Cannes Lions

Run This Town

COSMO STREET, Santa Monica / APPLE / 2023

Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

On February 12th, 2023, Rihanna performed at the first-ever Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show, after nearly seven years away from performing.

To build anticipation for the moment, we created a film inspired by her hit “Run This Town,” that felt true to both Rihanna and Apple Music as a brand. Her road to the Super Bowl started on the small street in Barbados where she grew up. So that’s where we started, too.

This film is a love letter to Rihanna’s journey - in which every element was selected to be true and authentic to her path to stardom. We travelled to Barbados to connect with the locals who lived on that very street including Rihanna’s childhood neighbor, Dawn. We placed Easter eggs through out the film to excite her fans. With the help of local children, we even created a new rendition of the song “Run This Town.”

Execution

Set in Barbados, we hear Rihanna's "Run This Town" playing off the speakers of a school bus as it pulls to a stop. A little girl hops off, and runs home where she sees her aunt braiding a neighbor's hair. The girl slyly steals her aunts' sunglasses before heading towards the street — Rihanna Drive.

Inspired by the song’s powerful lyrics, she becomes imbued with a sense of authority and an aura of cool as she takes her first steps.

Strutting down the street, this simple journey down her tiny island road is now transformed into a sonic and visual one with every step, action, and character connected to the different elements of the song.

She stops at the local cemetery, a vibrant space for everyone in the community to come together. Seeing the kites in the air, she joins her friends and reverts back to her childlike wonder.

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