Radiohead Gives Castaway a Loving Home

UK Band Donates Use of Bonus Track for Arresting PSA on Homelessness

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For Radiohead fanatics, this is ad may just be a bit of Wikipedia chum. For just about everyone else, it's a pretty disturbing image of homelessness framed with a wreath of ambient tones.

For this spot, National Coalition for the Homeless hired agency KNARF and production studio Breathe Editing for a 30-second vignette of a girl who lives in a cardboard box. According to the press release, the short Radiohead castaway "MK 1" -- from the bonus disc of 2008's "In Rainbows" -- was just a demo track used while the video was being put together, but, after many attempts with alternate music, it turned out to be one of the most essential elements.

"I even had someone do an original piece of music for it but it wasn't as good as the Radiohead song," says Director/Writer Leo Zanis in a release. "I mean, come on, they're Radiohead for a reason."

Writer Frank Anselmo and Mr. Zanis, aware of Radiohead's reluctance to license their work, gave the band's management a hard sell. Shortly after the guys saw a cut of the spot with their music, they donated the song's use, which Radiohead has never done before, according to their publisher, Warner/Chappell. UPDATE: AdFreak readers turned up a Guardian story from 2001 that says the band once donated a song for an Olympic spot.

Regardless of whether people notice Thom Yorke's distinctive falsetto, the team hopes the arresting spot will draw viewers to, where they can find out more about the organization and its work in public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing.

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