Lifestyle marketing agency Cornerstone, along with pop producers J. R. Rotem and Ron Fair, recently hired Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls to record Duran's 1982 single "Rio" to promote Caress's new Brazilian Exotic Oil Infusions body wash. The track is streaming at a microsite, and if you caught Wednesday's "American Idol," you would have gotten a preview of the music video (above) and an opportunity to download it.
Jon Cohen, co-president of Cornerstone, who is leading the ongoing campaign, said that "Rio" was picked in order to appeal to both a 35-and-older crowd as well as teens. "The key and the challenge was make it pop, mainstream and form a connection to Brazil," he told Songs for Soap.
Close listeners and diehard fans will inevitably point out that the modest pop hit isn't really about Brazil, since very little of the mostly tropical South American country could be considered a "dusty land," and "Rio" probably refers to the river that separates the U.S. from Mexico. But Cohen says his team wasn't necessarily looking for a literal connection to Brazil in the song, or else they might have gone with something like "Girl From Ipanema," which he described as "too obvious."
"'Rio' wasn't chosen for the Brazil aspect, but for the tempo and what it means," Cohen said. "That was an added bonus. It's about a girl, and it's a metaphor for Brazil in that her name is Rio."
Although the song will be promoted for radio airplay -- it's being serviced by the Pussycat Dolls' label Interscope -- the entire Rio push was designed to be just as much about pushing out as pulling in. If you missed the "Idol" spot, you can still get a download of the song if you submit a fan-made video that captures "the spirit" of Brazil, and agency JWT and Microsoft built a video editor on the microsite to make that task as easy as downing a Caipirinha.