Top of the Charts: Coors Light "Rock On"

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This FCB/Chicago spot is a twentysomething party in 30 seconds. While the visuals are the de rigueur tableaux of attractive young people blissfully dancing and flirting with one another, the spot really owes its success to the music. The montage soundtrack is so dynamic, by the 15-second mark you're doing a muted headbang from the comfort of your couch. Hollywood music house DeepMix used four songs to create the soundtrack, each with the word "rock" in the title. The spot builds on "We Came To Rock," by P.O.D.; working up to "So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star," by the Byrds; Run DMC's "I'm The King Of Rock"; and the unmistakable guitar riff and chorus of "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by the Scorpions.

DeepMix and FCB, working with Platinum Rye, an entertainment consulting firm handling the music licensing and budgeting for "Rock On," took numerous stabs at the soundtrack before finally finding one that worked. "We had a few different remixes that creatively were really good, but once you start homing in on a piece of music, the other part of the equation comes into play - contracts and budgets," says Dave Curtin, partner/creative director at DeepMix. "So we just kept going back at it until we found the right combination of songs that worked both creatively and economically." Allowing DeepMix to compose before securing the licensing on the songs was great for the creative process, but placing the cart before the horse meant that more time was needed, and letting good material go to waste was part of a day's work. "The logistics were probably as immense as the idea itself," says Tom O'Keefe, ECD at FCB/Chicago. "Obviously, music licensing is a huge area in advertising, and when you're dealing with more than one license for a single spot, there are a lot of people who have to approve it." Music's power to recall feelings and memories was galvanized to give "Rock On" the necessary impact. "Finding the emotion was what the client really understood about the project," adds O'Keefe. "That's something you really have to work hard to achieve. Anyone can run four songs together, but it will be flat."

"We wanted to keep a common thread throughout the piece, so we created some original music and a drum loop," explains Curtin. "It took a lot of finessing to edit it and maintain the integrity, so it made sense at 30 seconds." Curtin, who received numerous calls and e-mails from consumers about the soundtrack to "Rock On," sees a higher standard emerging for music for commercials in the areas of cross-promotions with record labels and new artists, original music and remixes. "It's really an exciting time for advertising and the music business, where they're all coming together to collectively raise the bar - musically, visually and conceptually."

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