Pro Infirmis is a Swiss charity who has created an awareness campaign placing mannequins with physical disabilities into the shop windows of Zurich’s main shopping street. This campaign was spread through a filmed documentary for the organization’s social channels.
For the music part, the initial idea was to work with a famous artist who would be willing to give their music for a nominal fee to a good cause or alternatively compose a new piece of music.
While we were digging through tracks from labels and publishers, we also decided to look for promising artists without record label affiliations for a close collaboration.
Every project needs to balance ambition and budget, but when working with a charity this becomes even more apparent. And while it’s true that many famous artists would give their music for free to be used by a charity, the reality is that they receive such a large amount of requests by charitable organizations that most of them decided to focus their support on several causes and organizations who are closest to their hearts.
Sending out briefings to artists directly instead of limiting searches to established labels and publishers is something we have been adopted as our standard and in order to be able to handle the large amounts of contacts, have developed a comprehensive workflow and music management portal to be able to process the submission process directly with artists in an efficient way.
While this method was chosen to search for songs by artists that resonate with the cause, we quickly felt there was more collaboration potential than just background music for a nominal fee.
The song that was chosen was “Lost at Sea” by emerging talent Dave Thomas Junior. He was scheduled to release his new album a week after the campaign, which we at the time thought was great timing.
Even though we were working with existing songs, working with an artist directly gave us the opportunity to go back to the production roots of the track and make changes to it to better match the film. In this case the artist was doing it himself.
Finally, the finished film was uploaded to YouTube:
It very quickly got momentum and reached millions of views and the artist found himself in the midst of fast growing attention.
Only a day in to the campaign, one of thousands of social media comments suggested he should release the album immediately.
We asked to artist for a recap his experience and thoughts of the campaign:
He released his album a few hours earlier than planned and announced that the earnings from the song will be donated to Pro Infirmis in the meantime.
The film became a viral hit with over 25 millions views and won a Silver for Best Music at Art Directors Club.
Using an existing piece of music provided additional authenticity and a human factor to the campaign, but we learned that working directly with a self released artist gave us major flexibility and speed advantages both in production as well as in audience engagement.
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