From the opening retro robot voice, drum loop and chainsaw distorted power chords, itâ€™s clear from the get-go that â€œPretty,â€? the latest ad in the on-going campaign for Verizon Wireless and its Google Android smart phone from agency mcgarrybowen, is an attention-getter. Thatâ€™s due in no small part because of the score created by music/sound design house Expansion Team, who crafted a rowdy, infectious, stomp groove that works perfectly with the visuals and voiceover.
''mcgarrybowen came to use because they wanted music that would feel authentic in much the same way theyâ€™re positioning the phone itself,'' Alex Moulton, Expansion Teamâ€™s Creative Director says. â€œThey needed it to sound like something youâ€™d hear in some trashy Lower East Side club at 3 am. And thatâ€™s definitely our scene.'
Moulton brought in composer Eric Stamile to create the score. A highly regarded producer/remixer
whoâ€™s worked with such artists as Janet Jackson, Korn and cee-lo (of Gnarls Barkley), as well as other TV campaigns with Expansion Team, Stamile immediately focused on the swinging anthem rhythm that propels the spot. '
''The most challenging aspect for me was trying to get the exact right guitar tone,'' Stamile says. ''The agency wanted something that didn't sound perfect and polished -- it had to have a rawness to it, almost emulating early 80's punk guitar performances. The track needed to feel modern and forward thinking, yet rooted in traditional rock.''
''Pretty'' begins with a robotic voice saying ''droid'' followed by a retro drum loop and razor-distorted guitars that play against visuals of three people starring hypnotically at a cell phone behind a glass case. A no-nonsense voice-over asks, ''Should a phone be pretty, should it be a tiara-wearing, digitally clueless beauty pageant queen?'' From there it moves into a visual collage of surreal, often ironic images (a buzz saw through a ripe banana is not something you see every day) that perfectly illustrate the deadpan voiceover copy.
''Expansion Teamâ€™s vision and tenacity solved a tough creative brief under an incredibly tight time line -- Alex and co. truly delivered,'' says Jerry Krenach, Director of Music Production, mcgarrybowen.
About Expansion Team:
Expansion Team redefines how music can be created for today's media by building a bridge between the recording, TV, film and advertising industries. They know the importance of a successful brand message and focus on creating impassioned brand aficionados. Led by founder and creative director Alex Moulton and executive producer April Jaffe, Expansion Team is supported by an exceptional roster of talent; an international collective of award-winning producers, songwriters, DJs and remixers. Because they work in studios around the world, an additional network of top session players and vocalists have become part of their growing family. For more information check out: http://www.expansionteam.org
Click here to see Verizon Wireless/Google Android â€œPrettyâ€?:
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Verizon "Pretty" Credits:
Client: Verizon Wireless
Project: "Pretty" (:30)
Agency: mcgarrybowen, New York
Executive Producer: Suzanne Crowe
Executive Creative Director Managing Partner: Mark Koelfgen
Executive Creative Director: Warren Eakins
Art Director: Michael Cannova
Copywriter: Tiffany Smith
Director of Music Production: Jerry Krenach
Acct Managing Director: Tom Sewell
Director: Lee Roth
Production Company: Park Pictures, New York
Director: Benzo Theodore
Executive Producer: Â Â Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Supervising Producer: Mary Ann Marino
Line Producer: Ron Consentino
Music House: Expansion Team, New York
Creative Director: Alex Moulton
Composer: Eric Stamile
Executive Producer: April Jaffe
Editing House: Beast, New York
Editor: Adam Schwartz
Asst Editor:Â Rebecca Beluk
Executive Producer:Â Valerie Petrusson
Producer: Ann Martini
Post Production/Visual Effects: A52, Santa Monica
Executive Producer: Jennifer Sofio
VFX Producer: Jenny Bright
VFX Supervisor: Patrick Murphy
Telecine: Moving Picture Company, Santa Monica
Colorist: Mark Gethin