Music

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A new Visa Gold :60 titled "Lost Luggage," from Leo Burnett/Toronto, is driven by a very simple, if bizarre, story: A man is standing by an airport luggage carousel. His suitcase doesn't show up, and a woman asks him, "Lost your luggage?" "Yup," he says complacently. "Good thing I put that homing device on it." He pulls out a gizmo and presses On - cut to his suitcase, sitting God knows where, which begins to move as if it were on motorized wheels as it proceeds on a journey that seems to span continents, involving a boat, a bicycle and assorted other feats of split-screen traversal, which intrigue various passersby, though no one impedes its progress. It eventually rolls right up to the guy in the airport, of course. Super: "If life were like that, you wouldn't need a Visa card." It's cute, but what makes this Kuntz & Maguire-directed spot stand out is the music, by L.A.'s Groove Addicts - a trombone- and vocalise-driven island lilt that, thanks to the absence of dialogue or VO for almost the entire spot, plays like a music video about a suitcase. And that, of course, makes for one plum commercials gig. Indeed, "We were especially excited by this job because here we have a chance to get really creative in 60 seconds," says Ran Pink, who composed the track with Gilad Benamram. "The client was looking for a piece that would give the traveling luggage a unique and funny voice, and the exotic scenery needed a fun, punkish, Latinish style," adds Pink.

"We had originally cut the spot to an existing track that Kuntz & Maguire found," says Burnett/Toronto CCO Judy John. "It was a DJ mix, I guess I would call it techno, and we loved it. Problem was, we couldn't get it in the budget we were working with. The bigger problem was, we all had demo love, but Groove Addicts kept coming back to us with more and different tracks, strongly recommending not doing a sorry rip-off of the track we were in love with, which was very different from what we ended up with."

"We used two main vocal elements to strengthen the character of the suitcase," explains Pink. "We began by chopping up a vocal line and placing it rhythmically like a fast scat, giving the luggage a sense of urgency and dedication to make it back to its owner. The wacky singing voice represents the attitude and humor of our hero. To further accentuate the funny aspect of the story, we recorded a live trombone playing silly riffs. All live percussion, bass, electric guitars and vocals were recorded by us in our studio in Hollywood. It became a big jam session and the fun we had recording the instruments seems to have come through in the music. The final music and sound design was mixed by Gerhard Joost at Groove Addicts. It's always fun when you get a chance to be a part of an artistic effort in the commercials world."

"This is the kind of spot creatives love to make," notes John. "High-concept, fun, entertaining and you get to create an alternate universe. I think the track we ended up with fits the spot, gives the luggage personality, has an ethnic feel and makes the journey fun."

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