An Ad Agency Made Meghan Trainor’s New Video, and It’s Great

180LA and HP team up on 'Lips Are Movin'

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" video, posted to YouTube in June, is nearing 300 million views. So, what did the singer do for an encore to her No. 1 hit? She got a brand, an ad agency and social influencers involved.

HP and 180LA had been talking to labels, hoping to help craft a music video as a way to promote the Pavilion x360 tablet-laptop. And the 20-year-old Nantucket newcomer, signed to Epic Records, seemed perfect.

"Not only does her music work well with a fun, high-energy campaign, but she's also a young, socially active creator herself who we knew would inspire our influencers and their fans," said 180 creative director Adam Groves.

Young creators have been at the core of HP's "Next Gen" campaign, and they make up much of the cast and crew of the new three-minute "Lips Are Movin" video.

"So many young people have the talent and skills to do amazing stuff," said Groves. "We're just using the brand and the technology to give them a bigger platform to push the limits of what they're already doing."

MUSIC VIDEO:

TALENT: HP and 180 recruited a host of young influencers, many of whom have built-in online audiences, to work on the video as actors, choreographers, dancers, set designers, hair and makeup artists, stylists and photographers. They include American set designer Bri Emery, American actors Marcus Johns, Cody Johns and Robby Ayala, French dancers Les Twins, Spanish stylist Sara Escudero, American hair stylist Kristin Ess and Japanese nail artist Mei Kawajiri.

"The energy around the set was crazy," said 180 creative director Zac Ryder. "All of the influencers were busy working with the production team while creating their own content for their fans. … It was really cool to see [Trainor] interact with guys like Marcus and Cody Johns. She was just as starstruck as they were."

The x360 was the creative tool at the heart of the production—all of the influencers used it in some way. "A dancer from Houston was able to record herself choreographing her routine, then get suggestions from her fans and ultimately invite a few them to L.A. to star in the video with her," said Ryder. "As another example, our set designer used it to pull reference, create sketches and share them with the production team. Ultimately, her ideas came to life as the sets on the actual video."

COPYWRITING: The script had to communicate the influencers' involvement. So, director Philip Andelman suggested showcasing the crazy behind-the-scenes world of a music-video shoot—which ended up being the video's framework.

"Philip was really excited to work with all of these young creators," said Ryder. "Like all of us, I think he was inspired by their enthusiasm and fresh thinking. He understood how to pull all of the influencers' ideas together and craft the video in a way that showcased one of the hottest young stars in the world."

ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Visually, it's a lot like the "All About That Bass" video, just with more colors than pink.

"Her team asked us to evolve the look of 'All About That Bass' without straying too far from it," said Groves. "She's still a new artist, and they're trying hard to build a consistent look around her. Our set designer/influencer Bri Emery is known for using bold bright colors. So when Meghan's team asked us to stay within that world, it was a really good fit."

HP is woven subtly into the video—the x360 opens the video with a digital clapperboard, and is seen briefly throughout.

"We knew the only way this would be successful is if it wasn't an ad. It had to be a legit music video," said Groves. "The couple of times you do see the computer, it's being used in a natural way. Plus, so many young people can see through marketing BS in a video like that, and are happy to call it out. To make sure the product story came through, we had our influencers post content that they created on set which featured the HP x360."

MEDIA: A companion TV spot is offers "a fun, highly stylized look at the music video set in the moments leading up to the first shot," said Ryder. "Viewers move through the set and see a few of our influencers using the x360 like they did throughout the production process. We constructed the story so that the spot ends where the music video begins."

TV SPOT:

BEHIND THE SCENES:

CREDITS

Client: HP

Rob Le Bras-Brown, SVP, PPS WW Marketing

Vikrant Batra, VP, PPS WW Marketing, Consumer PC

Katie Nauman, PPS Product Manager

Melissa Barroso, Integrated Marketing Comm. Manager

Stef Brower, Social COE

Agency: 180LA

Global CEO: Michael Allen

Executive Creative Director: William Gelner

Creative Directors: Adam Groves, Zac Ryder

Copywriter: Trey Tyler

Art Director: Chelsea Cumings

Head of Production: Natasha Wellesley

Senior Producer: David Emery

Producer: Nili Zadok

Account Director: Mike Slatkin

Account Manager: Jamie Friedman

Account Manager: Allison Landrum

Social Strategist: Jessie Jo Blalock

Strategist: Andrew Zakim

Head of Business Affairs: Loretta Zolliecoffer

Production/TVC

Production Co.: Identity

Director: Philip Andelman

DP: Frederik Jacobi

Executive Producer – Alana Hearn

Producer: Josh Goldstein

Shoot Location: Sony Pictures Studio, Culver City, CA

Shoot Date: November 12, 2014

Production/Music Video

Production Co.: Partizan Entertainment

Director: Philip Andelman

DP: Frederik Jacobi

Executive Producer – Jeff Pantaleo

Producer: Josh Goldstein

Shoot Location: Sony Pictures Studio, Culver City, CA

Shoot Date: November 11, 2014

Editorial/TVC

Editorial Company: Cut & Run

Editor: Lucas Eskin

Producer: Remy Foxx

Editorial/Music Video

Editorial Company: Sunset Edit

Editor: Kenneth Mowe

Executive Producer: Nazeli Kodjoian

Finishing/TVC

Company: Carbon FX

Finishing/Music Video

Company: Baked FX

Recording Mix/TVC

Recording Studio: ELEVEN SOUND

Mixer: Jeff Payne

Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead

Strategic Partner: Giant Spoon

Social Partners: Niche, Collectively

Epic Records

Sylvia Rhone, President

Alla Benyatov – VP, Licensing and Brand Marketing


@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
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