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Influx interview- ramp industry-marketing walk the line

February 6, 2006

Influx has already mentioned Sony’s use of street musicians to promote Johnny Cash’s music. The other day we stumbled upon another highly innovative program developed by Fox to market the movie, Walk the Line, to an audience beyond country and western fans.

Ramp Industry are a really interesting communication agency based out of London. They work in lots of non-traditional areas, like short-film and they also develop branded content for the web. For Walk the Line, Ramp created an online music magazine with a twist.

Influx caught up with Andrew Crysell at Ramp to talk about his work for this movie.

What was the inspiration behind this project?

The inspiration was to explore and ultimately celebrate the diversity of Johnny Cash’s influence; the fact that he continues to inspire so many people who wouldn’t otherwise consider themselves fans of country music. He’s the definitive rebel and this project illustrates just how far that sentiment can be extended.

How did you decide to bring artists in to tell the Johnny Cash story?

We brought artists on board as we decided that interpretation and appropriation were going to be the key drivers of this project. We wanted to see what artists and artists of the most diverse kind would adopt and adapt from Johnny Cash’s rich legacy.

Who are you trying to reach/influence with this program?

We were briefed by Twentieth Century Fox’s digital team in Los Angeles to reach an opinion forming audience that’s excited and inspired by Johnny Cash but that falls outside of the traditional realm of country and western. The kind of people who like Johnny Cash because, as the Man In Black, as the ultimate rebel, he’s been an influence on contemporary artists. The kind of people who like Johnny Cash because of his work with Rick Rubin, because he’s name-checked by people like Beck and Futureheads. This project brings Johnny Cash’s heritage right up to date again, showing how he can still impact on breaking trends and new creativity.

How did you decide which artists to work with? What was your pitch to them?

We wanted a range of artists that would highlight both different artistic forms and a broad reach across a number of territories – the UK, America, Japan, France, Australia etc. We chose contributors who have a genuine love for Johnny Cash, so our pitch to them was essentially about giving them an excellent platform on which to express that love

Have you plans to do anything similar with brands or other movie launches?

We have various other projects on the go, though all of them are pretty unique rather than about us using the same template. We’re working with Channel 4 on a multi-media project which looks to map out the myriad youth tribes of the UK. We’re working with Topshop on special projects around London Fashion Week. We run a digital style magazine called Into The Storm which BMW sponsor and we create a monthly magazine for Sony PSP owners called FeedYourPSP.

The online magazine Ramp developed for Walk the Line can be seen here

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