NS: Laat Jezelf Weer Gaan (Let Yourself Go)
Ismael ten Heuvel
Getting back on track. This is what we’ve been dreaming of in 2021.
The NS (Dutch railways) thought it would be cool to celebrate the slow return to ‘normalcy’ by combining travel, music and a discount (because why the hell not).
The NS knows from research that a piano at the station contributes to the passengers’ experience, provides a connection and makes waiting more pleasant. So why not take advantage of it for the new campaign?
With the commercial telling the story of a grandson who has missed precious moments with his grandmother and is now finally back on the road with her, NS wants to say goodbye to a period where we couldn’t do much outside. For a long time too, the train was only intended for travellers whose journey was 100% necessary.
But now that measures are easing, everyone can take the train again, hence the claim of the campaign: ‘Let Yourself Go (Again)’.
Such a beautiful campaign needed beautiful music. That’s where we stepped in.
Our artist relationships department rolled up their sleeves and did their best to find a talented young artist who could write a song that perfectly captures the feeling of summer and the excitement of seeking new adventures after months of disappointment and cancelled plans.
We wanted to find someone new, approachable and authentic. An artist who deserves to be introduced to a larger audience.
Enter Ben Forte, the alias of Freek, a rapper-songwriter from Utrecht, who wrote and performed the anthem himself.
The song was composed and produced in a couple of days. We instantly fell in love with it. And we have a feeling you will too.
In the opening scene of the commercial, you can see Ben Forte playing the piano and singing the first lines.
As a music partner, we were able to offer a helping hand with the music production – from translating the client’s wishes into music to recording some fresh vocal takes in our studio.
“Dit is wat ik nodig had is a song about being at peace with yourself and where you are in life. Happy, reassuring and chill. To best capture the feeling of the commercial and elevate the message that NS wants to convey, I worked closely with creative music agency MassiveMusic and turned it into a full-length track,” says Ben Forte. “The result is a song that perfectly catches the feeling of summer and the excitement of seeking adventures after months of disappointment and cancelled plans.”
Dennis Baars, Creative Director TBWA\NEBOKO, adds: “Music and travel belong together. The NS station pianos are a wonderful symbol: an open invitation to every traveller with musical talent. With our campaigns, we want to give upcoming artists a bigger chance and a stage so they can make the soundtrack of our commercial while playing it from the station piano itself.”
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Senior Music Producertom@massivemusic.com