DoT defends wrong ‘note’ over jingle

| 06/12/2010

(CNS): The Department of Tourism has defended the use of an overseas agency to write the latest jingle for an upcoming advertising campaign. A number of local musicians had complained that the DoT had looked overseas for a composer when there were plenty of Caymanians that could have written the piece. However, the DoT said that some 27 local musicians and vocalists, including 15 students from GT Primary School, played and sang on the jingle, which it said was a “collaborative effort” between DoT and the Cayman Islands Music Association. It said that Chowder, the agency which wrote the music and the producers of the movie ‘Cayman Went’, has worked with DoT for the past eight years.

In face of the complaints from local musicians, some of whom refused to be involved as they believed locals should have composed the piece, the DoT said that because of the tight timeframe, the DoT provided the basic music and lyrics that it felt would best deliver on the strategic objectives and which “would resonate in the minds of US consumers”.

“The concept of the song which DoT developed was tested in the international marketplace in which it would be used and the results were favourable. Based on these results, local musicians were then given carte blanche to add their own interpretation, arrangement and creative style,” the DoT said in an official statement.

For the past three years, it said, the department had exclusively used High Tide, a popular local band, to provide the musical elements for overseas advertising campaigns.

This year, in an effort to be more inclusive and with the goal of engendering a higher level of collaboration, DoT said it sought assistance from the president of the Cayman Islands Music Association, Jean-Eric Smith (aka Notch), to invite as many local musicians as possible to be a part of the latest production.

They produced a 30-second instrumental and vocal production to be used for US television spots, a three-minute instrumental and vocal version of the song in its entirety, plus a five-minute instrumental and vocal version with a longer instrumental front- and back-end, which could be use for ‘viral’ videos, ‘internal’ marketing and other promotional work.

The recording was produced by Notch with lead vocals from Jamesette Anglin, Barry Quappe, Angie Manderson and Karen Edie. Male background vocalists were Lammie, Hubert Campbell and Notch.

“DOT was also delighted to have the chorus sung by students from the George Town Primary school,” Dot sated. Other musicians who contributed were Samuel Rose (bass), Wayne-Roy Randall (drums), Jr. Jennings (organ), Jah Mitch (guitar), Lammie (piano and bass), and Notch and Barry Quappe (Percussions).

Although Notch told the Caymanian Compass that it was “unfortunate” that local musicians were left out of the initial stages, he said in the DoT release, “"The CMEA is always willing to work on projects that are positive for Cayman and Caymanians and this collaboration with the DOT is a shining example of how we can work together towards a common goal. As the producer of the jingle it is my belief that this has been a positive experience for all involved and the Music Association and its members are pleased to have had the opportunity to infuse our local flair and flavour into this international advertising campaign. This collaboration is as a result of the new approach taken by the Ministerial Council for Tourism Development (MCTD) and the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) and DOT, which in my opinion is a good approach and I look forward to opportunities for us to become involved and work together more closely in the future."

The DoT said that no individual or organization stands to receive residual payments from the production of the jingle and the local musicians who were involved were paid for their time.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone else tired of pacifying the local musicians and the music association.  I mean have a little dignity, how gratifying can it be for you all to basically force your hand to be part of any local music oriented anything?  Did you ever think that the reason no includes this local music contingent is because you are all a bunch of control freaks with marginal talent, aside from the few who have gone away to test their talent.  Stop complaining, it will stifle your creativity…..

    • M Pressario says:

      I agree.  Every time a music event comes along they demand a larger and larger presence.  People want to hear music based on talent not passports.  It is horrible protectionism.

      The overuse of pre-programmed backing music, usually a turgid midi-mid-tempo-reggae effect, has reached epidemic proportions here.


  2. anonymous says:

    There are enough musicians (and variety of music) in Cayman to write, score and sing any darned thing that the Department of Tourism wants. 

    It is a royal pain that Cayman has to send our money abroad to get a foreign company to advertise the Islands.  And don’t tell me about the foreigners in music in Cayman.  Barrie has lived here since the age of 2, Barefoot has been around since Jesus was a little boy, Andy is from just across the water, what about Jean Eric (West Bay) Shane and Sean from Hi Tide.  Suga and Kelvin (ex Blu Steel).  What in the world is the matter with the Cayman Islands.  Complaints are constant that we are broke but we still insist on transferring our money overseas.

     But like I always say, if you want to get screwed properly, get a Caymanian (person or company) to do it.  They are the best.

  3. BMclean says:

    Hey did any one noticed that a born Caymanian Jason Gilbert aka JG was just nominated for a Grammy as a producer on Enimen album…hmmm I wonder if Chowder has ever reach those heights.

    The whole project could have been done here, we got the talent and the know how but as usual any Caymanian can’t be any good  

  4. Patricia X says:

    It is usually easy to tell the local music when it is played on the radio – they tend to make me change station instantaneously.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A six month licence to a popular song would do far more than writing and recording something in hopes it "resonates in the minds of US consumers".

    Not sure if we even need one but it was someones decision that due to  "a tight timeline" (lack of planning), we had to have Chowder write a song.

    They do nice work. Curious….  Were the Cayman Hospice commercials filmed by local crew, were they even filmed here? If yes, sorry I brought it up. If no, I am curious who designs the printed pieces I receive in the mail, who designed the census advertizing, where was everything printed? Who provides the Cayman Airways magazine?

    Who cares if we hire a NY songwriter anyway?

    I do.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And, while we’re at it, can someone tell us what happened to the old Cayman Horizons magazine.  The one that was renamed SKY and given overseas to a publishing house to produce.  It was supposed to generate pots money for the airline from advertising.  Did it? Last time I looked, the inflight magazine was a bore, horrid cover picture and very little in the way of ads.  Hmmmm another bad decision.  Bring our inflight magazine back to Cayman and maybe we’ll support it again!

  7. Anonymous says:…cry me a river…..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Gee whiz, quit your crying – can’t stand a bit of competition, get out of the kitchen!!!  Uhh, it’s not fair…uhh, how come they got it and we didn’t?  Didn’t your mommies teach you that life is not fair?  Get over it and do something about it – but please, spare us from your neverending whining!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Whine, whine, whine.  Caymanians’ sense of entitlement prevails!