RIDE THE FUTURE
One of our most creatively challenging dives into the vault, this brief had us digging through the racks for a hidden gem. Luckily for us, we hit pay dirt.
Working with Amsterdam’s HALAL, the bar was set high for this spot for e-bike pioneers VanMoof: a slick, punchy ad to distill the appeal of their revolutionary bikes to a global audience. We witness a car collision unfold in reverse; angry and frustrated drivers; stressed pedestrians in a hazy fog of pollution; and a cramped bus with frustrated passengers packed in like sardines. Then, a bike and its rider rise triumphantly above the clamor of the city and glide serenely through the chaos. Effortlessly moving forward, she zips through the gridlock, while all around her, cars and their drivers symbolically reverse in time.
It was a lot to pack in and tie together: something to encapsulate the timeworn malaise of car culture, the backward and the forward motion, and still whistle a merry tune for the cycling revolution! That meant a song that was nostalgic but new to listeners, melancholy but optimistic, gesturing serenely to the past while hoping for a better future. Something like Tony Bennett’s ‘The Good Life’– but not... With no time to compose something of that caliber, we dived into the vault. Cracking out the wheels of steel, we thumbed through for a record that could barely have existed.
So imagine our pleasure when we hit the mother lode. ‘Brighter Side’ was the best hit never to hit – an unheard classic by obscure Arizona crooner Connie Conway. It was like we’d sent an A&R guy into a time machine to find the best talent from the time and then stolen the hit before it could ever air! And the lyrics provided exactly the positive spin on everyday life to contrast with the film’s mundane hell of commuting: “There’s a brighter side to every dark, dark cloud, and there’s a smiling face in every crowd.” We couldn’t have written it better. To top it off, we touched up the track with some reverse reverb, matching the ad’s reverse motion. Ending up with a soundtrack that blurs the passing of time, singing eerily from the past about a hopeful future.
And that, just as the future of post-car transportation lies buried in an invention of the past – the bicycle – so too are some of the best creative built from the foundations of the past.