Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Liq It Up

From: Crown Royal
To: Songwriter
"We are looking for some quality songwriters to create spec pieces for us. The fine points of the deal would be ironed out later, but it would be most likely a license for one year with renewal options. Ideally, it would be a singer songwriter writing and performing, but we are extremely open to having a songwriter take this on even who may not have exactly the preferred type voice himself and we could find the performer ourselves.

Essentially, we have been inspired by a certain type of introspective and moody singer/songwriter craft. Some of the godfathers of the genre include Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. These are leathery "whiskey soaked" voices with timeless appeal that can't be pinned down by any one genre. Some of the current forebearers include The National, M Ward, Ryan Adams, Richard Buckner, and The Hold Steady. Please note that we are specifically in need of a male voice only.

We are especially taking great inspiration from the Rick Rubin produced Johnny Cash recordings, especially "Hurt," which feels hauntingly emotive, and sparse and simple in production.

Here's some info on the campaign, as expressed by our creatives directly to the artist: Crown Royal has traditionally been a drink that symbolizes success for working-class males. While the new campaign pays homage to that symbolism, the emphasis is on achievement rather than success, and the tone is more emotional than anything the brand has attempted before.

The main creative insight and driving idea for the campaign is: In every man there's a warrior; in every warrior there's a king.

We illustrate this insight by following the stories of a boxer and a football quarterback as they overcome their own doubts to rise victorious. Throughout the spots, shots of medieval kings are juxtaposed against shots of our modern protagonists to add narrative depth while touching upon the heritage of Crown Royal. (Please view the enclosed rips for a broad idea of the overall visual concept.) The tone and style we aim to capture visually will be stark with diffused light. The grandiosity of sport as spectacle will take a backseat to concentrated moments of an individual grace and perseverance.

The project needs a soundtrack that captures the essence of a man's personal battle within the context of a larger external struggle. At its core, this is an emotional campaign with sports as the backdrop - not the other way around - and the ability to craft a track as authentic and understated as it is rousing and compelling is key to giving the visuals emotive power. The ideal piece of music is sweeping and epic, intimate and introspective; the vocals are raw and weathered, distinctive and worldly. Using sparse arrangement, the songwriters are able to conjure more emotional power in a few seconds than most can create in an hour.

We look forward to talking with you about your ideas.

Also, our copywriters have written a few lines for lyrical inspiration - these may be used verbatim (they don't seek any kind of participation) or just viewed for inspiration: "I will bend but never break". "In each man a king". "Burning inside". "For every king a crown".

Please note that the above lines are highly indicative of the overall themes and that it's very important that the lyrics somehow convey these themes. It is also worth noting that it would be extremely cool to us if the one line "for every king a crown" could be incorporated, as that is the main theme of the campaign, but only if it feels organic to the songwriters to include it. It's not mandatory, but strongly suggested."
From: Songwriter
To: Crown Royal
Cunning Crown Royal,
For the little man with dreams.
We keep you clowns loyal
By convincing you you're kings.