Universal Teams With Hyundai For Rare Marley Ad Campaign, Preps ‘Legend: Remixed’ Compilation

A screen shot from the new Hyundai ad titled “Signs,” featuring Bob Marley's “Three Little Birds” remixed by Stephen Marley and DJ/producer Jason Bentley that will appear on the upcoming “Legend: Remixed" album.

The Hyundai spot, titled “Signs,” will debut a remix by Stephen Marley and DJ/producer Jason Bentley, music director at KCRW. The track will also preview “Legend: Remixed,” a compilation due this June on Island/Tuff Gong/UME and featuring remixes of 15 of the 16 tracks on Marley’s iconic “Legend” album. Other confirmed artists include RAC, Nickodemus and Ziggy Marley, the latter of whom will contribute a new version of “Redemption Song.” A behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling the making of “Legend: Remixed” will debut this summer, also supported by Hyundai.

Bob Marly and the Wailers "Legend Remixed" is due out in June.

We wanted to show how much Bob’s music has touched and impacted generations of people at the top of their game right now,” says Chris Monaco, senior VP of strategic marketing and brand development for Universal Music Group. “When we started out on this ‘Legend’ project and working with the family on timing, it really started to take shape as an innovative, forward-thinking album that was going to require a very innovative and progressive approach to marketing and supporting it.”
Hyundai’s involvement was the result of synergistic timing. Steve Shannon, Hyundai’s VP of marketing, had been working with ad agency Innocean on a campaign that would promote its new Assurance Connected Care feature, an in-car customer service program similar to General Motors’ OnStar, and was advised that the campaign should boil down to one simple refrain: “Don’t worry about a thing, because everything’s gonna be alright.” “We wanted to tell a powerful story and get a piece of music that’s both emotionally impactful, well-loved, transcends generations and lastly has lyrics that so directly nail what the benefit of the product is,” Shannon says. “We reached out to UMG and to the Marley estate, and sometimes you’re smart and sometimes you’re lucky. It was just at the time they were planning the remix project for the ‘Legend’ album, which made it even more interesting.”
Bruce Resnikoff, president of Universal Music Enterprises, says UME still treats Marley as a “living, breathing artist” and teases that “Legend: Remixed” is just the beginning of the 30th anniversary commemoration. “We have a lot more planned in the next year of that anniversary,” he says, pointing to possible live shows. ‘Legend’ sells over 200,000 records a year and that says more about the record than anything else. It’s constantly being embraced by young people and young artists – that’s what makes it so special. It is something we’re selling to old fans and bringing in new fans every year.”
Dominic Sandifer president of music marketing agency GreenLight (a division of Red Light Management), helped facilitate the documentary and remix program with UME. GreenLight has also helped activate Hyundai’s roster of other high-profile music programs, including its “Re:generation” music mash-up and feature film program, an ongoing partnership with the Grammys and the Flaming Lips’ original song “Sun Blows Up Today,” which debuted in the first commercial of this year’s Super Bowl. “We’ve found that the use of music for Hyundai is a great way to make an emotional connection,” Shannon says. “For good advertising to work, there needs to be a likeability factor, and music tends to do that. From ‘Re:Generation’ to what we did with ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ last year with Tenacious D,  and Alicia Keys to having John Legend with us at the [L.A.] Auto Show, we’re always looking for where music can really fit.”