Ad of the Day: Lorde’s Song ‘Royals’ Makes Ad Debut for Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Queen bee paired with king of soccer

Samsung brings together one huge up-and-coming talent and one firmly established one for its new global "Design Your Life" spot from Leo Burnett in Chicago, advertising the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear.

Skipping what might have been more lyrically appropriate endorsements like Cadillac, Crystal, Grey Goose or Maybach, the 16-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde lends the melody of her chart-topping hit "Royals" to this two-minute Samsung ad. Directed by Furlined's Adam Hashemi, the spot tells the story of a mysterious character who arrives in a blighted city setting and uses his Galaxy Note 3 tablet and Galaxy Gear smart watch to set in motion an at-first-cryptic urban development project.

The youth of the city follow the man through the deserted streets, each taking turns singing the Lorde song—a version that's pretty faithful to the original, despite the different voices. Eventually, there's a scene of complete destruction, followed by utter renewal—as the mystery man turns out to be the world's most famous soccer player, Lionel Messi.

The spot has a nice, dark vibe, great cinematography and impressive attention to detail. Paco Delgado, who was the costume designer for the film version of Les Misérables, created the costumes for the spot. (Also, ad geeks will recognize the name "G. Seese" when it pops up on the smart watch—it's a reference to Guy Seese, the longtime Wieden, Goodby and Cole & Weber creative director, who worked on this ad.)

But more than anything, it's the music that gives the spot its power. It might seem like an odd song for any commercial—the lyrics suggest a disdain for lavish celebrity culture and conspicuous consumption, in which advertising is always implicated. (It seems Lorde does want a bit of money after all.) But it's an undeniably great track—and a coup for Samsung to have landed it first.

The "Design Your Life" tagline appears at the end, but Lorde's involvement in the project brings to mind another Samsung line: "The next big thing is already here."

Client: Samsung
Spot: "The Developer"

Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago
Executive Vice President, Creative Director: Shannon McGlothin
Senior Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Brandon Rochon, Adam Kennedy
Creative Directors: Guy Seese, Brian Murphy
Senior Vice President, Account Director: Radim Svoboda
Account Director: Benjamin Haynes
Account Executive: Cameron Zick
Senior Vice President, Executive Producer: Jen Dennis
Producer: Keith Jamerson
Vice President, Music Director: Gabe McDonough
Senior Music Producer: Chris Clark
Senior Vice President, Global Strategy Director: Huw Gildon
Senior Vice President, Strategy Director: Steven Yuan
Senior Strategist: Marton Harsanyi

Production Company: Furlined
Director: Adam Hashemi
Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins

Editing: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Mikkel EG
Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

Music Supervisor: George Drakoulias
Sound Designer: Gus Koven, Stimmung
Mixer: Loren Silber, Lime Studios
Music Production Support: Amber Music

Postproduction: The Mill