Ad of the Day: Pandora Freezes Crazy Moments When Music Transcends All

'Now playing. You'

Pandora isn't just an Internet radio provider, says Internet radio provider Pandora. It's actually part of your destiny, or a series of chance events, or a magical discovery algorithm, or whatever it is that conspires in the brain of your computer overlords to make sure the right song comes on at exactly the right time—so you actually have a good life where you do kind of dumb, impulsive things, instead of a lame life, where you don't.

That right song might be the one that makes you jump your date's bones without regard for what's on the table behind him, says one of two new ads from twofifteenmccann. Because Pandora will get you laid. Sure, music is a mood setter. But really, if you like the date, you might knock those meatballs on top of spaghetti all covered with cheese onto the floor while jumping his or her bones anyways—even if the wrong song (e.g., "On Top of Spaghetti") came on. Because someone has to break the ice somehow, and how much awkwardness can you take? Plus, it's only natural.

Or the right song might be the one that makes you lose your mind after a tense night of working late and trash your office with an impromptu dance party, says the other ad. Because you just don't care that you're going to have to stay even later cleaning it all up anyways, or something. Also because sometimes agency life, the low-hanging fruit of writers writing what they know, is a little too obvious in brand spots, even when it's a stretch for the client, or strains basic credulity.

It's appropriate to Pandora, and also generally nice, that the ads use real tracks by artists from outside the mainstream—"If I Could Only" by Popkillers in the meatball spot, and "Sha Bang Bang" by Dice Raw and Mike Taylor in the office spot. The basic conceit—music, and by extension the personalized recommendations of Pandora, can play an influential role in your life—is more or less dead on. And the tagline, "Now playing. You," aspires to capture the lofty truth that individual identity can get bound up in music.

The ads are almost endearing, but perhaps too overwrought. Even simple, stupid fun that might feel transcendent in the moment doesn't necessarily warrant a dramatic frozen-moment-in-time treatment. Or maybe it's just a category problem, and online broadcasters need to stop trying to articulate the sweeping power of something that intrinsically can't quite be described.


Client: Pandora

Agency: twofifteenmccann

Chief Creative Officer: Scott Duchon

Executive Creative Director: James Robinson

Copywriter / Associate Creative Director: Quentin Shuldiner

Art Director: Alper Kologlu

Senior Producer: Jan O'Malley

Senior Producer: Brandon Romer

Director of Integrated Production: Alex Spahr

Managing Director: Kelly Johnson

Management Supervisor: Hannah Schaefer

Business Affairs Director: Mary Beth Barney

Social Media Strategist: Paige Robertson

Production Company: Park Pictures

Director: Terri Timely

Executive Producers: Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Justin Pollock

Head of Production: Anne Bobroff

Producer: David Lambert

VFX Studio: Spy Post

VFX Supervisor: Darren Orr

CG Supervisor: Michael Lester

Colorist: Carey Burens

Executive Producer: Lori Joseph

Music: "Sha Bang Bang" by Mike Taylor feat. Dice Raw

Music: “If I Could Only” by Popkillers

Music Companies: Agoraphone ("Office"), Beta Patrol ("Accident")

Mixing Studio: One Union Recording

Mixer: Joaby Deal

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