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Oakley channels Bob Marley to celebrate the love of sports


By Kenneth Hein | US Editor

August 11, 2020 | 6 min read

Focusing on the love of sport, and not necessarily the aspect of winning, proved prophetic for Oakley, with the high performance sunglasses brand today debuting a song and music video that have taken on new meaning amid the Covid-19 crisis.

One Love

12 athletes remix one great Bob Marley song

A new music video from Oakley stars a dozen top athletes and features a remake of one of Bob Marley’s most beloved songs, One Love, performed by 2020 Brits Rising Star Award winner Celeste. It celebrates overcoming adversity and the individual relationships people have with sports.

Oakley’s global marketing director, Ben Goss, says: ”The world is in a fragile place right now, but sport has the power to evoke emotion, whether participating or spectating. By sharing what drives us and our athletes – this love of sport – our hope is that it can have a positive impact on uplifting the community.”

Meant to land during the Olympics and the exciting conclusion of NBA season, the elaborate video is instead breaking during a most unexpected moment. Yet, the message is “only stronger and more relevant”, says Peter Ammentorp Lund, the global chief creative officer at AKQA.

There was only one shooting day left when the virus hit in full force. However, only slight modifications needed to be made, says Lund. It works because “it is more of an emotional story about the continuous love of sport – whether there are ups and downs”.

The song One Love was rewritten using quotes from Team Oakley athletes including Diamond DeShields, Ryan Sheckler, Oksana Masters, Caroline Buchanan and Ítalo Ferreira. Selecting the song from 100 of the top love songs was difficult, but when it was played over sports footage “something magical happened”, says Lund. It went to another level when LA-born, British-Jamaican singer-songwriter Celeste “added her own personality”, he says. ”We fell in love with her voice.”

The Marley family was hesitant about having the lyrics reworked at first, but in what would have been the year of Marley’s 75th birthday, they found it to be a fitting tribute. Ziggy Marley says: “Sport, specifically soccer, was my Dad’s second love after music, and it brought him a great deal of joy throughout his life. The world really needs love right now and we’re thrilled to work with Oakley on this amazing reinterpretation of One Love so it can be meaningful to a new generation during a time when it’s needed most.”

The song breaks this morning (11am ET) on SiriusXM’s Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio channel via a special introduction from Skip Marley. It is available on Spotify and Apple Music. The official music video appears on Oakley’s YouTube channel and Instagram TV.

Six ways Covid-19 has altered the creative process

The Drum spoke to the three chief creatives behind the video to find out how they work with their teams during lockdown. Here is what has changed:

1. Briefs are more global

“We are seeing more and more global briefs,” says Diego Machado, the chief creative officer of AKQA who is based in São Paolo. “Maybe it’s because the entire world is in a similar situation. Everyone has similar challenges and problems.”

2. Teams are more global

AKQA has a saying that it is ’one studio with many rooms around the world’. Now this is actually happening on a whole other level, as chief creative officer Hugo Veiga, also based in São Paolo, tells us: “In lockdown, it’s almost like everyone was set free. We’re living in different time zones, but we’ve never worked more closely together. When we get on a Zoom call there are so many different accents. Now, it’s just normal. We just get in and we are in the same room. It brings a freshness and special ingredients. We are getting a little spice from Asia, a little from India. Together it tastes better.”

3. Co-workers are better at checking in

“When you are in the office, you can see if someone is smiling or really stressed,” says Machado. “That’s why we’ve been more active about calling more, checking in, not just having the regular touch base. It’s something you need to keep improving because it’s hard for people to be home.” It’s also essential for younger talent, he says. “They could spend an hour listening to a conference call thinking ’what’s going on, what should I do?’”

4. Breaks are greatly encouraged

“You spend your whole day staring a screen,” says Veiga. ”People are tired. Everyone’s missing that hug and collective energy. That’s why breaks are very important. It’s good to come back energized.”

5. Teams are more connected to clients

“We’ve always tried to work with clients as closely as possible, but in the past few months everyone’s really been focused on putting ourselves in the shoes of clients,” says Lund (based in Copenhagen.) “We are looking at their problems and how we can help from a product development point of view and a marketing point of view. That will continue to evolve and move forward.”

6. Clients are less reliant on cultural moments

“There had been fear of missing out on being part of the conversation,“ says Lund. “Our hope is that brands will be the authors of their own stories rather than chasing these fleeting moments of cultural relevance.”

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