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Fluid NY Creates Ad Campaign for LongHorn Steakhouse

Spots are viewed from the perspective of a customer who sings of his expectations (January 27, 2006)

For the LongHorn Steakhouse (Atlanta, GA) chain, a leader in the casual dining industry, McKinney (Durham, North Carolina), turned to FLUID which provided the offline and online editorial and created original underscores and sound design for their Expect More campaign, a pool of quirky, music driven spots. Girlfriend, the first spots  to roll out, include a :30, two :15s and a :60 radio which will begin airing nationally on Monday January 23. The second part of the campaign, including a  :30, a :15 and a radio :60, will air in the second quarter.

To promote the U.S. chain, with restaurants located primarily in the Southern and Mid-Western states, McKinney created the humorous music driven campaign tagged ?expect more from your steak. The spots are viewed from the perspective of a customer who sings of his expectations and what he is seeing and experiencing as he walks through a LongHorn Steakhouse, including finding his ex-girlfriend in a booth with her date, Lou Ferrigno (formerly of TVs  The Incredible Hulk,  and  a former Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia) who, unexpectedly, joins him in song.

?We had fleshed out a song and brought FLUID an acoustic track. Almost immediately they sent us back a fully realized, highly energized, dead on country score.  Judson Crane got it right from the start and knew exactly what we wanted and his first effort was absolutely perfect. He really blew us away, related McKinney Copywriter Mitch Bennett, who also sings the copy on the spots. ?You are never really sure if what you have shot will work and Scott Philbrook, who has a great sense of comic timing, gave us a perfect edit. I particularly enjoyed the collaborative energy at FLUID. With the music and edit just rooms apart, we ran from room to room and if we needed a change in music that would help the edit we made it instantly whereas it would have taken forever if it wasnt under one roof, and with such great people, he continued.

Agency Producer Anson Burtch added, ?The campaign is musically intensive and all the information in the spots is conveyed to you in song. We came to FLUID with the lyrics and a rough idea of the music and they took the reins and fleshed out a full country arrangement and wrote the music behind it. FLUID has an incredible music reel and I knew that they would bring a lot to the table and be able to deliver on Mitchs idea. We decided to give them the edit as well and are enjoying the full FLUID experience. For a producer, getting a really terrific track and a sensational cut in one house is heaven, and the creative team likes being able to bop next door and work on something and then instantly get back to what they were doing.  The changes are very easy and seamless because you are in the same place and you dont have to leave and go across town. When edit and music are only a couple of rooms apart there is a remarkable creative synergy.

FLUID Composer Judson Crane busted out his Top-40 country chops for the LongHorn signature tune, and created a pop-country track with a rock and roll sensibility.  ?Using some of New York's finest studio musicians, I set out to produce a sound inspired by some of my favorite Nashville music producers," he stated. 

FLUID had a couple of editorial challenges. ?We worked in reverse, which, after all these years was a new experience for me. The lyrics are tied to the music track which  was completed first. Basically, we were working with the music and the picture at the same time and trying to play with all the pieces of the puzzle in a non-linear fashion. Also, with any cut that has a cameo from a celebrity, you must convey the story and help make that celebrity look good and have their performance work, explained FLUID Editor Scott Philbrook.  ?It was a fun project and because everything was under one roof, we were able to give the agency many more creative options, in a shorter period of time, he added. 

For FLUID, the offline and online editorial assignment was completed by Offline Editor Scott Philbrook, The conform was completed by Victor Melton and Alex Frowein.  Editorial Producer Virginia Galvan and Executive Producer Marc Schwartz. The musical underscores and sound designs were created by  Composer Judson Crane, Music Producer Brad Stratton and Executive Producer David Shapiro. 

McKinney was represented by Group Creative Director/Art Philip Marchington, Senior VP/Exec Creative Director David Baldwin, Art Director Wes Whitener and Copywriter Mitch Bennett (all of whom are members of McKinneys rock  band Pants! which won The FLUID Battle of the Ad Bands II and III); and  Group Creative Director/Copy Lisa Shimotakahara.Producer and Anson Burtch (Road Manager for Pants!). 

 The spots were lensed in a LongHorn Steakhouse by Biscuit Filmworks (Los Angeles, CA) and Director Mike Bigelow, Executive Producer Eric Stern and Line Producer: Patricia Danziger.

The film-to-tape transfer  was completed at Nice Shoes (New York, NY) by Colorist Chris Ryan.

Mixer Tom Jucarone of Sound Lounge (New York, NY) completed the final audio mix. 

FLUID, the New York-based, award-winning music and editorial studio, is headquartered at 532 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10012; phone (212) 431-4342; fax (212) 431-6525.  Visit the FLUID website at

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Related Keywords:Fluid NY , Ad Campaign , LongHorn Steakhouse


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