Ad of the Day: Sony marks George Michael's Listen Without Prejudice re-issue with monochrome films

To promote the re-release of George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice album, Sony Music has unveiled a powerful series of black and white films, which both challenge viewers to confront their own preconceptions and celebrate the musician’s contribution to culture and life.

The ads were revealed during the Channel 4 premiere of an autobiographical feature-length documentary – Freedom – which was produced by the star and finished posthumously following his death on Christmas day last year.

The re-issue of Michael's classic 1990 album features original tracks, as well an ‘MTV Unplugged’ concert, b-sides and other rarities. Dedicated fans who tuned in to watch the documentary on Monday (16 October) will have noted that the hero promotional slot (above) draws upon Michael's own vintage video for his single 'Praying for Time' which he famously refused to feature in, or promote.

Sony worked with the London arm of LA-based content and entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park on the integrated campaign which draws on Michael's non-conformist, confident and often controversial style.

The centre piece ‘Prejudice’ showcases a number of monochrome words and statements which often engender prejudicial reactions, like 'son of an immigrant' and 'repeat offender', before revealing their connection to the Wham star by closing on the word ‘musician’.

Supplementing ‘Prejudice’ is a contrasting execution, ‘Superlative’, which, rather than challenging viewers to confront their preconceptions, simply celebrates the singer's legacy.

“Throughout his career, George Michael always set the bar high both musically and visually," said David Austin, Michael's former manager. "Perfection was always the benchmark and this was no great secret. The split second I saw the Trailer Park creative I was sold and there was no going back.

"The team have delivered a beautiful piece of art that captures the true spirit and integrity of George’s original 1990’s Listen Without Prejudice campaign. It has exceeded our expectations in every way. No small feat in the world of George Michael. He would have absolutely loved it.”

Trailer Park has developed further assets across TV, print, outdoor, digital and social which will launch on Friday 20 October, while the campaign has also been adapted for six other languages.

To keep up to date with the latest advertising, creative and design projects from around the globe visit our Creative Works homepage.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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