Nissin “Cup Noodle” collaborates with Berlin Philharmonie

The inspiration for the campaign for Nissin’s new flavour of their hit “Cup Noodle” product was the song “Subway Polka” created by the Berlin Philharmonie. “Subway Polka” is performed by a horn quartet directed by Klaus Wallendorf. They are singing about a subway in Tokyo, and it’s too fast even in Japanese. Japanese people find it very funny and the video went viral in Japan. Here is the video.

This project was based on a parody of “Subway Polka” called “Machigainai-Uta (No Doubt Song)”. Our key challenge was getting permission to use the “Subway Polka” melody for the parody and persuading Klaus to sing on the parody.

Although the production company tried to contact Klaus themselves to get the necessary approvals, they were not able to get in touch with him. At this point, they asked for our help and we were able to reach him the next day. We negotiated the terms and confirmed within a short period of time. It would have taken much longer and been more difficult for the production company to negotiate from Japan.

Our next issue was how to record his vocal. We sent the lyrics to him in advance so that he could prepare. The recording was then carried out across 3 cities: Tokyo, Berlin and Frankfurt. The director was in Tokyo, Anna the producer from Tracks & Fields was in Berlin, and Klaus and the recording engineer were in Frankfurt. We tried recording by having the director give his suggestions and directions first, Anna translating, and Klaus then singing take after take based on the director’s feedback. After 2 hours we were finished and everyone was happy with the result.

In the end, we had plenty of time until the campaign launched as everything with Klaus went so smoothly. The most successful element of this project was having him perform the vocals. Here is the final edit.

We were able to play to our strengths of being Berlin based and having a global network in Europe. Please feel free to ask us if you need our help.

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