Peugeot gets a car to 'play' a music track in experiment with pianist Riopy

The brand teamed up with the 'Shape of Water' composer in campaign by BETC

Published On
Oct 08, 2018

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For car brands, just showing a shiny new machine isn't enough any more to engage a young and tech-savvy audience, so several brands recently have decided that one way to their hearts is via music. 

Last month we saw Jaguar team with singer Dua Lipa on a music-themed promotional campaign letting them remix her track using their own driving data. Now, Peugeot has partnered with composer and pianist Riopy (who composed soundtracks to movies like "The Shape of Water" and "The Danish Girl") on an equally ambitious new project.

The campaign, via BETC Paris, shows a Peugeot 508 actually "playing" a song composed by Riopy as the musician drives along a two kilometer track of road in Croatia. Multicolored laser sensors were mounted under the car, and when Riopy steers the car over them, the sensors detect the musical note and play the sound--a bit like a giant piano. In addition, a drone followed the car, allowing an orchestra to follow it on a life-size score and accompany the performance.Though it comprises only 190 notes, BETC says it's physically the "longest" musical score in the world.

David Martin Angelus, creative director at BETC explains the project wasn't an easy one and involved Riopy having to practice for a week to get it right. For the lasers mounted under the car to read the notes on the ground, Riopy had to drive with extreme precision. The lasers activate only when they detect the note’s black color versus the gray color of the road. It was also a real challenge for Riopy, who's a musician and not a stunt driver, to drive over every note.”

The song itself will be released by Warner Music as part of the campaign, which is designed to highlight the pleasure of driving.