Converse Mines Indie Kids' IPods, Strikes Santogold

Track Featuring Santogold, Pharrell and Strokes Frontman Released Today for Free Download

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While SFS was braving the Brooklyn heat in the backyard yesterday, Ad Age's intrepid reporter Andrew Hampp was snagging all the details about Converse's much-talked about branded song featuring Santogold, Pharrell and Julian Casablancas (of the Strokes).

From Ad Age:
... Converse will be the biggest spender of the recent pack of music-driven marketers when it turns "The Drive Thru" into a TV campaign, featuring all three artists in clips from the song's just-filmed music video. Extensive print and outdoor campaigns have already rolled out, featuring the tagline "Three Artists, One Song."

Geoff Cottrill, chief marketing officer for Converse, said "My Drive Thru" ties in comfortably with Converse's heritage of aligning with the independent minded. "We call them optimistic rebels," he said. "They're the core of what our brand stands for -- being an advocate and catalyst for creativity. ... We wanted these guys to come together, create a piece of music and share it with anyone who wanted it."

Added Mike Byrne, executive creative director for Anomaly, Converse's creative agency of record, "I think by having Pharrell produce the track, we knew we would get something that wasn't hip-hop or pop or rock. This year is the Converse century, and we're definitely celebrating our heritage of challenging the status quo in art, sports and fashion. It was a nice ode to all the people who helped build this brand."
We can't find it on Converse's site -- maybe it'll be up later today? -- but Stereogum has a stream of "Drive Thru," and it's probably all we need to hear. We love all three of these musicians, but we're not sure if "phoned-in" or "stuck together with gum and toothpicks" is a more apt metaphor for the final concoction, which might have spawned something more cohesive if these guys had put it together in the same room with one another.

Update: According to a representative from Cornerstone -- the agency that organized the project for Converse -- the collaboration was a bit closer than the comment below might make it sound. The rep says that Julian Casablancas and Pharrell assembled at Cornerstone's offices before recording together in both L.A. and Miami. Later, Santogold met Pharrell in Miami to record her part.

But that's pretty much what we were led to expect after this unbelivably frank/refreshing appraisal from Santie herself: "Everybody on it does their own separate thing and we didn't do it together so it ends up being just this weird long song with sort of everybody with lots of their own personalities separate."

And really, in a sense, the song itself is beside the point. Our money is that it won't become this summer's hottest jam, but it's generated enough ink and blog drool that Converse has already won the battle for awareness. Indie music fans that read any of the biggest blogs and news/review sites are well aware that a handful of very well-respected artists have endorsed the brand, and that's really the point.

According to Pitchfork, Converse has also lined up a slew of fresh artists for their continuing "Converse Century" print campaign, including members of YACHT, Kid Sister, Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound), Eleanor Friedberger (of Fiery Furnaces), Care Bears on Fire, everyone in "Drive Thru" and yes, even more we won't name.

[Via Ad Age]
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