Big breaks are always a lucky circumstance of being in the right place at the right time. That’s what happened to a New Zealand rock/hip hop band landing its first-ever commercial gig for McDonald’s, through Chicago-headquartered Music Dealers global licensing company.
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics were only a few months away when Music Dealers’ founder/CEO Eric Sheinkop led a workshop for McDonald’s and agency DDB, demonstrating how the 61–year old brand could utilize music more strategically and with greater consistency in its campaigns. One example was their successful scores for client Coca-Cola.
When DDB and McDonald’s began working on the Winter Olympics’ spot, “Chicken Nuggets: Celebrate with a Bite,” flawlessly directed, as usual, by DDB longtime favorite, Joe Pytka, DDB asked Chicago-based Music Dealers to source from their composers worldwide a song for a spot that would be seen by billions during the games.
“We had worked with DDB before and had an idea of what they wanted,” relates Jessie LaBelle, Music Dealers’ creative director, who played a pivotal role in the ultimate music selection.
The agency was leaning towards a sentimental piano piece. But LaBelle wasn’t sold on it, however. She felt the visuals, of Olympic history, intercut with Olympians winning gold medals and doing the traditional medal biting, called for a different musical impression that would strengthen the branding.
“We had been waiting for the just right opportunity to place the song – and this was it,” LaBelle says. “The song was anthemic, positive and meshed well with the spot’s visual concept.
“The band is taking off and getting attention, including a lot of hits on YouTube,” she adds. “‘Odyssey’ is a good use of music as a branding tool, a strategy McDonald’s continues to employ.”
DDB credits: ECDs, Matt Eastwood, Tony Malcom; CD, Nancy Jordan; ACDs Bria Boord, Chad Broude; EP, Liat Ebersohl; producer, Matt Green.
Production credits: The Whitehouse: editor, Meg Kubica; assistant editor, Matt Jameson; EP Dan Bryant; producer, Daw Guzowski; Filmworkers Chicago: VFX, Rob Churchill; EP, Lisa Long, producer, Derek de Board; Vitamin, end tag animation.