The Grammys are kicking off the new year with a certain Detroit rapper. Eminem is spearheading the Recording Academy's Music Is Life Is Music social-networking and promotional campaign, and MTV News is giving you an exclusive first look at the commercial.
"The camera kind of literally walks through his life," said Bob Rayburn, creative director of ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. "It was important to capture his struggle."
The 30-second spot opens with an illustrated interpretation of Em's 8 Mile trailer park, while an announcer says, "Music is a last chance, a last hope, a last shot. Music is turning demons into demos into multiplatinum monsters." As the images continue, a nod to Eminem's fallen friends Ronnie and Proof appear in a digitally produced cemetery, then the voice-over says, "Music is battling through the haze," as shots of newspaper clippings about Slim Shady's drug addiction and divorce float onscreen. As the spot concludes, the music rises into the chorus of Eminem's first Recovery single, "Not Afraid."
The rapper is in the first of three upcoming Grammy commercials, illustrated by design firm National TV. "From start to finish, the commercial took about three months to produce," Patrick Condo, creative director for TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Evan Greene, chief marketing officer of the Recording Academy, says the commercial is only a peek into the campaign's full range, which boasts not just television spots, but also social networking.
"The app and our micro-site allow you to map your musical journey and to note key musical milestones in your life, and you can instantly share it with your entire social network," Greene said. "It gets in front of human behavior, because people are using geo-location to tag where they are and to tag where they're going, and we align that with music.
"So if you're in Bloomfield, Indiana, you can look up on our website's map which of your friends or favorite artists have dropped or tagged pieces of music that are important to their journey. You can do it on your app or go to the Music Is Life Is Music website."
Eminem's piece will debut on all media platforms Thursday, and the print portion of the Grammy campaign begins in two weeks. The Midwest rapper earned 10 Grammy nods, including Song and Record of the Year (for "Love the Way You Lie") and Album of the Year (for Recovery, which is also up for Rap Album of the Year). He also scored noms for Best Rap Solo Performance (for "Not Afraid"), Pop Collaboration With Vocals (for his turn on B.o.B's "Airplanes Part II") and Best Rap Song (for "Lie").
The Grammys air February 13 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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