Where’s the Beat? For Zehnder, it never went away.
It began at Zehnder’s 2010 Christmas party, an ’80s themed karaoke extravaganza that included Where’s the Beat?, a live band with our own staff members. In our hearts, the band never died – unfortunately, some might say – and grew to an inside joke. As the agency looked for fun ways to collaborate and innovate during the coronavirus quarantine, Where’s the Beat? returned in 2020 into a full-blown and hilarious mockumentary.
To bring the band back to life, our creative technologist and resident singer-songwriter, Rob Hudak, created an original quarantine jam, and we got the band back together. Drummer and creative director, William Gilbert, joined guitar virtuoso and chief digital officer, Dave Maher and the (literally) blistering vocals of Stevie Nicks megafan and VP of client development, Jen Boneno.
Pulled together via cell phone recordings, basement sound stages and living room drum kits, the song was a surreal collaboration during strange times.
Check out the full cut of When I Get Out of Quarantine:
We didn’t stop there. As part of Zehnder’s weekly all-hands meetings, we wanted to reintroduce and showcase the band to the agency 10 years after its last appearance. We added a complete backstory that included the band manager, our esteemed President and Executive Creative Director Henry Chassiagnac, along with roadie and Client Development Manager Nick Payne.
In the spirit of “Spinal Tap,” we set the film in motion.
We created a trailer to tease the upcoming agency surprise – a brief, dramatic glimpse into the fantasy world of Where’s the Beat? Posted in our agency Slack channels, the trailer sent laughs across social distances.
The full mockudrama, led by intrepid reporter and Associate Creative Director Heidi Ross, revealed the band’s dramatic breakup. We also featured a “live” reunion performance of the song. Personalities came to life and Where’s the Beat? was once again on top of the charts. Unfortunately, the success did not last long.
We had a blast putting this together and sharing it with co-workers. Strange times call for strange measures, and the project proved that with a little drive, real collaboration and top talent for creativity, anything is possible.
On the technical side, the guitar tracks and vocals were recorded on a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 into Digital Performer. Band members used Garage Band or cell phones to capture their vocals. The individual parts were then compiled and mixed using Digital Performer. The interview videos were recorded on cell phones, and all videos were created with Adobe’s Premiere Pro and After Effects.
We hope you enjoy the full show. Want to know more about what Zehnder has been doing during the pandemic? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.