The Penney Commercial That Led to the Birth of a Band

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More Than Just Jingles

Sometimes when good music happens to good brands, the deal helps both parties.

Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, called on Australia's Nylon Studios to create a track for a 30-second JC Penney spot. The resulting music not only fit the commercial perfectly -- Saatchi Creative Director Kerry Keenan said, "It felt like the spot was created for the song instead of vice versa" -- it resulted in hundreds of calls to the Saatchi offices in search of the full song.
Forever Thursday, a band born from a successful JC Penney ad
Forever Thursday, a band born from a successful JC Penney ad

Nylon Studios quickly fleshed out the track into a full-length version, and Nylon composer Elliot Wheeler and vocalist Melanie Horsnell created an act called "Forever Thursday." The song, "How Can It Be?," is available for download on iTunes and the JC Penney website. While Mark Beckhaus, Nylon's executive producer, would not reveal the sales or the ownership agreement between Nylon, Forever Thursday and JC Penney, he did say 42,000 people visited Forever Thursday's MySpace page within its first week.

Ms. Keenan said she's happy about the success of the music and doesn't feel it detracts from the brand message. "[A song] is a shortcut to one's emotions," she said. "You can catch a consumer right off the bat with something as powerful as this."

Mr. Beckhaus, who works solely on music for advertising, is an artist to the last. "A good piece of music is a good piece of music. We try not to get too hung up on brand values. If you overthink it, you could ruin the music."
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