I had the opportunity to direct another IKEA radio spot recently. Josh Rachlis wrote a fun script involving Jonas (the IKEA voice) being Auto-Tuned. I think Jonas had a great time doing it and let’s be honest, the only time we’d want to hear him sing is if it was electronically assisted like this. Comedy he can do. Singing, not so much.
Great DJ voice by Kevin Braithwaite and Auto-Tuning by Engineer Kyle Gudmundson.
IKEA ‘Auto Tuned’ :30
AGENCY: Leo Burnett Toronto
CD: Morgan Kurchak
CW: Josh Rachlis
DIRECTOR: Andrew Bradley, RMW
ENGINEER: Kyle Gudmundson, RMW
Thanks to VoiceTrax West, L.A.
My mom always said not to ‘toot my own horn’ but HONK HONK! Last week, I was fortunate to get my first award-winning credits as a Director/Producer. A couple of radio campaigns I was lucky enough to be involved with at RMW Music were awarded Merits at the ADCC Awards Show on Thursday night.
Yes, they’re ‘just’ Merits. But after 17 years with credits as a Copywriter and Creative Director, these are the first awards/credits I’ve received on the supplier/post-production side. And I’m excited about it. Maybe there’s no turning back now, huh? I also facetiously say ‘just’ Merits because I’ve always believed that being in the book is the most important thing. People don’t usually remember the colour of the award, unless it’s a Gold Lion of course.
So a big ‘Thanks’ to writers Jon Murray, and Saro Ghazarian – both formerly with BBDO. Jon wrote an amazing campaign for Sirius XM Radio (and also garnered a Merit in the Michael O’Reilly Best Copywriting category for it) and Saro came up with a brilliant idea for Shaw EXO that is a great example of making the product the hero.
I get a lot of radio scripts (I wish I got more too). And although there’s usually something fun in every script that gets me excited, I love getting ones like these two projects. Where there’s a smart, well-written idea already on the page. And my job is just to ‘not fuck it up’.
Thanks to both writers for trusting me with that. And to everyone else, let’s do some more great radio in this country. I know some people think it’s like vaudeville, a dying medium. But it’s not going anywhere. And it’s a category that is sadly not full of amazing ideas. Which means the opportunity is there to win. Whether it’s with me at RMW, or somewhere else, I hope every team out there takes their (rare) opportunity to approach radio as a real creative opportunity.
SIRIUS XM “Die Hard NHL/Lady Gaga” :30
SHAW EXO “Can’t Describe Action” :30
PS: You can now find Jon Murray at Leo Burnett, Toronto, and Saro Ghazarian is at Doug & Serge, Toronto. Yes, both are single.
Jon Murray, one of my favourite copywriters (now in sunny California, the turncoat), called me up at RMW to say he was working on a short film. And could we maybe do the sound? Of course we could.
As the Audio Director, the real hard-work was done by other people like the sound engineer and composers at RMW that contributed their formidable talents for the project. However, I will say I did learn how challenging (and fun) it can be to try to corral everyone to go in one direction. Jon had a specific sound in mind and it was a good learning experience for me to take what he was saying and relay it to everyone else or interpret it a new, different way. Hey, that’s what an audio director does, right?
In the end, I think my big contribution – other than keeping us to some deadlines – was recommending that we should throw out the VO we recorded that belonged to the actor in the film. He came in for a couple of hours and it never sat well with me for some reason. He was good. But I was always hearing Jon Murray himself in the VO role. Jon had a quality that made you want to root for him. He was earnest and sincere. And I think the character needed that for us to empathize more. So that’s what I recommended – we redo it with Jon’s voice. And the rest is sound history.
Here it is, Jon Murray’s award-winning short film ‘Today I Tell Her’.
Written and Directed by Jon Murray
Cinematographer: Robert Lyte
Editor: Jackie Roda
Producer: Phil Carvalhodd
Music: Dustin Anstey, Laura Nikolic, Jeen O’Brien, and Stephan Szczesniak
Audio Director: Andrew Bradley
Sound Engineer: Dustin Anstey
Sound Design: Art Mullin, Kyle Gudmundson
I was lucky enough to work on IKEA again recently as a producer/director and with the folks at Leo Burnett. This account is near and dear to my heart since I worked on it many years ago at ZIG (R.I.P.) as a copywriter and I do like the way the tone of the brand is being continued on.
This spot is about the dreaded Back-To-School time and Leo Burnett Copywriter Josh Rachlis found a true insight about relationships between teens and parents. We had a fun cast too.
AGENCY: Leo Burnett Toronto
COPYWRITER: Josh Rachlis
CD: Morgan Kurchak
ENGINEER: Dustin Anstey, RMW Music
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Andrew Bradley, RMW Music
For years I worked on IKEA as a Copywriter at Zig. So I was very flattered and humbled to work with IKEA and Leo Burnett recently as a Track Director. I can’t count the number of times I sat in a radio session and listened to Jonas (the Swedish voice of IKEA Canada) being directed on a radio script that I wrote. Now it was my turn to direct Jonas for someone else. Yes, I was excited.
Fun script from Andrew Caie and Morgan Kurchak over at Leo Burnett. And yes, we really had Jonas talking into a fan when we recorded it.