Ad Music is sittin' pretty for Delta

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Atlanta-based brand consultancy BrightHouse recently made its broadcast debut with a spot for Delta Airlines, titled "Seat," which simultaneously took a chair on our informal commercials hit parade, via a folk ballad from composer Paul Bessenbacher of Santa Monica's Admusic. The spot, directed by Partizan's Jaume, features a woman who reserves her airline seat online, only to have the seat itself, equipped with human legs, pop out of her printer and follow her to the airport like a faithful sidekick. This is backed by a persuasively gentle, mildly humorous acoustic guitar-driven original ditty, sung and strummed by Bessenbacher, with the following fey lyrics: "We met on the internet/We're gonna go cool places I bet/'Cause you and me we're traveling companions/Might fly over the grandest of canyons/New York down to Miami/Into Frankfurt wherever we can be/Friends we will be cuz it just feels right."

BrightHouse CCO Markham Cronin, who penned the lyrics, explains, "We did a search for existing music, but either the content or style was off or it was wildly overpriced and still not perfect. It made so much more sense creatively and economically to come up with something from scratch. It was a risk, to be sure, but Paul just nailed it. It's a very stripped-down, emotional and earnest composition. The final is very, very close to the demo that Paul recorded. His voice was so close to perfect there was never any real consideration of having anyone else record the vocal. It really smacks of that classic singer-songwriter sitting down with his guitar and performing a song."

"The client wanted something simple, friendly and inviting," says Bessenbacher. "The acoustic guitar was a natural choice, something Bob Dylan would do, and in a way this is a tribute to folk artists like Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake-guys who could craft a song and melody with just a guitar and vocal. When I was first saw the lyrics on paper, my first step was to make them flow rhythmically-it's a very sweet song about friendship. It could have been about kids or a husband and wife; as it happens, it's about a woman and a chair. The visual is what makes it funny. We weren't scoring to picture initially, and we had to visualize the concept and imagine this very bizarre scenario. Songwriting is a passion of mine, and ever since high school I've tried to live up to the standards of the musicians I admire. I definitely think that all my past and present experience as a live performer contributed to this project. This song was done in one take. People who haven't heard me sing may be surprised that I recorded the vocal. We tried out another singer, but he couldn't touch my charm and personality. Seriously, it just came naturally to me, a natural extension of the songwriting."

"It's interesting that this spot has been so successful and gotten so much positive buzz," notes Admusic executive producer Korbin Kraus. "Perhaps it's because this is a custom song crafted specifically to make the creative come together. There's so much on the air these days that's more of an underscore than a score."

This is a score, in both senses of the term.

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