Turning the table on Brian Allen

McCann makes music out of corn roots and more....

November 6, 2023

Turning the table on Brian Allen

Advertising campaigns that are clever and unusual surprise and delight us, such is the case with McCann's advertising campaign for Bayer "Roots - Remastered". Brian Allen, Executive Creative Director at McCann West and 2023 Advertising Awards judge shared some campaign insights with us.


When you’re a corn farmer, healthy corn roots are the key to a bountiful harvest. There’s just one problem: Corn roots are below the ground and constantly attacked by pests. Farmers couldn’t see if their corn roots were healthy, which dialed up their stress. So, how do you let farmers know their corn is healthy? Bayer got them to listen. Introducing, Roots Remastered – the world’s first music album made from corn.



What were some unique features of the campaign?

Yes. Corn can make music. Electrical biorhythms were gathered from Bayer’s healthy corn roots. Then, we worked with Grayson Music Group to convert those raw notes into MIDI sequences, which triggered various synthesized music passages. Audio engineers and singer-songwriters used those passages as inspiration to create our song’s melodies, harmonic structures, tempos, and rhythmic grooves. We even recorded and incorporated foley of corn as ambient sounds within the music. 

We compiled the six lyrical tracks into the Roots Remastered concept album, which celebrates the positive aspects of farm life from the beginning of a corn farmer’s day to the end. 


Corn Remasters


What were the success stats or indicators?

We’ve had thousands of plays on Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music and numerous features on various country radio stations across the country. We held a corn concert in Woodstock Ontario that was attended by 36000 farmers and our Merch sold out in a matter of hours.


Why is this particular project a fave?

This idea seemed to excite everyone who came in contact with it in such a positive way, from the beginning of the idea to the production to the launch. It made it such a pleasure to work on. 


Can you give us your opinion on what you think made this project a success?  

It was just so different for the ag category that it was impossible not to notice it and be immediately charmed.  


Proof that great creative ideas can fuel teams and brainstorming towards wide spread impact.