Responses by Chris Beresford-Hill, chief creative officer, and Alexander Holm, associate creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York
Background: The piece, entitled “Marquees,” captures the powerful messages of hope displayed on the marquees of live music venues around the country as concerts are on pause due to COVID-19. These closures have affected not only the venues themselves, but also the countless crew members working behind the scenes to bring these shows to life, night after night. To extend a helping hand to these invaluable touring and venue crew—the heart and soul of the live music industry—Live Nation created a global relief fund called Crew Nation, with the video encouraging people support the initiative.
Reasoning: We actually came across these images while researching another project. So, when we were given the opportunity to help raise funds for live music crews, it was a fast connection to all the heartfelt messages that were put up on darkened venue marquees across the country. Right away, we began stringing the images together and the poetic message that the marquees created in unison started to take shape. The one-minute film communicates the power of music and its ability to bring us together in difficult times, even when we are apart. In seeing these messages, we hope that fans will come together and donate to Crew Nation, helping live music crews everywhere.
Challenges: Responding in real-time to something that was happening in current culture, while working remotely. We saw images of these marquees being shared online, and wanted to get our message out to help galvanize support and donations for Crew Nation as quickly as possible. We managed to go from the idea to a final product in just five days. The client and agency were in constant communication over e-mail throughout the quick process.
Favorite details: With anything for Live Nation, the music is vitally important. The theme of the spot is about how music can unite people, especially during these difficult times. The track, “You Ain’t Alone,” by Alabama Shakes, immediately elevated the spot. It was a favorite of everyone’s from the start. The song reminds people that we are all in this together, and brings some emotion to the chorus of hopeful messages seen throughout. We thank Alabama Shakes for letting us use the song.
Visual influences: The look and feel of the spot is inspired by the iconic, black and white music photography of the ’60s and ’70s. We were going for a style that recalled the grainy rock-n-roll images of photographers like Jim Marshall. The kind of photography that has become synonymous with a golden age of live music, representing the best that concerts have to offer.
Time constraints: All projects are under considerable constraints right now, but turning this around so quickly required even more constraints. This project is a testament to how agile we can be in responding to cultural events. The time constraints certainly accelerated the timeline, however, they didn’t have much effect on the creative solution. The film’s power comes from its simplicity, letting the marquees speak for themselves.