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Marion Cotillard
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“Up-and-coming artists often give more time, flexibility and creative commitments for projects,” Moreau says. “They see these projects as a massive ?opportunity to ?showcase their talent.”

Perhaps no other campaign exemplifies The:Hours’ fully collaborative approach like the one they worked on last year for Tommy Hilfiger. Wanting to create a fragrance that expressed his love for music, ?Hilfiger reached out to The:Hours for help. The agency worked with Hilfiger and Estée Lauder for 18 months before the product even existed, researching and consulting on every detail down to the shape of the packaging. For the music, The:Hours tapped the Ting Tings , a British band who they felt best exemplified Hilfiger’s rock-and-roll vibe. The ?English duo wrote a signature tune for the campaign (“We’re Not the Same”) and co-wrote a treatment for the Francesco ?Carrozzini–directed music video/commercial.

To promote the fragrance, which ?Hilfiger subsequently named Loud, The:Hours launched Loud radio, a digital radio station that broadcasted 24/7 and transmitted? in 18 countries and nine languages for a year, making it the first-ever multilanguage ?digital-radio brand. The campaign culminated in a performance by the Ting Tings at the launch event in Berlin last October.

As successful campaigns like this one, as well as one for Cartier’s Love — which featured actress Marion Cotillard and increased sales for the fragrance by 21 percent internationally — have raised The:Hours’ profile within the industry, other agencies have been taking notice. Global advertising behemoth Euro RSCG Worldwide, the fifth-largest agency in the world, even partnered with The:Hours in 2008, purchasing a majority stake in the boutique firm. With 233 sister agencies in 75 countries, Euro RSCG provides The:Hours with global structure and access to their clients. But according to Moreau, the benefit of the partnership is mutual.

“They are able to take more risks because they feel confident working with agencies like ours who specialize in this field, compared to traditional ad agencies trying to sell branded content campaigns to their client,” Moreau says.

The:Hours is anything but traditional, but in the ever-growing cross-section of the constantly changing industries of music and advertising, their fresh perspective is one that clients like Estée Lauder’s Gabai-Pinsky seek out. “We believe in the emotional power of music,” she says. “The:Hours has been an amazing partner to us.”