JetBlue “FlyBabies” wins Best of Show at the 57th Annual Hatch Awards!

Last year, Storefront had the pleasure to collaborate with MullenLowe and provide an atmospheric piano-laden score for the very unique JetBlue “FlyBabies” campaign. The spot highlights a special deal wherein JetBlue passengers receive 25% discounts on a JFK to Long Beach flight each time a baby is heard crying. Needless to say, this created some major waves in the media upon release, including a special feature in AdWeek.

This month, MullenLowe won Best of Show at the 57th Annual Hatch Awards with “FlyBabies”! The Hatch Awards is New England’s annual creative branding and advertising awards ceremony; having a musical hand in the production of the Best of Show winner is an absolute honor!
 

 
And of course: a major thanks and congratulations to MullenLowe! Here’s a choice pic of Storefront partner Adam Elk and MullenLowe pals at the Hatch Awards:
 

Alex Fulton Co-Produces Podcast with stories from cast of Orange Is The New Black

 

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Storefront Music Producer Alex Fulton has been hard at work on Yum’s The Word, a storytelling show where actors, authors, and comedians tell true funny stories from their lives. This month with the release of Season 4 of the hit Netflix Original series Orange Is The New Black, Yum’s will feature stories from Jason Biggs (Larry), Connie Shulman (Yoga Jones), Michelle Hurst (Miss Claudette), and an interview with Cathy Curtin (Corrections Officer Wanda Bell). You can subscribe to the Yum’s The Word podcast on iTunes to hear the Orange Is The New Black episodes.

Cathy Curtin and her on-screen love interest Joel Marsh Garland (Corrections Officer Scott O’Neil) will join Jordan Carlos (The Nightly Show with Larry Willmore / Broad City) at the Yum’s The Word live show, hosted by show creator Robin Gelfenbien at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, on Tuesday, July 12th @7pm. Tickets are available at www.yumsthewordshow.com.

Cannes 2016 Hangover Playlist

 

Summer is upon us and for many of you that means the Cannes Creative Festival!
It’s time to drink rosè and party on yachts and win Gold Lions.

Inevitably you are going to wake up one morning with a pounding rosè hangover and face the challenge of dragging your carcass out the door to go see one of the amazing speakers, or join your crew to accept your Gold Lion.

For that purpose we’ve crafted the perfect Cannes 2016 Hangover Playlist to recover to while you figure out how to dress yourself with the least motion possible. It starts soft with tracks by Mount Kimbie and James Blake while you piece together the events of the previous night, grooves lightly with Dr. Dog, Absofacto, and Father John Misty while you delete the photographic evidence from your phone, and rounds out with some solid jams by Kendrick Lamar, Ratatat, and Run The Jewels to get you pumped up to do the whole thing over again!

 

 

To find out what other gems are hidden on this playlist, find Adam Elk

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And ask him for one of these

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Scrapper joins Curtis Stigers in London

 

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John “Scrapper” Sneider met up with Curtis Stigers and the band in London for five dates at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. He came back saying they were some of the best shows he’s played with Curtis in years. As always, Scrap had some great stories to share from across the pond. If you want to see him blush, ask about underwear shopping in London next time you see him 😉

Snickers “Marilyn” – Super Bowl 50

In late January, BBDO-NY brought us on to contribute music for their Snickers Super Bowl campaign.  We were tasked with creating a track in the style of a 1950’s  film score, to be played as if it were on-set during the filming of The Seven Year Itch.

With this direction, our composing staff crafted a handful of pieces inspired by film scores from the 1950’s. We went to work hiring real string and horn players, and recording them through period-appropriate microphones and preamps. Our mixes were processed through vintage EQs and finalized with a vintage compressor.

In the end, Doug Katsaros, Darien Scott Shulman, John “Scrapper” Sneider, and Adam Elk worked together to compose and arrange the piece that went to air with Snickers – “Marilyn”.

Now post-Super Bowl 50, the masterful work of BBDO NY is being hailed as one of the best ads from the big game!

Check out the whole campaign below:

 

 

4 Reasons To Join Your Composers In The Studio: how to make the most of your original music budget

Original music can be one of the most memorable elements of an advertisement, but crafting it to be a cohesive part of the spot’s aesthetic while keeping within time and budget constraints is undoubtedly a challenge.

For that reason, we want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your original music budget, and If you’re not spending time in the studio, you might not be. Here are four reasons why joining your composers for the creation process is the best way to get the most bang for your buck:

1. Be the voice of creative continuity

Briefs and conference calls are great, but nothing can replace having a representative from the creative team involved in the music creation process. You and your crew have been crafting every detail of this story for more time than a half-hour call could possibly sum up, so why let it? When you are in the studio, you facilitate creative continuity. Your guidance helps the composing staff to have the clearest understanding of the story you are telling, and the aesthetic through which you are telling it.

2. Insure your client’s investment

You’re always there for the shoot. Those days on set represent hundreds of hours of your team’s labor and likely a majority of your client’s production budget. What happens there determines what your client’s audience will see; half of the sensory engagement of multimedia advertising. What they hear is the other half, and while it may not represent the same amount of the production budget (we can talk about that later  ), to understate it’s value would be a disservice to the audience. That’s why your involvement with the music creation process is essential. In our experience, the best way to be involved is to join your hired music creators for the session.

3. Utilize scheduled revision time more effectively

I would venture to say that about a third of the revisions we execute go through a second or third round of revising. Most of the time the particularly tedious revisions could be avoided if a representative from the creative team had been a part of the music creation process. This is not to say that tweaks can be all-together eliminated! Being there for the session, however, means that someone on the team knows the music intimately enough to pinpoint the elements that are causing friction. “That chime-y thing that goes ting ting ting” becomes “you remember when we added marimba yesterday afternoon?” That stops us from toying with a myriad of other elements we might have assumed were the issue. Having that insight can literally save you days of revisions! We have clients from Ogilvy, Havas, Digitas, Saatchi, Droga, and beyond that have joined us for sessions, and can vouch for that!

4. Recording studios are inherently cool

I’ve heard many an advertising producer say that going to recording studios is the reason they got into this kind of work. Hell, it’s the reason I got into this kind of work! Recording studios are inherently cool. Musician or not, everyone can appreciate the peek behind the curtain that is sitting in on a recording session. In New York it’s a special treat because the musicians you work with are absolutely top notch. You’re probably working with players that are in between sessions with A-list artists, and club dates in your favorite NYC venues. When you go to the studio to be a part of the original music creation process, you become a part of that world, and a pretty important part at that!

Original music comes with a unique set of challenges, but the possibilities are nearly limitless. When you hire a music house, you’re not only hiring the music creators, you’re hiring a staff that is there to assist you in overcoming the challenges and delivering the best music for your content to your team and your client. In our experience the greatest results come from having you here with us.

And if we’re being completely honest, work aside, we just like having you around!

Musical Stalemate : how to break the deadlock on music selection for media

“We can’t come to a decision. It’s not just Storefront, it’s the other music houses too. The creatives have been sitting with the tracks for days and we just don’t know what to do.”

My client’s frustration and feelings of defeat were palpable as I got off the phone. She had budgeted $6,000.00 in demo fees for three different vendors to compose original music for a sixty second commercial. Now with thirty tracks in her hands, she can’t unite her team behind any of the submissions. I picture a room full of otherwise high-energy, innovative people, sitting with their faces in their hands while they numbly cycle through tracks and argue over the merits of a handful of selections. This is musical stalemate.

For the four years I have been in the business of music for advertising, this has been a frequent scenario. Sometimes it results in six rounds of original music, costing a client thousands in demo fees. You may find it amusing to learn that in that case, the clients almost always revert to one of the tracks from the original dispatch. Other times a few tracks are sent into test for months on end. Occasionally a music direction is scrapped entirely and we all start again from square one. The reality is that when a team has to arrive at a consensus on something as subjective as music, the risk of a stalemate is inherent.

…Or is it?

The purpose of music in a commercial is to convey the emotion of a story. Using sound, our job is to make an audience feel a certain way about a product, brand, or idea. While opinion’s about music are subjective, the impact it has on a target audience is measurable!

Enter Scott Simonelli. A little over a year ago I had dinner with Scott, who described to me an idea he had for taking the guesswork out of music selection. The concept was to send a few tracks to hundreds of listeners in a targeted audience. They would test the music’s ability to achieve the intended impact using an easy-to-use interface with a number of categories by which to evaluate the music. With the results, a music purchaser could compare quantifiable data about music selections side by side. When a few pieces of music left a creative team in stalemate, this solution would allow the purchaser to make a selection based on the real impact the music would have on their target market. GENIUS.

Today, that solution is called Veritonic. Scott Simonelli and Andrew Eisner have made their music analytics concept a reality, and as a Music Producer for advertising I couldn’t be more excited about it. Finally, instead of engaging in the same conversation about music that landed my client in the deadlock, I can offer the light at the end of the tunnel!

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Back to my client’s creative team, stuck at a draw over music selection. I would love to tell you that I offered Veritonic and they decided to use this powerful 21st century music analytics tool to provide statistical insight on the decision. The truth is that they had already taken more traditional steps to fix the problem. I can tell you that my client was eager to give it a try in future scenarios. Who wouldn’t be!

The takeaway is this:
It’s 2016. Your creative team doesn’t need to be gridlocked on a music decision. The tool exists to get the data on the impact of music selections for your media. Those weeks of indecision, and all of the frustrating and expensive steps you are forced to take because of it, can be skipped entirely.

For more information check out www.veritonic.com, and if you do end up trying it out on your project, come back and tell us about it!

The Making of ESPN – “Minions”

As a collective of imaginative musicians and sound designers, we live for the opportunity to create outside the box. So when Jeff Smith of MAGGIEVISION approached Storefront Music’s Adam Elk about a basketball-themed score for their ESPN “Minions” commercial, we took it as an open invitation to have a field day.

There’s definitely precedence for beats made from basketball sounds. The Nike “Freestyle” ads from the early 2000’s (sound design by Jeff Elmassian) surely serve as inspiration for anyone creating music from sports sounds. This job provided a unique challenge to meld the talents of both our sound designers and composers to create something truly awesome. This is how we did it:

Jack and I checked around and found a local court that was willing to let us come in with our field recording equipment and track for a few hours. We loaded up a selection of microphones and a gym bag full of basketball gear and headed over to the court. There we recorded dribbles, passes, layups, swooshes, sneaker squeaks, whistles, and just about every other conceivable basketball sound, all with multiple microphones to get different frequency responses. The result was somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 samples.

 

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Many tedious hours of editing later, courtesy of a very patient Jack Simons, we had what we needed to build our very own Storefront Music virtual basketball instrument. Using the wonders of modern programming, I took our samples and created an instrument that allowed our composers to play the basketball sounds on a keyboard. Each key had a different sound and depending on the velocity the key was pressed with, it would give a harder or softer version of that sound. That is to say that if you lightly tapped a key, it might give you a light foot squeak, a soft whistle, or the sound of a basketball gently bouncing as if it had been dropped from only a few inches. Hammer the key aggressively and you get the other end of the spectrum; the sound of sneakers squealing across the floor, a whistle screaming, a basketball slammed into the hardwood and reverberating through the court, etc.. Of course all of the intermediate sounds were included as well.

Once complete, the instrument was installed on all of our composers’ computers and used to create original tracks for ESPN. The team at MAGGIEVISION selected a piece by in-house composer Christian Almiron, which they used on set to record footage with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as they played ball to the beats. The final product took shape a few months later after the footage was edited and “Bob” the minion was animated in. The result is a really fun promotion for the upcoming Minions movie, due out July 10th, 2015!

In all, this was a unique job for us that allowed for some unorthodox sound design techniques and collaboration, and yielded results we can all be proud of!

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