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Comma Scores New Buick Beyond Precision Campaign

Created by McCann-Erickson (February 22, 2006)

Award-winning music and sound design company Comma recently created a stylistic approach for the new Buick campaign that is explored in unique ways for each of the spots. Created by McCann-Erickson, the "Beyond Precision" campaign showcases the quality and luxury features of the new Lucerne sedan.

The first three spots of the campaign, "Precision Millimeter," "Snowflake" and "Aachenhead," began airing in late 2005. Following the success of this new branding effort, Comma created original music for six additional spots.

"Precision Millimeter," intended to highlight craftsmanship, opens on the Lucerne as it drives around a test facility. The camera slowly pulls back from inside a tight panel gap to show the entire car. "Someone understands the difference even a single millimeter can make in the way a car looks, drives and feels," says the voiceover. "And we just wanted you to know...you're not alone."


The second spot "Snowflake" touts the Lucerne's heated washer fluid system while in "Aachenhead," the sedan is analyzed for its ability to block and absorb noise for its occupants via Mr. Aachenhead, a hypersensitive sound device.

For Comma, the initial music process involved submitting 12 tracks against four other music houses for a blind listening test with the agency. After the job was awarded, Comma's five composers, led by Creative Directors/Composers Larry Pecorella and Bryan Rheude, worked on numerous demos to create the right feel, sound and textures for the new campaign.

"Once the spots were shot, then we were able to post-score to the visuals," explains Pecorella. "The client wanted music that was modern, and sophisticated, yet slightly quirky and inspirational. We ended up doing 50 additional tracks before we discovered the musical formula that would capture all of these qualities."

Early on in the process the agency was keen on the quirky and playful track that Comma presented for "Aachenhead." The score was later developed into a funkier and darker sound with the team also determining that they wanted strings in the end of the spots. Special attention was paid to the muted sound design to accentuate Mr. Aachenhead's purpose in testing sound levels.

For "Snowflake," the goal was to portray the magic of the snowflake visuals. Since the effects were not executed until the end, the composers had to build their music based on discussions with the agency as to what the final film would look like. The resulting three-part structure captures the enchantment of the snowflakes, segues into the harsh reality of the snowflake being obliterated by the heated windshield wiper fluid and then concludes with a the music resolving into a churning string arrangement, capturing the sophistication and quality of the brand.

The production timeline was very fluid with each of the spots going through re-edits and re-conceptualizations, which required a rethink of the music to adapt the tone of the music or to ensure the cuts were falling in the right place.

"There are many similarities in the music for this campaign in terms of the pacing, the sound palette we're using and the overall emotional tone,'" concludes Rheude. "They all share a certain shape, which dovetails perfectly with the story that Buick is trying to tell about their cars."

In keeping with the campaign, Comma also maintained a darker sound in three new spots for the Lucerne, "Intro," "Quiet Ones" and "Ringer," using a string/bass groove. The other spots, "Loyalty" and "What Is It?" are propelled by an alt-rock track with strings and introduce the Buick Rendezvous. "Different Road" and "Plant Award" were created for the Buick LaCrosse.

Beyond spotwork, the composers at Comma also created the music for Buick's auto show presentation.

Client: Buick

Spot Titles/Airdates:
"Different Road?"  :30/February 5, 2006
"Plant Award    :30/February 5, 2006
"What Is It?"          :30/February 5, 2006
"Loyalty"                :30/February 5, 2006
"Quiet Ones"         :30/January 24, 2006
"Ringer"                 :30/January 24, 2006
"Intro"                    :30/December 26, 2005
"Aachenhead"      :30/December 12, 2005
"Snowflake"           :30/November 21, 2005
"Precision Millimeter" :30/November 21, 2005

"Precision Millimeter," "Snowflake," "Aachenhead," "Intro"
Ad Agency: McCann-Erickson
Chief Creative Officer: Dave Moore
Executive Creative Director: Dean Bastian
Creative Directors: Mike Reichard, Tom Parr
Copywriter: Mike Reichard
Art Director: Tom Parr
Senior Producer: Anwar Khuri

Production Company: Chased by Cowboys/Venice, CA
Director:  Nico Beyer
Executive Producer: Kerry Haynie
Producer: Leanne Amos
President/Owner: Linda Ross
Where Shot: Shot on location in and around Los Angeles, CA

Editorial Company: Spot Welders/Venice, CA & Ringside Creative/Oak Park, MI
Editor:  Olivier Gajan @ Spot Welders (Aachenhead, Precision Millimeter, Snowflake) & Sarah Fisher  @ Ringside Creative (Intro)

VFX Company:  Mac Guff Ligne, Paris
VFX Directors: Bruno Chauffard, Antonin Seydoux
VFX Executive Producers: Laleh Sahrai, Christelle Balcon

Postproduction Company: R!OT/Santa Monica, CA
Colorist: Clark Muller
Online Editor: Mark Dennison

Music Company: Comma/Chicago, IL & Santa Monica, CA
Composers: Chuck Bein (Aachenhead, Precision Millimeter, Snowflake) & Larry Pecorella (Intro)
Contributors: Justin Hori, Pete Schmidt, Bryan Rheude and Larry Pecorella (on all spots)
Producer: Larry Pecorella

Sound Design Company: Particle/Chicago, IL
Sound Designer: Mark DeVos

Audio Post Company: GTN/Minneapolis, MN
Mixer: Jay Scott

"Quiet Ones," "Ringer"

Ad Agency: McCann-Erickson
Chief Creative Officer: Dave Moore
Executive Creative Director: Dean Bastian
Creative Directors: Mike Reichard, Tom Parr
Copywriter: Mike Reichard
Art Director: Tom Parr
Producer: Stacey Gizinski

Production Company: Millennium Pictures/Santa Monica, CA
Director:  Alexander Paul
Executive Producer: Suzanne Porzelt
Producer:  Kellee Cragin
Managing Director/Executive Producer: Caroline von Wehyer
Where Shot: Shot on location in and around Los Angeles, CA

Editorial Company: Inside Out Editorial/Santa Monica, CA
Editor: Igor Kovalik

Postproduction Company: R!OT/Santa Monica, CA
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld @ Company 3
Online Editors: Kiki Chansamone (Ringer) & Verdi Sevenhuysen (Quiet Ones) @ R!OT

VFX Company:  Speedshape/Birmingham, MI

Music Company: Comma/Chicago, IL & Santa Monica, CA
Composers:  Justin Hori (Quiet Ones) & Bryan Rheude (Ringer)
Producer: Larry Pecorella

Sound Design Company: Particle/Chicago, IL
Sound Designer: Mark DeVos

Audio Post Company: Play/Santa Monica, CA
Mixer: Chris Hildrew

"Different Road," "What Is It?," "Loyalty, "Plant Award"

Chief Creative Officer: Dave Moore
Executive Creative Director: Dean Bastian
Creative Directors: Mike Reichard, Tom Parr
Copywriter: Mike Reichard
Art Director: Tom Parr
Producer: Stacey Gizinski

Editorial Company: Kutz Editorial/Farmington Hills, MI
Editor: Dennis Kutzen

Postproduction Company: Function Post/Royal Oak, MI
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld @ Company 3
Online Editor: Derek Swanson @ Function Post

Music Company: Comma/Chicago, IL & Santa Monica, CA
Composer: Larry Pecorella (Different Road, Plant) & Bryan Rheude (What is it?, Loyalty) Producer: Larry Pecorella

Sound Design Company: Particle/Chicago, IL
Sound Designer: Mark DeVos

Audio Post Company: Ozone Sound/Royal Oak, MI
Mixer: Chris Hugan

For more info on Comma, please call Chicago: 312.642.5117 or
Santa Monica: 310.450.5117 or visit www.commamusic.com


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Related Keywords:Comma Music, Buick Beyond Precision Campaign

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