We've written before about the branded pop song. But what Oreo has also ushered in, really, is the era of the branded pop song cover.
Owl City's Adam Young, Kacey Musgraves and now Chiddy Bang are among the folks to muse musically on the topic of what would happen if they gave an Oreo sandwich cookie to a potentially unfriendly soul. Each has sung different lyrics to the brand's "Wonderfilled" song, and now Chiddy Bang have added their voice to what is arguably the best riff—a version that pulls most of the tune out of the spot altogether and uses a percussive electronic version of the melody as something between a backbeat and a hook. Nice one.
This is an interesting experiment. The loose-limbed Adventure Time-y animation seems to be getting a lot of traction with viewers on YouTube. At least one commenter proclaimed the original version "the only YouTube ad that I'll sit through," and another demanded that people who hate Owl City (that would include your humble correspondent) take in the song as evidence of Young's genius.
It's catchy, I'll give you that. But I like both of the rewrites better (and besides, all of the versions were written by The Martin Agency's David Muhlenfeld). The previous spots, including the Father's Day edition (sung by an 8-year-old session singer), all had what I'm going to call an aggressively heartwarming vibe that sort of makes my teeth hurt. The Chiddy Bang version, at least, has some teeth—like, two teeth, because it's a cookie ad about how nice it is to be nice to people who aren't always nice—but I could imagine someone, somewhere dancing to it if it was the only thing on the radio.
Still, the record industry collapsed hard enough to make it very appealing that corporations with vast wealth could sponsor artists who want to make music. And I don't think you can watch these and say there's no attention to musical quality—though Chipotle, for my money, is still the gold standard with Willie Nelson's cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist" (all the beautiful songwriting without Chris Martin's 13-year-old-girl voice!).
So, come on, brands. Bring it. I will listen to it.
Client: Oreo, Mondelez International
Global Marketing Communication: Jill Baskin
Brand Marketing Director: Janda Lukin
Brand Manager: Kristin Hajinlian
Senior Associate Brand Manager: Susan Burris
Agency: The Martin Agency
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
Group Creative Director: Jorge Calleja
Creative Directors: David Muhlenfeld, Magnus Hierta
Senior Art Director, Illustrator: Brig White
Planning Director: John Gibson
Managing Director: Steve Humble
Senior Broadcast Producer: Kathy Lippincott
Senior Art Producer: Anya Mills
Broadcast Junior Producer: Caroline Helms
Group Account Director: Rich Weinstein
Account Supervisor: Laurel Busony
Account Executive: Molly Holmes
Project Manager: Chloe Bos
Senior Business Manager: Amy Trenz
Group Talent, Music Director: Juanita McInteer
Animation, Production Company: Hue&Cry
Lead Animator: Andrew Prousalis
Animators: Matt Deans, Chris Hagen, Georgiy Kuznetsov, Saxton Moore, Ryan Musselman, Liam Ward
Producer: Brian Creech
Postproduction Company: Running With Scissors
Flame Artist: Ashby Wratchford
Original Music, Lyrics: David Muhlenfeld, English Major
Music Performed by: Chiddy Bang
Audio Post Company: Black Iris
Creative Director, Composer: Justin Bailey
Executive Producer: Jenny Hollowell
Producer: Rich Stine