overview

The Hard Rock brand is all about the music. Through their resorts and casinos, they’ve always worked to differentiate their image by focusing on music and rock star lifestyles, whether it’s through the giant guitars that make up their signage or glass case after glass case of memorabilia decked throughout their properties.

Hard Rock set out to do a massive renovation of their signature US properties, including building a world-famous billion-dollar giant glass guitar hotel on the property in Hollywood, FL, and they needed a serious national marketing campaign to support their investment.

In collaboration with Redline Media, Artex created long-form and TV spots that encapsulated the Hard Rock brand and captured the feeling of living like a rock star while staying at one of their properties.

Process

The overarching campaign was dubbed “Discover Your Rhythm.”  It works to juxtapose mundane everyday life with the rock star experience that Hard Rock offers.

It also involved an irresistible audiovisual hook: to differentiate it from the typical lifestyle footage you would see in the industry, every onscreen action was timed perfectly to the beat of the underlying music, forming an orchestra of sound design that connected perfectly with the concept.

We executed several different iterations of this campaign, as each one also had the responsibility of showing off the architectural improvements that are unique to each property. 

Our approach to this material was twofold. First, because we knew that the “actions timed to the beat” concept could be executed in a way that was too subtle to notice, we designed our shot list to be aggressively musical and rhythmic, creating a clear relationship between the tempo and the visuals.

We also wanted it to feel like a feverish, magical daydream, with a fast-moving camera that whipped in, out, and around the property, combined with complicated trick shots and creative VFX scene transitions.

The concept was very challenging to shoot, because in addition to the usual concerns of aesthetics and performance, we also had to ensure everything was timed to the beat, or the spot would fall apart in the editing room. We also had to be efficient in scheduling production during off-peak hours and executing high-difficulty shots while limiting our footprint.

We achieved this by blasting a metronome every time the camera rolled and giving direction to our actors to line up their actions with what they heard. Kudos to our talent— it’s hard enough to give a convincing performance without wondering if your feet are landing in time, and it took quite a few takes. Every shot’s duration was carefully pre-planned, and bringing that plan to life  felt like one giant game of production Jenga, where every individual piece had to land just so.

Result

This campaign was the centerpiece of Hard Rock’s TV and digital media buys for 2019 into 2020.

We created short social content, :30 TV spots, and extended :60 and :90 content for the web, all with the same adherence to the concept. It also aired in airports around the US and extensively on Hulu and other streaming services, in addition to traditional paid media.

Working from a larger campaign by Redline Media, Artex was responsible for creative approach and execution, treatment, production, and post-production.

We were honored with several ADDY awards from the American Advertising Federation in 2020 for this work, including in the craft categories of cinematography and sound design, as well as in the online video category.