Songs For Screens is a Variety column sponsored by music experiential agency MAC Presents, based in NYC. It is written by Andrew Hampp, founder of music marketing consultancy 1803 LLC and former correspondent for Billboard. Each week, the column will highlight noteworthy use of music in advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as new and catalog songs that we deem ripe for synch use.
At the end of every month, we choose a “Synch of the Month,” awarded to a spot that we feel offers the most effective blend of music, messaging and creativity.
Launching a supergroup in today’s crowded music landscape can sometimes be easier said than done, especially when one of the core members is notoriously cagey about promo.
But in the case of Labrinth, Sia and Diplo’s LSD, the trio has scored an unofficial fourth member in the form of Samsung, whose music and marketing teams have tapped LSD’s music for two different high-profile commercial campaigns, including June’s Apple-prodding “Ingenius” series and the current global pre-order spot for Samsung’s Galaxy Note9 device.
The spots, which synched with the release of LSD’s third single “Thunderclouds,” make prominent use of both Sia and Labrinth’s vocals and Diplo’s future-soul production, which help herald the arrival of the Note9’s key features like a new-and-improved pen, expanded storage and longer battery life.
The week campaign has aired heavily on TV and digital in the U.S. through the device’s launch on August 24, and is supported by a global launch in other key territories. Columbia Records helped secure the synch in partnership with the team at RECORDS, the label division of publisher SONGS, whose co-founder Ron Perry is now chairman-CEO of Columbia.
“We are always looking for authentic artist partnerships and artists who embody the spirit of our brand,” a Samsung spokesperson tells Songs For Screens. “Our creative team was immediately drawn to ‘Thunderclouds’ – the sonic flow and tempo worked well with the visuals for the unveiling of the Galaxy Note9.”
LSD’s team at Columbia Records in turn tapped director Ben Jones and artist Gabriel Alcala to create a digital animated short to promote the single’s launch (props to whosever idea it was to synch animated footage of a person hang-gliding with one of Sia’s trademark “Woah-oh”s). “Besides Labrinth, Diplo and Sia themselves being incredible artists, and some of the most creative in the world, we took advantage of the Samsung Galaxy spot launching to drop our animation content at the same time,” says Jennifer Frommer, senior VP of Columbia’s Creative Agency.
The song got its own animated video treatment, which was released by Columbia Thursday.