Prince was pretty ad-averse throughout his career, but in 2009 he teamed with Target to promote his new three-disc set, which the retailer was offering exclusively. The set included the albums "LOtUSFLOW3R" "MPLSoUND" and "Elixer." The last featured his protege at the time, Bria Valente.
The spot, created out of Wieden & Kennedy Portland, features Prince on stage as badass as ever, this time, playing on a psychedelic stage and in a suit featuring Target's signature red and white colors.
Chad Rea, who was creative director and writer on the project at the time, recalled the experience on Facebook:
One of my favorite memories working in advertising is shooting a commercial with Prince. I got to go to his house with [former Target Creative Manager] Shawn Jones and eat dinner next to him, sit in his library and listen to his latest tracks on his computer to choose the soundtrack, and then present him the script. (This was after he hugged me but before he resisted having so many bullseye logos in the spot.) On the day of the shoot, he nixed some of the special effects and left before we got our money shot, which was key to the concept, but I will say, he is and probably will be the coolest mother fucker I will ever meet.
Mr. Rea explained to Creativity that the "money shot" was supposed to show Prince playing guitar in a mirrored room "a la Enter the Dragon -- as if he was playing inside his crystal lotus flower." The idea was meant to reflect the name of the album, which also featured a crystal lotus on the cover. "We never got that shot or the green screen scene, and all the water from the infinity stage and hovering smoke had to be turned off and recreated in post," he said.
Since then, of course, the retailer has continued to offer some pretty cool artist exclusives, most recently with Gwen Stefani and Adele.