The music of tennis is typically the flat notes of a racket thwacking a felt-covered rubber compound filled with air, accompanied by some grunts, followed by some oohs and ahhs, along with some polite clapping and a "Quiet, please."
But for the 2014 U.S. Open, IBM enlisted LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy to turn tennis data collected via the IBM cloud into real-time music with a music generator created by Tool of North America. The audio results are streaming live during each match until the tournament’s end on Sept. 8. The sounds are, as Tool creative director Patrick Gunderson puts it, "like something Danny Elfman would write for a Tim Burton film."
Read more about the sporty tunes and the rest of our picks for this week's best in brand creativity.
What: A spot for a DIY retail chain that pulls at the heartstrings by showing to what lengths a Dad will go to make his daughter feel loved.
Who: Hornbach, agency Heimat Berlin
Why We Care: When's the last time you formed an emotional attachment to a retail brand, let alone got dust in your eye during a home improvement ad? A sweet story, well told.
What: An Oscar winner in a luxury car looking for a comeback.
Who: Lincoln, Hudson Rouge
Why We Care: We are still chiseled pecks deep in the McConaissance. And a classic brand—fighting against its association with airport runs and senior citizens—has enlisted the Oscar winner to use his penchant for passionate (if sometimes a bit confusing) oratory and charisma to make it cool again. The impressive bit is how little these spots resemble the usual contrived babble of a celebrity spokesperson and instead evoke and embrace McConaughey's natural state. And that's alright alright alright.
What: A mobile company uses a story about the complicated relationship between fathers and sons to tell you to put down the damn phone.
Who: Wind Mobile, Ogilvy & Mather Italy
Why We Care: Sure it's a bit long and drawn out, but this is the kind of self-awareness and storytelling combo that hits people right in the cryballs. Seems counterintuitive for a mobile company to declare close personal contact the superior mode of communication, but since it's absolutely true, the brand is endearing itself to us through—gasp!—common sense. It's great as is, but cut it down to 60 or 90 seconds and it would give the Internet a single tear.
What: Art, science and sports get together for a threesome just in time for the U.S. Open.
Who: IBM, James Murphy, Ogilvy & Mather, Tool of North America
Why We Care: Using your product—in this case, the cloud and an ability to collect and store data—to create engaging content with an innovative artist around a marquee event is like winning marketing in straight sets.
What: An interactive stroll through the neighborhood of one of this year's most highly-anticipated video games. Activision used Google Street View technology to give gamers a guided tour of the Destiny universe.
Who: Activision, 72andSunny, Bungie Studios
Why We Care: The new action adventure game from Activision and Bungie Studios (creators of Halo) comes out on September 9 and this is a perfectly gift-wrapped treasure trove of easter eggs for fans who are counting down the days. It marks the first time a video game has been mapped out using Street View tools, with the added bonus of offering a free tutorial on enemies (what's the Hive?) and weapons (ever fire a gjallahorn?) before stretching the thumbs to take on the real thing.