In the Auto Theft Prevention Authority's "Cars," the visuals are simple shots of ordinary cars in ordinary settings. What makes the spot, from Pennsylvania's Neiman Group, is Pittsburgh-based music company Big Science's creepy and powerful music, which drives home the point that car thieves make off with Corollas, Hyundais and hatchbacks too, not just BMWs and Bentleys. But the job became a personal one for Big Science principal and composers Jay Green and Scot Fleming; the agency wanted a sound of a band behind the message of the spot, to make it sound more like car manufacturer's commercials, and Green and Fleming just happened to have a band, Tendercrush. After hearing a track from Tendercrush's EP, agency creatives asked for something with a similar sound that could convey the idea of finding value that couldn't be immediately seen by the naked eye. The result was "Beautiful," a love song to average cars from the perspective of a thief, but also a marriage of personal and private work for Green and Fleming. With a simple guitar chord progression and whispered lyrics like "this must be a dream" and "look what I've found in you/my little treasure," the tune became the perfect ode.
"The song was brand new, and it hadn't been fleshed out yet," says Green. "We reworked the lyrics a bit, and it became a lot darker than other Tendercrush songs." While the song was downloaded from ATPA and Big Science websites, Green fleshed it out to include verses, and put it on a Tendercrush CD. "If we had a niche before, it was that we were quirky," says Fleming. "But lately it's been married with a sound that is like obscure songs on a band's album. We never offered up those types of Tendercrush songs before, and we certainly never wrote pop songs for spots before." Now that Big Science has displayed this versatility, Green and Fleming look forward to branching out into other areas. "This isn't a spot for a tangible product," says Fleming. "It's a community service-based product, so it lends itself to the more abstract. But we enjoy setting the mood and creating that emotional bond with the audience."