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H.S.I., T.A.G., N.E.R.D. The latest video project for the latter is an anagram lover's dream: Death's Grin, Danger Shit and Grandest Hi are a few choice rearrangements. But the production company, McCann Worldgroup offshoot and hip hop group, are into something way racier than Scrabulous this time, developing an integrated idea around the group's "Everybody Nose" track. With the track about cocaine abuse, the video delves into the naughty world of Last Night's Party with a boatload of frequently semi-nude hipster extras and a big, dancing party nose.
"We're learning a lot about the music business in real time," T.A.G. creative director Geoff Edwards says. Unlike spots, where a board is approved beforehand, "you produce the videos and you go to the MTVs and the VH1 and you go with the edit." Evidently MTV wasn't too excited about the vibe of "Everybody Nose," refusing to air the video. "In this case it had nothing to do with what we shot and the program, it had to do with sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. One of them."
Edwards says N.E.R.D. leader Pharrell Williams' idea behind the video was simple: "Isn't it sad when you see a beautiful swan turn into an ugly duckling." Michelle Ross and Rebecca Skinner, head of sales and executive producer, respectively at H.S.I., contacted Edwards to do a music video. "I could have done it myself," he says, but decided to turn it into a T.A.G. project so his team could stretch their legs with something outside of advertising, "create an integrated program around a music track, treat this like they treat Halo, like an Xbox or Zune project." T.A.G. developed some treatments, Edwards went back to H.S.I. with the party theme and got Williams to assent to the notion that "the most interesting part of this program might not be the video."