Ad of the Day: Album of the Year Nominees Sing on Posters in Cool Grammys Promo

Great solution to not having access to the talent

Best lip-syncing ever?

This fun, innovative spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day, touting the Feb. 15 Grammy Awards telecast on CBS, takes the practice in an unexpected direction. 

The work features a catchy mashup of tracks from all five Album of the Year nominees: Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. While the artists themselves don't appear, their album covers, T-shirts and promotional posters do. And when a dude gets off a bus and saunters down the street, the artwork comes to life all around him as the artists sing along to their own music.

"We wanted to do something to get people excited for the Grammys, featuring multiple artists, that had a bigger conceptual idea than the usual list of celebrities, but didn't have the time or money to get them all together for a shoot," agency creative director Jason Karley tells Adweek.

"That difficulty led us to the idea of a mashup of all five nominees," he says. "We were inspired by a cool music video that we found using this effect of the lips moving"—Roy Kafri's "Mayokero" from 2014—"so we contacted that video director, Vania Heymann, and got him." 

The spot is a bit goofy—in a good way—and strangely hypnotic. One big plus: It's not overdone. (If, say, Kendrick Lamar started dancing on his album cover, that would've been too much.) The treatment remains subtle; only the lips move, so it might take a moment for viewers to realize the artists are mouthing off at all. 

Plus, putting an average guy—actor Micah Dijon—at the center of the action keeps things grounded. This isn't complete insanity, just a mildly skewed version of reality.

"He's the anchor that guides us through the spot, and gives the camera motivation," Karley says. "It's much more compelling then just cutting around and seeing various posters and things singing to us. But he is on his way to the Grammys—there's a ticket in his pocket—so that's the justification for everything coming to life around him."


Client: Grammy Awards

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler

Creative Director: Jason Karley
Creative Director: Micky Coyne

Sr. Art Director: Tiffany Lam

Sr. Copywriter: Angie Ogburn

Managing Director: Stan Fiorito

Account Director: Pamela Lloyd

Account Executive: Ashley Pratt

Account Executive: Caroline Hanley

Director of Production: Brian O'Rourke

Executive Producer: Anh-Thu Lee

Producer: Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher

Director of Business Affairs: Linda Daubson

Executive Business Manager: Lisa Lipman

Business Affairs Manager: Mimi Hirsch

Group Planning Director: Neil Barrie

Planner: Audrey Tyau

Production Company: Pretty Bird

Director: Vania Heyman

Director of Photography: Hunter Robert Baker

Executive Producer: Suzanne Hargrove

Head of Production: Tracy Hauser

Producer: Natan Schottenfels

Editorial & Animation:

Editor: Vania Heyman

Online, VFX and Color: Brewster Parsons

VFX Supervisor/Lead Flame Artist: Louis Mackall

Flame Artist: Graziella Gandolfi

Tracking: Jarrod Avalos

VFX Producer: Jami Schakel

VFX Coordinator: Amanda Macke

Executive Producer: Darcy Parsons

Executive Producer: Jason Cohon

Mix: Beacon Street Studios

Lead Mixer & Sound Designer: Rommel Molina

Executive Producer: Erin Reilly

Assistant Mixer: Aaron Cornacchio

Music: Squeak E Clean

Remix By: Justin Hori for Squeak E Clean Productions

Creative Direction: Justin Hori

Executive Producer: Carol Dunn

Senior Producer: Amy Crilly

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.