I Gotta Be Me: Fallon London for ŠKODA

ŠKODA has partnered with five unique musical artists making waves in their own genres for its latest UK brand campaign.



Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.

We have been working with ŠKODA since we joined Fallon London. For this specific project, we acted as both creatives and creative directors.

Thankfully, we're super collaborative at Fallon London so we also have the chance to put on our strategy hats now and then. Even better, we have great clients that are involved in the process and help make the work great.

So let's say we did a bit of everything, while working with lots of fantastic people.


Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?

ŠKODA’s brand positioning is ‘driven by something different’ because the brand champions independent thinkers and breaks category conventions.

For this specific campaign, we wanted to explore the power of being different: it's not easy, but it's worth it. There's a quote by Oprah that we used since the very first strategy presentation: “The qualities that set us apart are often the ones that help us succeed.” 

Instead of doing a boring old advertising manifesto about it, we wanted to showcase giving the same task to different people can yield completely different results. And, hopefully people will appreciate that that's a great thing.

So we did exactly that: one original song, five artists, five re-recordings, five completely different results — and one single music video holding everything together.


Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask?

Other than "keep building 'Driven by Something Different'", every ŠKODA campaign has the goal of increasing emotional resonance and appealing to a younger, more female-focused audience.

In this particular case, there was an expectation to follow-up the previous year's KAROQ campaign with Paloma Faith, when we re-recorded the 70s hit 'Make Your Own Music', made a music video that was turned into TV spot and landed a single that charted in the Top 10. Oh, and sold out the car. 

So the goal was to do a campaign that once again used music to deliver a brand message. We could have just chosen another artist and re-recorded another classic track, but we wanted it to more surprising and powerful. Something that you don't usually see in ad breaks. 


Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?

We discussed a lot about how hard it is to be different. There’s such huge pressure to conform, and people can be criticised for standing out and being different. So, we wanted to prove that strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

One day, Ronaldo had this vision of an album made up of multiple versions of the same song, recorded by different artists in their specific genres and styles. We like doing advertising that doesn't look like advertising, so that's exactly the kind of idea that excites us.

We then started fleshing out how we could make that idea work for the campaign: how could it become a TV spot, a social campaign, a billboard etc. Eventually, it all came together.



Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen? 

This project actually started when we had to re-pitch for the ŠKODA account. In the final pitch presentation, we had three completely different ideas that everyone liked — including, thankfully, our lovely clients.

All those ideas fell through for different reasons, but maybe one day they'll rise back from their graves (evil laugh).

As we were set to start again from scratch, ŠKODA inquired about the possibility to do a follow-up to the Paloma Faith campaign. We came up with this idea, presented it, and went from there.



What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.

It's a music-based campaign and it's safe to say that music was the biggest challenge.

First, we had to select an original track that worked for the campaign in terms of message and the flexibility to work in different styles. And we had to get approval to use the track.

Then, we had to select and secure five different music artists of different styles. We wanted to have a mix of personalities, genres and level of fame, and they all had to have shining personalities.

Finally, we had to make sure that the five tracks could be seamlessly stitched together for the ad. We didn't want to give any notes to the artists after we received the tracks, we wanted them to have full creative freedom.

So we worked together with Munzie Thind from Grand Central do create the 'mash up' version you hear in the ad.



What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

A long time was spent on selecting the artists and the film director and locking everything down. There was one day where it all came together: we had a full day of meetings at SONY where we met all the artists, explained the project to them and introduced them to Henry Schofield, who presented what he wanted to shoot. Luckily, all the artists in the campaign were super friendly. That was a fun day.

We learned a lot working with Henry. He's infinitely talented, tireless, and super collaborative. He has a very clear vision of what he wants for the film and what needs to happen to get there.

Where do you see this campaign going in the future?

ŠKODA is one of our favourite brands to work with because the message of what they do is so important and there's a lot of flexibility on how to express it. Being a challenger brand that wants to disrupt the category is a fertile territory for creativity.

Since it was launched just over two years ago, Driven by Something Different was expressed by telling the story of a world-class athlete (Bradley Wiggins) and of a multi-awarded pop star (Paloma Faith), by supporting a group of women cycling the whole Tour de France course ahead of the men, and by getting five different artists to re-record the same song. So we can't wait to see what comes next.