- Title - A Girl Like You
- Composer - Edwyn Collins
- Publisher - Universal Music Publishing
- Artist - Edwyn Collins
- Record Co - Edwyn Collins owns the masters to the recording
- Ad Agency - RKCR/Y&R
- Creative Team - Pip Bishop and Chris Hodgkiss
- Director - Jake Nava
- Production Co - Cherry Studio
Edwyn Collins is not a sync novice. But, it will take a patient man to search through the advertising vaults and unearth many campaigns welded to one of his tunes. There is some mention of a Rimmel ad in the mists of time.
But, no one will miss the former Orange Juice frontman’s contribution to the new M&S campaign. That’s partly because ad agency RKCR/Y&R built the retailer’s new autumn campaign around a Collins’ song.
And what a song it is: the 1994 monster hit A Girl Like You, which first cropped up on album Gorgeous George and has since had one or two outings on film soundtracks – including 2003‘s box office smash Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
The campaign is a landmark in itself. Instead of rebooting the well-known faces of previous M&S spots, Twiggy, Myleene and Dannii have been ditched in favour of a plethora (okay, ten) models, many of whom are both a lot older than normal fashion advertising dictates - three are over 40 and one of those is aged 57 - and also much more shapely – encompassing sizes eight to 16.
This time it is the clothes that are the stars. Under the strapline For Every Woman You Are, the models in the TV ad show off a handful of the retailer’s key autumn trends, including a new take on the military look.
The ad agency’s music producer Dan Neale says the creative team of copyrighter Pip Bishop and art director Chris Hodgkiss selected A Girl Like You as soon as they started work on the campaign because it fit the brief perfectly. “There’s a whole range of ladies and a brilliant line of clothes, the focus is on the clothes so there is a good link there,” Neale says. “Also, it needed to be a song that was ‘catwalky‘ and had great movement.”
Similarly, Universal Publishing head of film and TV licensing Tom Foster says, “the agency almost wrote the script around the song. I was very surprised there was so little sync activity around the track.”
Thus the creatives were able to show Edwyn’s wife and manager Grace how the song would look and sound in a mood film before the final ad was shot by Jake Nava, the hot director behind videos for Beyonce’s Single Ladies, Adele’s Someone Like You and Kanye West’s Monster.
“They (Edwyn and Grace Collins) liked the brand and the track makes perfect sense,” says Neale, who adds Nava was a “deliberate” choice because of the energy and pop sensibility that he brings to the ad.
Foster says the deal to secure the song was then one of the smoothest he has negotiated - partly because Collins owns his own masters. “That’s pretty handy in sync licensing, it makes it a lot easier to license and all the money goes directly to him,” says Foster.
Foster now anticipates a spike of interest in the Edwyn Collins back catalogue because the campaign is so high profile. Given that the ad is expected to run for another couple of months there must be a real chance that A Girl Like You might even chart again.