creative partnership helpings brands be interesting

A few stories.

Why are Creative Partnerships better for clients?

1. Comma Music and Lemmon/Hughes.

Our clients are interested in how creative partnerships work. Are they really different than an agency? How are they better? How are they less expensive at the same time? What does the day-to-day flow look like, and is it easier to manage? With this first post, we hope to answer a lot of those questions by highlighting relationships we have with other creative, production and strategy professionals with whom we regularly work.

Our relationship with Comma Music goes back to the days when it was called Redsquared Music, and Todd and Comma creative director and owner Bryan Rheude raced mountain bikes on the NORBA Midwest circuit. So a long time.

Though we’ve worked with other excellent music houses over the years, we always come back to Comma for many reasons. Our exceptional history—both personal and professional—is at the top of that list.

The inventiveness of Bryan and his team as composers gives us great confidence no matter what the project. And we’ve brought some challenging ones to them over the years.

Beyond excellent compositional talent and an amazing library of music for the more budget-sensitive projects, Comma also has Bonny Dolan, Michael Paoletta and their divison, Comma Sync that can secure music rights directly from artists and even engage them to perform. We needed a Junior Boys’ track for a video a few years ago and Bonny took care of it in about 48 hours. We needed the rights to the old “Green Acres” theme song so Bryan and his team could rip it apart and rebuild a contempo-fresh, funked out remix for Verizon go90. Bonny got it done.

So if a client needs music, Comma has more resources and avenues, in house, to get the exact right music. And with Particle, their post-production mix-and-finish facility right next door, you can get a lot of great work done very easily.

Plus, there’s refreshingly open and collaborative approach to composing that we love. In 2005 we needed to do something special for an HP Inks radio campaign. We had some crazy, poetic color-based rambling copy that expressed the excellence of HP’s inks and printing. And we wanted to find a way to capture the copy’s energy in music.

After some back and forth, Bryan suggested using slam poets from Chicago’s famous Green Mill and recording them live with the musicians. We loved it. We auditioned a dozen amazingly talented poets and then worked with three we chose to revise and edit the radio spot copy to allow them to “perform” the spots naturally.

At one point Bryan decided that the “sound” wasn’t right and brought all the musicians and the poet out into the general studio space and put all the clients and engineers inside the recording booth. It was perfect. The acoustics of the old warehouse at 320 West Ohio did wonders for the vibe and atmosphere of the spots.

Listen to them here:


Can anyone hire Comma? Of course. But by developing this relationship and creative collaboration over 15 years, we can bring benefits to our clients that big agencies just can’t.