Cannes Lions

Tank and the Bangas & Friends - What The World Needs Now

ELEPHANT, Brooklyn / YAHOO / 2021

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Overview

Background

On May 25, 2020, devastation hit the news: George Floyd had been unjustly murdered. The world was in an uproar. Culture took to protesting in the streets, and many shared digitally their allegiance with the Black Lives Matter movement. In a time of grief and despair, Yahoo publicly shared throughout their platforms a message of hope and love that, at once, elevated the voices and the excellency of the very people who were pleading to be heard.

Idea

What happens when artists, musicians, and children come together to create music? Joy. Inspiration. Magic. And Yahoo captured all of that when filming Tank and The Bangas, as they recorded the cover to “What the World Needs Now (is Love Sweet Love)." Piecing together heart-felt moments of the musicians, their kids and spoken-word artists into a six-minute film, Yahoo gifted the world a music video testifying to togetherness at a crucial time. The need to communicate the brand’s involvement took the backseat - the film was unbranded and the focus was on the message.

The response was overwhelmingly positive with viewers commenting on how “befitting, timeless and timeful” the release of the video was. It struck an inherently emotional cord. One commenter summed up the powerful sentiment that “When there is anger and disquiet in the streets, this song should be played over loudspeakers until people stop and listen."

Strategy

In 2020, no one wanted to be told what to buy or what to do; they wanted to be heard. Purpose-led brands had never been more urgent. We were at a pivotal time in culture. People were looking for change, for justice and for hope. And at a key moment of social justice reckoning in this country Yahoo chose to elevate these voices onto the world stage with a message of love for all.

Execution

In the midst of a global pandemic and three weeks after the murder of George Floyd, Yahoo partnered with the Grammy Award-nominated Tank and The Bangas to give the world a message of peace and solidarity by releasing What the World Needs Now (is Love, Sweet Love). For the recording, the band spearheaded a unique collaboration bringing together singers and musicians from New Orleans, local poets and even their own children.

The result was everything but an ad. With no watermarks or end cards, the unbranded music video and its recording became a message of hope, love and unity. The band released it organically via Instagram and YouTube, with posts calling fans to donate to Black Lives Matter. By giving the band the spotlight, Yahoo lived its new brand promise “for lovers” and transcended a traditional ad campaign to do just that.

Outcome

The grassroots, community-driven response to the work was a testament to the contextual relevance of our message. Social media engagement proved the video’s resonance as comments directly reflected what we set out to achieve.

”Too many rumors of war but not enough whispering of peace”... Man this whole thing was so necessary. Exactly what I needed in this moment. Thanks guys!!!??”

“So much healing in this song,”

“befitting, timeless and timeful”,

“this moved my tears and filled my spirit! So precious, beautiful and memorable!”,

It struck an inherently emotional cord. One commenter in particular summed up the powerful sentiment that “When there is anger and disquiet in the streets, this song should be played over loudspeakers until people stop and listen.”

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