- Brand - Smart Energy GB
- Spot - Gaz & Leccy: Out Of Control
- Music Title - The Ballroom Blitz
- Artist - The Sweet
- Master Rights - Sony
- Composer - Chinn, Chapman
- Publisher - Universal Music Publishing
- Music Supervisor - The Sync Agency
- Ad Agency - AMV BBDO
- Creative - Paul Brazier, Phil Martin, Colin Jones
- Film Co - Picasso Pictures
- Director - Gold Cactus
- Air Date - 16/6/16
Partnering post-modern cartoon characters with a tongue-in-cheek 1970s glam rock classic, Smart Energy GB’s riotous ‘Gaz & Leccy: Out Of Control’ campaign promotes a government initiative to offer smart meters to every home by the end of 2020.
The hilarious film of Gaz & Leccy slugging it out Tom & Jerry-style, using a selection of kitchen appliances to cause chaos, was conceived by AMV BBDO creatives Colin Jones and Phil Martin and rendered by French CGI specialists Remy Dupont and Fabrice Fiteni (aka Gold Cactus) via London-based film company Picasso Pictures.
But it’s the choice of The Ballroom Blitz, a storming 1973 Number 2 single by glam rockers The Sweet, which helps make this ad is so memorable.
“We didn’t discuss the music seriously until the film was virtually finished”, says Jones. “But we always knew we’d want something absolutely bat shit crazy to really drive the action along!”
Initially, he continues, the pair considered a fully orchestrated pastiche of a Flintstones or Top Cat-styled theme tune, but soon realized that it might well swamp the animation and make the film look like it was taking itself too seriously.
Says Martin: “What was needed was an instantly recognizable track with instantly recognizable lyrics to help the audience feel an immediate affinity with the cartoon characters and give the campaign a ‘personality’.
“Gaz & Leccy are inherently naughty because they’re burning up all our energy so we needed the music to reflect that too.”
After a variety of ska, bluegrass and jazz tracks had been tried and rejected, Jones and Martin homed in on the 1970s and punk bands like The Clash, The Stranglers and Blondie before opting for The Sweet, their Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman-penned smash hit and its “slightly kitsch, tongue-in-cheek, not taking ourselves too seriously” attitude.
A 60 second version of ‘Gaz & Leccy: Out Of Control’ debuted on TV, in cinemas and online on June 16 and a couple of 30 second edits will run until the end of the year.