Sweet marketing music: V and Colenso’s trip into the unknown


Music and marketing have long been pretty cosy bedfellows. Jingles from many moons ago can often still be recited, bands regularly lend their tunes to ads, and brands are now even creating playlists on Spotify. But V and Colenso BBDO have taken that marriage to a new, hi-tech level with the V Motion Project. And, following on from the launch of the TVC recently, it released the full-length music video on Friday on TVNZ’s U-Live. 

Colenso BBDO group account director Tim Ellis says the idea behind the campaign is in keeping with V’s approach to “create something extraordinary”, whether that be an online experience (the track is available for download here from iTunes) or in meat space (the technology will be taken to a range of events in the coming months). And, as evidenced by some of the big winners in Cannes, it also fits into the global trend where brands are creating something of value to consumers, rather than just advertising. 

He says the project was given approval in November last year, around the time Iaan Buchanan left V for Cadbury, so it’s been a fairly long gestation period, but that’s not surprising when you consider the level of scoping, development and technological wizardry required to make it all work properly. 

He admits there was plenty of uncertainty about the campaign at the outset, and that continued up until the live event in Auckland where the TVC and music video were filmed (they’d practised it, but only in the big warehouse, not in the car park). But because Colenso has taken on some “pretty crazy and outlandish projects” in the past, and because they had the right people involved—for example, Joel Little, Fugitive, Assembly and Thick as Thieves’ Zoe McIntosh—he says the team was confident it could make it work and ensure the song Little had written was the same song that ‘motion artist’ Josh Cesan performed on the night. 

V has become renowned as a brand that pushes the envelope, but he gives full credit to the V team, and to Buchanan’s replacement, ex Heineken marketer Luke Rive, for having the cajones to let the campaign grow organically and having faith in the agency and its partners. 

So far he says the response to the campaign has been great, with viewers wowed by the visuals in the TVC and music video and also loving the song. 

As big fans of extreme dad dancing, we’re looking forward to seeing the technology put through its paces when knees start knocking and elbows start flailing. 

“We’ve had a few people jump in front of it to try it out, and it’s not good,” Ellis says. “It’s not good.”


Agency: Colenso BBDO
Creative Chairman: Nick Worthington
Creative Director: Aaron Turk
Art Director: Lachlan Palmer-Hubbard / Jae Morrison
Copywriter: Graeme Clarke
Agency Producers: Paul Courtney / Rob Linkhorn
Account Team: Tim Ellis / Samantha Parsons / Stefanie Robertson / Eileen Cosgrove-Moloney

Production Company: Thick As Thieves / Assembly
Director: Zoe McIntosh / Jonny Kofoed / Matt Von Trott
Producer: Nik Beachman / Amanda Chambers
Developers: Paul Sanderson / Jeff Nusz / Mike Delucchi
Music: Joel Little – Golden Age Studio/Level Two Music Ltd
Motion Artist: Joshua Cesan – Identity Dance Crew
Sound Design: James Hayday – Images & Sound

Clients: Luke Rive (Marketing Manager) / Cormac Van Den Hoofdakker (Senior Brand Manager)

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