By David Guerrero, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Guerrero
Cannes Lions 2017 started with the crowd on their feet and singing. Starting at the relatively ungodly hour of 11am the session by Syn Music titled “Beyond an ordinary world” (a title that Duran Duran fans will instantly recognize) focused on the subject of collaboration.
The founders (Simon and Nick, missing only Simon’s wife Yasmin - the Y in the middle) started off by covering some highlights of Simon’s illustrious musical career with host Edith Bowman (a respected DJ and podcaster and herself married to a rockstar - The Editors frontman Tom Smith).
The session started with highlights from Simon’s career with Duran Duran and talked about the creative process involved in coming up with recordings that have won Grammys, Brits and sold over 100 million units worldwide. The talk covered duets with Pavarotti and a round-the-world yacht race.
Simon describes the got onto creative process as going into a session “without any ideas” or at least none that you aren’t willing to give up. And apart from the odd disagreement - occasionally involving throwing pork pies at each other - it all goes from there.
He also highlighted the importance of the role of a producer - in the case of the band someone like Nile Rogers - as someone who stands outside the group and can provide direction and a more objective viewpoint.
And so in the collaboration between Syn and BBDO the idea is to get the music company involved early in the process. Because all too often the “visual obsessives” as Simon puts it leave music to the last minute.
The point is made powerfully by talking to the audience about a song that Simon and Nick are working on called “Closer to your bed”. It started with an iPhone recording. And then they got together to bring it forward.
So at this point they ask the crowd to stand up and switch on their own phones and record the finger snaps and vocals that they will make. And amazingly the cool, jaded adland crowd does all stand up in unison and happily take part.
Then they are asked to send their clips to a dedicated email address. And within a couple of hours they get about 30 separate smartphone recordings of the crowd. “We don’t think anything like this has happened here before” said Nick Wood.
The final recording is promised by the end of the Cannes Lions week. Along with an exclusive video of how the song was put together. Stay tuned for the final results. And then yes, if you were there, you can truly call yourself a rockstar.
Here are two video clips of the finger snapping and vocals respectively.