New York, NY (September 10, 2015)—Web ad spots may be short, but their mixes still require just as much thought and consideration as their broadcast brethren. Case in point: New York-based music company Pull created three themes for Pepsi’s recent Instagram campaign celebrating World Emoji Day, and mixed them with modern ad consumption in mind.
Each 15-second spot created by agency The Barbarian Group features a different musical expression of emojis, animated by old-school stop-motion techniques. Pull composer Mitch Davis gave “Texting” a breezy guitar riff bouncing off a perky rhythm. “In The Club” is powered by a programmed jam with thick bass buzzes. In “Football,” emojis hit the gridiron to the rhythm of a sharp drumline. Pull also provided all sound design for the spots.
Knowing that the campaign would debut on social media, Davis made sure that the music would translate on a mobile device speaker or earbuds. “This wasn’t going to be played in a large 7.1 system so I simplified the mix to match the simplified visuals,” he explains. “It’s a fun shorthand for these environments.”
Working from Pull's SoHo studio—which has hosted collaborations with U2, Danger Mouse and Bobby Womack—Davis intentionally kept the music as “flat” as possible, in keeping with the two-dimensional world of emojis. “These are digital smiley faces that live in a flat visual plain, so it wouldn’t make sense for the sound to be coming from all over the place,” he notes. “The tracks were mixed mostly in mono, all spatial effects like reverb or delay were kept to a minimum, and everything was miked as close as could be. Finally, we tested each song by listening to it on our phones before sending it on to the client.”