×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Songs for Screens: Extra Gum Follows Gold-Certified Synch Smash With Campaign Featuring Jacob Banks

The last time Mars Wrigley’s Extra gum debuted an original ad campaign with original music, 2015’s “The Story of Sarah & Juan,” the spot achieved a rare made-for-synch trajectory for its custom cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by former “American Idol” contestant Haley Reinhart.

Reinhart’s romantic, vocals-and-piano version of the Elvis Presley classic was certified gold a year after the campaign’s initial release, and in turn helped the spot create such a strong following among consumers that it aired on U.S. television and in other mediums for more than three years. In fact, “Sarah & Juan” was still running as recently as April 7, and to date has received more than 66,000 airings, with an estimated ad spend of $90.7 million, according to marketing analytics firm iSpot.TV. The campaign also contributed to a windfall in sales for Extra, which last year became the highest-selling gum brand in the U.S. for the first time since 2005, according to Nielsen Media Research.

For its latest campaign, the multi-generational friendship story “Max & Bill,” Extra and its ad agency Energy BBDO continue to feature music as a third character to help introduce the newly launched Extra Refreshers. This time, U.K. pop/soul artist Jacob Banks is the vocalist for an emotional cover of Jose Gonzalez’s “Every Age,” which soundtracks a chess game that embodies human connection. The 2-minute spot debuted Monday (April 22) on Extra’s YouTube channel, with a :60 version set to begin airing this week on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” NBC’s “Today,” select prime-time series and in cinemas, with a series of three :15 spots to air across broadcast and cable for the next year.

The Extra campaign is the latest project Banks has taken on in the film, TV & commercial synch realm, having contributed to November’s “Creed II” soundtrack as well as “For The Throne,” an “inspired by” companion album to “Game of Thrones” out this Friday (April 26.) Like Rinehart’s take on Elvis, Banks’ interpretation of “Every Age” is an intimate, stripped-down ballad that’s a departure from the booming, full-bodied soul on his 2018 major label debut “Village.”

“So much of being an artist involves so much of yourself, so I very much like to step out of being ‘Jacob Banks’ as much as I can,” the singer says on the phone from London. “I like to work with visuals and lend my skills to help someone else’s vision come to life. When I saw the film, I loved how it transcends color and age, it was about how everyone just wants to be seen. I’ve always been a fan of [‘Every Age,’] and I felt it told the story of the film the best.”

Banks and “Every Age” were cherry-picked by Extra and Energy BBDO from dozens of other options while the spot was being filmed. “Once we heard what Jacob came back with in his version of the song, it was no contest for us,” says Justin Hollyn-Taub, Extra’s marketing director. “We knew his voice provided a soulful and positive, yet introspective take to create an emotional and uplifting soundtrack for Extra Refreshers gum.”

Though Extra has a promising track record for fusing music with emotional storytelling, Banks is hedging his own expectations for the potential new audiences that may discover him through “Max & Bill.” “For me, it’s just something I’m proud of, whether it changes my life or it doesn’t,” he says. “What I loved about the story is they saw each other, and that to me is what we’re missing so much as a race of human beings right now. Come what may, but that will always be what moves me the most.”

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 film and TV.

 

 

More Music

  • neil jacobson

    Neil Jacobson Exits Geffen Records; Launches Crescent Drive Productions

    Neil Jacobson, the president of Geffen Records, is leaving the Universal Music Group company to start his own venture. Called Crescent Drive Productions, it will operate as an independent music management firm, publishing company and record label. Jacobson had been with UMG for 17 years. He also manages the careers of producer and songwriters Jeff [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    'Surviving R. Kelly Part II' Gets Trailer, Release Date

    Without overstating the case, it’s hard to imagine that R. Kelly would not be in jail today if not for “Surviving R. Kelly.” While many of the details and accusers featured in the Lifetime docuseries were new, the primary facts have been known for many years — and yet the series, more than any of [...]

  • Def Leppard Signs Admin Deal With

    Def Leppard Signs Admin Deal With Sony/ATV Publishing

    On the heels of the announcement of Def Leppard’s North American stadium tour next summer comes news that the group has signed a global administration agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The British group has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, particularly of its ‘80s blockbuster albums “Pyromania” and “Hysteria.” Both of which are certified [...]

  • Robin ThickeRobin Thicke in concert, Fox

    Robin Thicke Signs With ICM Partners

    Robin Thicke has signed with ICM Partners for representation in all areas. The multi-hyphenate is a featured panelist on Fox’s reality hit “The Masked Singer.” He’s also a busy recording and touring artist who had a smash hit in 2013 with “Blurred Lines,” which topped the pop charts for 12 weeks. His most recent release [...]

  • Universal Music U.K. Poaches BBC’s Alice

    Universal Music Poaches BBC’s Alice Webb to Run Eagle Rock

    Alice Webb is moving from the BBC to Eagle Rock, the Universal Music U.K.-backed producer and distributor of music programming. Webb has held several senior roles in a 15-year career at the BBC including head of its kids unit and COO of its BBC North division, overseeing the relocation of key departments from London to [...]

  • Daniel Ek Spotify

    New Netflix Original to Tell the Story of Spotify's Creation

    In a case of one disrupter telling the story of another, Netflix has boarded a series about the creation of Spotify, the Swedish startup that’s become one of the world’s leading music services. The as-yet-untitled limited series, to be directed by Per-Olav Sørensen (“Quicksand”), is inspired by the book “Spotify Untold” by Sven Carlsson and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content