It's a curious pairing for Trident. Duran Duran's average fan is
probably in her 30s or 40s, and is more interested in the whitening
and health benefits of gum, which Trident abandoned for a focus on
fun with "See What Unfolds," which seems like a more natural fit
for Mr. Aoki's younger audience.
"The campaign spans generations," Ms. Wilkes said. "The mix of
the two artists creates a really interesting chemistry. And while
they do have different core fan groups, if you look at the fans
waiting on the street , there's no clear demographic in either of
them. We found big artists. There's nothing more fun than
It was Mr. Aoki's first time working with Trident, but he's
worked with several brands before, including Pucker Vodka and Axe. And he says
working with corporate brands is something he's accustomed to.
"As long as they understand where I'm coming from, to allow me
to do what I'm doing and respect my integrity, I'm happy to see
where that leads," Mr. Aoki said.
Trident put Mr. Aoki together with Duran Duran (the two worked
together in 2007 on a track from Duran Duran's "Red Carpet
Massacre" album) and facilitated the reworking of band's classic
tune, which was no small undertaking, Mr. Aoki said. "I actually
took the song and I just took the a capella and changed the key of
the record, wrote a dance record around the vocal, and then they
wrote on top of my production," he said. "So it became like this
collaborative record rather than a remix.
"It's rare to be able to do something at this level, to be able
to perform a song, to work on a song, all this prep ... it needs
someone to put it together, so I'm glad this worked out."
During Mr. Aoki's hour-plus performance, Trident branding was
evident throughout -- "See What Unfolds" scrolled on a screen
behind him. The set even resembled -- intentionally or not --
sticks of gum shooting out of the stage.
During Duran Duran's -- not so much. The branding was stripped
away, the gum gone. Their "surprise" performance was a short set of
four upbeat songs that started off with "Hungry Like the Wolf:
Steve Aoki vs. Duran Duran, The New York Werewolf Mix."
Duran Duran has worked with brands in the past, but in a more
limited way. In a campaign similar to Trident's "See What Unfolds,"
last year, American Express
kicked off its "Unstaged" program of pairing artists and directors
by bringing the band together with director David Lynch for a
concert at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles that was webcast on
YouTube. The band also worked with Swarovski for the band's "Girl
Trident, whose agency on "See What Unfolds" is Saatchi &
Saatchi, New York, will be taking its message across the
country. As a jumping off point, it's allowing directors from the
Genero.TV network to download the remix and video from the show to
create their own renditions of the track. Then Trident will
continue to work with Mr. Aoki on some music festivals, and
consumers will have the chance to participate in games and see
local artists play on its "See What Unfolds" roadshow.
"As a brand, we don't want to talk about fun only, we want to
create, and let people participate in fun. ... Trident bringing
that to them helps them connect with Trident," Ms. Wilkes said.