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THE BAND’S VISIT CREATES A MIRAGE

october 2017

AKA NYC’s Content Team rolled out two new spots to promote The Band’s Visit. They feature impressive 3D visual effects and an evocative soundscape—conveying the seductive spirit and intermingling of cultures that is central to the new musical’s plot.

When considering the commercial for the Broadway production, a unique approach was needed to convey the unexpected way the characters’ lives are entwined under the spell of the desert sky. Concepted and directed by AKA’s in-house creative team, Jams + Bash, and written by Senior Copywriter Sam McMenamin, the ad transports audiences to the Middle East. We see lead protagonist Dina (Katrina Lenk), owner of the town’s lone café, happen upon the marooned musicians and their leader (Tony Shalhoub). The band appears like a mirage in the desert and Dina yearns to connect and make sense of the curious, dreamlike scenario.

To further encapsulate the intrigue the show presents, the ad sees Dina reach out to touch them, only to have the entire group evaporate into a cloud of swirling sand. When they vanish into the night, the viewer is left questioning: Were they real? Or perhaps it was a dream?

Using a combination of real and virtual environmental effects, the set was built in a Brooklyn warehouse using over 10,000 pounds of sand to achieve an authentic desert look—with 3D sand particle effects added during post production to create an effect that felt tangible but was still based in magical realism.

Content Director Jamaal Parham explains “THE BAND’S VISIT is unlike any musical before, so we wanted to create a commercial unlike any for a musical. This sense of connection is something you feel as you watch it all come together and it was important for us to have the audience experience that same feeling that Dina does.”

The ad features new music by composer David Yazbek, based on music from the show, that helps tell the story and transports audiences to the Middle East.

Watch the spots here: