NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered on Sunday included a conversation with Joe Boyd, “[who] produced Nick Drake’s first two albums back in 1969 and 1970, and since Drake’s death has organized concerts in which a dozen or so musicians gather to perform his songs.”
During the interview, Boyd recalled the classic 1999 Volkswagen commercial that featured Drake’s song Pink Moon:
As Boyd described it, the spot was originally supposed to employ a different song.
I met the creative team who put the ad together and they were a bunch of kind of slackers from an alternative Boston ad agency. And this guy told me that they built the whole storyboard for the ad around a track by The Church, and the night before the presentation to Volkswagen he was sitting at home smoking . . . something . . . and listening to Pink Moon and he suddenly had this blinding insight that this was the track – not The Church track.
First off - slackers? That’s just . . . lazy.
The next part, on the other hand, is just wrong. It wasn’t “an alternative Boston ad agency” that created the spot. It was Arnold Worldwide, the second-largest ad agency in New England at the time, if memory serves us.
The hardworking staff happens to know the creative director who produced the spot, and we’re checking with him for his recollection of its genesis.
We’ll keep you posted.