Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Friday, Apr. 1, 2016
Hum Music Scores Jeep’s Super Bowl Spot--#1 Entry On Quarterly Top Ten Tracks Chart
Scott Glenn

One of the ad highlights of this year’s Super Bowl was “Portraits,” a stirring piece for Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep in which more than 60 curated images—ranging from regular everyday people to celebs (Marilyn Monroe, BB King, Aretha Franklin, Steve McQueen), from pop culture (The Terminator, Jurassic Park) to historic moments (D-Day invasion)—are featured.

The images unfold to narration which reads, “I’ve seen things no man should bear. And those that every man should dare. From the beaches of Normandy, to the far reaches of the Earth. In my life, I have lived millions of lives. I’ve outrun robots and danced with dinosaurs. I’ve faced the faces of fear and fortitude, and witnessed great beauty in the making. I’ve kept the company of kings (BB) and queens (Aretha Franklin) but I’m no royalty or saint. I’ve traveled, trekked, wandered and roamed only to find myself right where I belong.”

A parting super conveys the simple message: “We don’t make Jeep. You do.”

Conceived by New York agency iris Worldwide, “Portraits”  pays homage to the Jeep brand on its 75th year anniversary—and in doing so pays even more homage to the people and moments that have driven Jeep. The reflective tone of the commercial stood out in a crop of more visceral, gimmicky, comedy Super Bowl ad fare.

Contributing significantly to this feel was a score from Hum Music, Santa Monica, Calif., employing the existing track “Aerial.” The Hum ensemble included composer Kristin Dyrud, creative director Scott Glenn, executive producer Debbi Landon and executive creative director Jeff Koz.

Glenn provided some backstory on the Super Bowl spot, noting that “iris reached out to Hum during the pitch phrase after developing the concept for ‘Portraits’ and sharing boards with our team.  They described the emotion they were looking to convey with the music that would accompany the visuals, but they were also very open to hearing any other ideas HUM had that we felt would amplify the emotional resonance of the spot.  As such, we sent a diverse range of tracks for iris to use for their pitch and for their edit. 

“The HUM team was thrilled with iris’s selection as this composition [‘Aerial’] had been one of our very favorites,” continued Glenn. “Additionally, it was created by one of our very own in-house composers [Dyrud], a singular talent who has lent her music to many high-profile campaigns as well as to television and film, and who recently released an album that charted in her home country of Norway.”

Still the track also carried an inherent challenge, related Glenn. “Since this piece of music existed before the spot was created, it required some customized adjustments to work with the final ‘Portraits’ :60.  This proved somewhat challenging, because what makes this piece of music so uniquely powerful is the way in which the piano arpeggio accelerates and decelerates while all along still maintaining a sense of meter within the track.  It’s this very quality that strongly contributes to the beautifully tumultuous human emotion encapsulated within the music.  This “bending of time,” to use a  term that Iris coined to describe such flexible pacing, is very much a reflection of the original composer’s personal sense of feel, the nuance of which is not so easy to rerecord, which nonetheless was essential for the spot.  Knowing this would prove challenging, we brought in a brilliant studio and concert pianist  for a custom performance, making sure that the ebb and flow of the music would work in conjunction with the visual and voice over narrative, while still mapping out within the exact sixty second time frame required.  And, with Iris’s direction, our aim was always to push the tension in the pacing of the music to the very breaking point in order to maximize the impact of the spot.

Audio post mixer was Walter Bianco of Cutting Room, New York.

Catch&Release handled creative research, clearances and licensing services for the photographs which take a look back at Jeep’s historical influence in the military as well as on our culture.

See the Top Ten Tracks chart here.

Credits for ScreenWork: 

Music/Sound: Hum Music, Santa Monica, Calif. Track Title: “Aerial”; Kristin Dyrudm composer; Jim Cox, performer; Scott Glenn, creative director; Debbi Landon, exec producer; Jeff Koz, executive creative director; Audio Post: Cutting Room, New York Walter Bianco, mixer; Agency: iris Worldwide, New York Sean Reynolds, global creative director; Marcus Liwag, associate creative director; Winston Noel, copywriter; Guy Quinlan, exec producer. Editorial Cutting Room NY Brian Sanford, Merritt Duff, editors; Susan Willis, managing partner; Melissa Lubin, exec producer. Postproduction Light of Day NY Colin Stackpole, creative director/Flame; Dan Bowhers, Flame; Mike Wharton, 3D; Matt Esolda, VFX; Peter DeAndrea, online; Jacob Robinson, assistant. Telecine Nice Shoes NY Lez Rudge, colorist; Ed Rilli, color grading producer; Andrew Pandolfino, color grading assistant. Creative Research, Clearances & Licensing Services: Catch&Release, bicoastal (creative research, clearances & licensing services) 60-plus photographs take a look back at Jeep’s historical influence in the military as well as our culture.