Amsterdam Worldwide; the ‘NightTag’ app – click picture to enlarge. What it does is combining a photo upload, geo-tagging and, last but not least, music recognition – through Facebook. Basically it thus adds another layer to Facebook; music. Making social sharing a richer experience. A nice step in the right direction of SoLoMo.
After The Entrance and The Date, this is the third Heineken commercial in the ‘Open Your World’ series – with fantasy, glamour, and music playing an important role. The one thing that struck us is that this commercial is not made by Wieden+Kennedy, but by Heineken’s local agency TBWA. The most important difference with the previous (Wieden) commercials are the two somewhat dorky characters accompanying the better looking one – is it because the Dutchman needs someone to identify himself with? In any case, again a crafty and attractive commercial that makes Heineken look premium and international – even in Holland. The soulful song, Love Letter, is performed by the Australian Amy-Winehouse-look/sound-alike-band Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes. The film was directed by Martin Krejci from Stink.