McKinney mashup made a rebel out of Audi - McKinney

McKinney mashup made a rebel out of Audi

January 21, 2016

The International Business Times recently reported on David Bowie’s control of where and when his music was used. Reporter Max Willens reached out to McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude about “Progressions,” a spot Cude directed for Audi that blended Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel” with a newer Bowie song, “Never Get Old.” Part of the campaign also encouraged Audi customers to mash up Bowie’s songs online.

Here’s part of Max and Jonathan’s conversation:

Max: So how did this project come together? What big hoops did you have to jump through?

JC: So the idea grew from a desire to establish Audi as a progressive, design-forward brand. In fact, “Never Follow” was the tagline McKinney created for the company for the launch of the Audi TT — at the time the face of Audi’s design future. We initially contacted Bowie to use “Rebel, Rebel.” At the same time, Bowie had embarked on a new tour to promote his new album, “ Reality.” I remember talking to his manager and the conversation was tough. We wanted “Rebel, Rebel,” and he wanted to promote Bowie’s newer music.

Max: So what was the outcome?

JC: Our solution was “Rebel Never Gets Old,” a mashup remix of “Never Get Old” and “Rebel, Rebel.” The spot did so well that Bowie asked Mark Vidler to take the two original masters and create a single. It actually worked out best for us both.

Fans also got to do some experimenting of their own. Bowie invited them to create the best mashup remix of any song from his “Reality” album with another from his catalog. Judges, including Bowie and Vidler, selected the favorite entry and the grand prize winner won an Audi TT.

Max: Bowie rarely approved the use of his compositions. Why now?

JC: This had never been done before. Bowie offered fans an entirely unique way to play and experiment with his music — to actually make art out of art. And it offered Audi a higher and completely different level of engagement with its customers. It felt great because it represented what Bowie was all about.