Ethel’s Brew

By July 13, 2012 No Comments

Ewa Miller – Producer; Dave Hodge – Music & Sound Design; Director – Mark Denton; Agency – DDB Worldwide / DDB NY

By now the truth behind the ‘Ethel’s Brew’ campaign is out of the bag. The wild anarchic bluff was in fact the brainchild of DDB, for the agency’s self-promoting campaign that launched at this year’s Cannes. The idea seemed plausible at first, a Brooklyn based craft beer being promoted by the infectious character of Ethel Goldschmidt, but the ads were full of shock and awe with everything from dentures resting in a beer glass to an eighty-eight year old dancing in lingerie.

When DDB approached Finger Music & Sound Design to be a part of this experiment of literally bottling a fabricated campaign during Cannes and serving it up loud and subversive, we were curious and loved the idea. We’ve all met old ladies who have made a conscious decision to stop caring about what people think of them and start living life on their own terms. We salute them!

What kind of music did this character Ethel, a New York Jewish widowed grandmother, love to get down to now that her husband was no longer around? That’s a brief with Finger Music written all over it!

Finger Music’s Creative Director Dave Hodge, composer on the project, commented on the creative process: “Once in a while a project comes along where you have a lot of creative freedom…this is not always the case, as sometimes there’s a fair amount of politics involved as far as musical direction. The agency gave us great suggestions to start, and they were also very open to our creative input. Ethel’s tunes ended up being a kitschy mix of stuff – from 70s soundtrack themes to yodeling, funk to hip-hop. Sometimes a job comes along that allows us to shake things up a bit, and have a lot of fun with. The best stuff just grabs you and I get the feeling from Ethel that she’d grab you for sure given half a chance!”

Overall the campaign gained over 2.9 million media impressions and the 15,000 bottles of beer were gone in four days at the festival. Now that’s something to groove to. Ethel would be proud. Now let’s crank the tunes, crack open a brew and throw some confetti to celebrate!

Check out the music we composed for all the films at Ethel Goldshmidt’s YouTube channel.

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