- Product/Brand - Three.co.uk
- Spot - Pony
- Song Title - Everywhere
- Composer - McVie
- Publisher - Universal Music Publishing
- Artist - Fleetwood Mac
- Record Company - Warner
- Ad Agency - Wieden+Kennedy
- Creative(s) - Freddie Powell, Hollie Walker
- Film Company - Blink
- Film Director - Dougal Wilson
- Post Product - Munky
- Air Date - Feb 28 2013
Or should that be Syncs of the Month? Rarely do ad campaigns come more eye catching – or extensive – than the latest for mobile phone service provider Three.co.uk starring Socks the dancing Shetland Pony.
Nine separate Socks spots featuring nine different tracks covering nine different popular music styles have already garnered well over six million hits on You Tube since the commercials first launched at the end of February.
And if that’s not enough, the campaign has sent one of those tracks, Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere, rocketing back into the Top 20 for the first time since it peaked at number 4 in 1988.
By commissioning Blink’s seasoned TV ad director Dougal Wilson to travel to the Shetlands for a six day shoot in November, ad agency Wieden+Kennedy proved it was ready for the challenges presented by a multi-spot campaign.
At the time it was getting ready to blitz our screens in the run up to Christmas with a dozen discreet but festively linked ads for supermarket Tesco which included music ranging from contemporary pop acts like The Kaiser Chiefs to catalogue classics by T Rex and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown.
Time will tell whether other agencies will follow Wieden +Kennedy’s lead and 2013 will see a rash of simultaneously aired spots for a single brand or product. Or indeed whether others will emulate the opportunity online visitors to http://www.youtube.com/user/three/theponymixer have been given to edit their own version of the Socks videos.
The establishing TV spot, which featured the Fleetwood Mac track, was produced by Wieden+Kennedy's Michelle Brough. Otherwise music supervision on the remaining eight was carried out by Tin Drum whose Sophie Urquhart was asked to source high profile titles which would meet the various generic requirements, which included punk (The Undertones), rock (Europe), rave (Darude) and Bollywood (Punjabi pop stars Mikka and Richa Sharma).
"I came in late on the job as the producer was going away and needed help," says Urquhart, who only began work on the project on November 30. "Then it became a lot bigger than originally planned so I took full responsibility. The agency provided me with the genres they wanted and I searched based on that."
Although Urquhart honoured an existing Wieden+Kennedy agreement with Sony Music for five spots, final music choices were far from a foregone conclusion.
"Some of the tracks were chosen by the agency direct but I had to replace a bunch due to label 'deals' or denials," she explains.
"I think the budget was good for the usage and it grew during negotiations when more media was added."
In the end six of the masters were licensed from Sony Music while five were controlled by Universal Music Publishing, which, alongside Warner Music, also benefited from the Fleetwood Mac hit.
Urquhart downplays suggestions that the kind of multi-spot campaigns which W+K have mounted for brands such as Tesco and Three.co.uk are in danger of diluting the message to the consumer.
"I think it's an interesting technique in advertising and an effective one," she says. "It certainly makes an impact and is a good talking point for the client.
"Music is so important in advertising that to be bold and brave and use interesting choices for multiple ads can only reflect well on them."