Sonixphere Helps BBDO Relieve Santa’s Pain
Innovative piano-based track provides the perfect accompaniment to an atypical holiday story.
December 7, 2011—Sonixphere, a global resource for everything related to music and sound, created a poignant piano piece for a new multimedia holiday campaign for Aleve. Conceived by Energy BBDO, Kris’s Dayincludes broadcast and web spots that depict Kris Kringle as he’s never been seen before—grimacing from arthritis-induced pain on the night before Christmas. As the clock strikes midnight, the not-so-jolly old elf envisions a long night of hauling presents across the sky—but the day is saved by Aleve.
“The stakes were high,” explains Energy BBDO Group Creative Director, Grant Tennison. “We wanted something cinematic that portrayed Kris Kringle as a real person who experiences pain but has obligations to fulfill. The importance of that night weighs heavily on him even as he grapples with arthritis. To communicate Santa’s painful dilemma, we needed music that was not the typical holiday fare.”
Greg Allan, creative director and executive producer of Sonixphere, tapped his global roster of composers to meet the challenge. “We needed to complement the groundbreaking storyline with an equally unique musical approach,” he says. “The brief from the team at Energy BBDO was for the music to be emotional but not too dense or heavily orchestrated. We didn’t want the typical sugary holiday music.”
During the opening scene in Santa’s workshop, a piano begins playing a mournful melody. Later, the music takes a lighter turn, when Santa, while depositing presents around a tree, discovers a steaming cup of espresso and a bottle of Aleve left by a helpful father. The music reaches its climax in the final scene, set on Christmas Day, as Santa, back on the job, looks forward to a pain-free year. To underscore the transition from melancholy to joy, Sonixphere added hand bells and string lines to the solo piano.
“Greg and his team are very collaborative,” says Tennison. “We weren’t sure what we wanted for this spot, but we knew we didn’t want it to sound like every other holiday spot. Sonixphere’s composition nailed it. We are very happy with the result.”
“There’s nothing better than collaborating with forward-thinking creatives like Grant and his amazing team at Energy BBDO,” concludes Allan. “This was like creating fine wine; we kept honing and tweaking and ‘tasting’ the music until it was just right.”