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Blog: Wednesday Rewind - Soup

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<a href="">Soup by MJ Hibbett & The Validators</a>

A couple of years ago I answered an advert in B3ta from an advertising agency asking if anyone fancied getting involved in creating Viral Adverts. I did, and to my amazement they came back to me with a few ideas for me to get involved with.

The first of these was an advert for a handheld device where you could "swoosh" things on and off the screen with your fingertips. They sent me a rough cut of a video, where a chap was making different pictures which ketp getting more and more complicated, until he had to "swoosh" them off and start again. They wanted something "quirky and homemade", which is handy because that's pretty much ALL that I can do!

This was my first attempt - it would, I thought, be FAR too obvious to make it literally about dragging and dropping, so used the metaphor of putting things into a SOUP. Clever eh? I had LOADS of fun, especially doing the sound effects, and also THRILLED to the challenge of making it fit to the video (which is why the verses are different lengths). They LIKED it, but wanted me to make it... er... a bit more obviously linked to what was going on. THUS I wrote a new version, called "No Room". Here it is:

They liked it, but now felt that it was TOO linked to what was going on, and had become offputting! I found this quite funny, and didn't really mind that they weren't using it, so instead made the video above in order to tell the story. I emailed the chap at the Advertising Company to tell him, thinking he'd enjoy it.

HE DIDN'T ENJOY IT AT ALL. In fact he was FURIOUS - for some reason he thought the text was a HUGE PERSONAL ATTACK on him. I apologised profusely - it had been featured in the b3ta newsletter, but asked Mr Rob Manuel if he could remove the link from the web version, so as not to upset anyone, and Rob very kindly did so. It was only the following morning when I discovered what had happened - the advertising guy had thought that everything in CAPITALS was SARCASTIC. Reading the text that way certainly DOES put a different slant on it, but after reassuring him that that was very much NOT the case all was well again, and we had a go at quite a few other songs afterwards.

The nicest thing for me is that I got this rather jolly song out of it - the fact that i kept it so LOOSELY connected to the advert means it makes sense all on its own (which you couldn't say about Data Sea Shanty, for instance) and I really like the way it ties itself up at the end. If it didn't have so many words I'd probably play it live!

The song they DID choose for the advert, by the way, ended up being an instrumental. This has happened a LOT of times during my brief, now pretty much ended, dalliance with Songs Done To Commission, it's almost as if when people say they want "homemade and quirky" they don't want it QUITE as homemade and quirky as I deliver it! Here's the final video, which got over a MILLION hits:

Try turning their song down and playing mine over the top - it pretty much fits!

posted 10/11/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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