×

And the Synch of the Year Winner at Variety’s Music for Screens Summit Is …

When Linda Perry was looking for a way to promote 13-year-old singer/songwriter Willa Amai, her guiding principle was, “You have to think a little left field.”

Perry was one of five participants in the “Commercial Synchs of the Year” panel (presented by Pepsi) at Variety’s inaugural Music for Screens Summit, in which executives, producers and talent reps presented case studies exploring the most successful commercial synchs in the last year. Her singer/songwriter/producer’s company We Are Hear earned top honors for its Quickbooks spot, which featured Amai’s cover of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” along with a backstory supporting small independent businesses. The award was voted on by attendees at the daylong conference.

Others represented on the panel included Portugal. The Man manager Rich Holtzman (Vitaminwater’s use of “Feel It Still”), Seventeenfifty/Capitol Music Group SVP Brian Nolan (Migos’ “Stir Fry” NBA spot), Good Ear Music supervisor Andrew Kahn (The Gap’s “Megamix” campaign) and Kobalt Music President Global Synch & Brand Partnerships Jeanette Perez (content strategy company Copilot’s “Take Me Home (Country Roads)” for the video game “Bethesda Fallout ’76”).

Perry originally had Amai play a showcase for top ad agency Chiat Day, which made her the centerpiece of its Quickbooks campaign. “You need the right timing, the right song, the right eyes and ears,” said Perry, who saw Amai’s social media profile soar after the commercial began airing.

Holtzman pointed out that Portugal. The Man’s hit “Feel It Still” ended up with more than 100 synchs, “launching the song into a whole other stratosphere,” including a rare crossover Top 40 pop hit for a rock track. “The Vitaminwater spot created a familiarity and opened the door to different radio formats.”

“It’s a good synch because it’s such a feel-good song,” admitted Perry.

“I wish it were mine,” joked Perez.

Nolan traveled to Atlanta to pitch TBS on Migos’ “Stir Fry” for their NBA coverage by playing an early version of the song and introducing them to the band. “You have to hustle, be pro-active,” he explained. “You can’t just sit behind a computer screen and wait for things to come to you.”

Kahn’s “Megamix” spots for Gap took the brand back to its ‘90s and early 2000s white-screen campaigns with a series of spots that included Labi Siffre’s 1975 nugget “I Got The…” which was sampled by Eminem for “My Name Is…,” and Janelle Monae’s cover of Freddie Scott’s 1968 hit, “(You) Got What I Need.”

“It’s important as a supervisor to use music thoughtfully, to present the right song in the right context,” he says.

Perez then pointed out Kobalt’s commitment to catalog artists in securing a commercial synch for John Denver’s 1971 ode to West Virginia for the latest iteration of Bethesda’s “Fallout” series, which references the state’s folklore for its monster characters.

“Video games are really making a strong statement in terms of being a creative medium,” she says.

The panel concluded with an unexpected a capella performance by Perry, who led a sing-along for “Get Up and Vote,” a song she co-wrote with John Legend, timed for the upcoming election.

 

More TV

  • Mike Fleiss

    ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Accused of Attacking Wife

    “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” creator Mike Fleiss has been accused of attacking his wife Laura Fleiss at their home in Hawaii on July 4, according to documents obtained by Variety. The documents show that Laura Fleiss, who is currently pregnant, filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order against her husband after he allegedly [...]

  • James Cordon Drag Race Handmaids Tale

    Emmys Trivia: 20 Surprising Facts From 2019's Nominations

    For a show that technically wasn’t eligible at the Emmy Awards in 2019, “The Handmaid’s Tale” did quite well this year. The Hulu drama picked up 11 nominations, including major ones like outstanding directing, writing, guest actress and guest actor, thanks to a quirk in the TV Academy’s Emmy rules. As previously noted, most of [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost

    'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost to Pop's Profile

    The core executive team at Pop TV expected to be disappointed, but they still gathered at the CBS-owned cable channel’s Playa Vista offices early Tuesday morning for the reveal of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. They were not disappointed. “Schitt’s Creek,” the quirky comedy series that has punched above its weight for Pop since [...]

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

  • Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli

    Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli to Depart

    Janice Marinelli, president of global sales and marketing at Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, said Tuesday that she would step down from her role after a 34-year career at the company. “It has been an honor to work for this company and a privilege to work with so many outstanding professionals,” said Marinelli in [...]

  • Dusty Slay

    Late-Night Bookers Take to the Internet in Search of Emerging Comics

    With Netflix releasing a comedy special every week and YouTube offering a portal into both cutting-edge performance and the best comedy sets in history, it’s never been easier for audiences to access an endless stream of standup. But for fledgling comics, there’s still no more game-changing showcase than a five-minute slot on a late-night talk [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    CBS Warns DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse May Drop Network

    Some of CBS Corp.’s biggest stations and its flagship network could be dropped from AT&T’s various cable and satellite services if a carriage agreement between the companies is not reached by July 19. “CBS has reached timely, fair agreements with hundreds of other cable, satellite, telco and internet providers to carry our industry-leading, fan-favorite programming,”  [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content