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Elton John: The Cut gives new and undiscovered filmmakers from around the world the chance to create the official music video for three of Elton John's classic songs.

Connect Elton John's music with a younger audience using digital channels, making his classic hits relevant to a new generation.

Today's young music fans are unfamiliar with the music that made him famous and many of his biggest hits were released without music videos.

Partner with YouTube to launch a global search for ideas from new filmmakers to create the official music videos for three classic Elton John songs.

A visual identity for the campaign, including all digital and printed material, was created ensuring that it was true to Elton John's brand while engaging to a younger audience

All traffic was directed to eltonjohn dot com/thecut where one could find out more about the opportunity, discover insights behind the original songs and enter the competition.

Call for entries:
YouTube Creators, Kurt Hugo Schneider, PES and Parris Goebel, were enlisted to reach YouTube’s young, undiscovered creative community. Entrants were asked to share their concepts as video treatments, uploaded to YouTube.

Judging panel:
A panel of critically acclaimed music and film industry professionals, including Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Jeffery Katzenberg, Melina Matsoukas and Barry Jenkins, were chosen as judges. This coincided with a second wave of call for entries and helped to extend the reach and interest of the campaign. The announcement of the judging panel was picked up by international media outlets, including The Today Show who created their own music video for Bennie and the Jets.

Hundreds of entries from all over the world were shortlisted to five per song by the YouTube Creators.

Judging day:
Each of the YouTube Creators presented their shortlisted treatments to the panel of judges. The judges carefully deliberated and discussed the merits of every treatment, before choosing a winner for each song.

Each winning director received full funding and support of a renowned music video production house to help realise their vision. Winners also received $10,000 to help with future creative projects.

The campaign attracted over 500 million potential impressions, with hundreds of entries from over 50 countries.
Over half of all visitors to the website were aged between 18-34 and more visitors came as a result of the coverage by film industry publication No Film School and international TV program The Today Show.

The final music videos were debuted in Cannes during the Film Festival at an exclusive screening event with industry professionals and celebrities.

Date created: April 2017 2017-04-01T00:00:00+0100
Date published: 9 April 2018 2018-04-09T18:10:35+0100


  • Rocket ManagementClient
  • Alistair SchoonmakerExecutive Business Director
  • Ander EchezarretaMarketing Manager
  • Claire WingateSVP Operations
  • Dave SpensCreative
  • Emma HjalmarssonAccount Manager
  • Francis GilbertSenior Software Engineer
  • Gareth HughesArt Director
  • Gianfranco CuocoMarketing Manager
  • Jack DavisSenior Web Developer
  • James HaySenior Software Engineer
  • Jodi RopertDirector
  • Joe WalmsleySenior Account Director
  • John BannisterProducer
  • Katie BathAssociate Programme Director
  • Lauren AustenResearcher
  • Pulse FilmsProduction
  • Maya AmoilsMarketing Manager
  • Rich WaterworthDirector
  • Rosie ShackletonSenior Project Manager
  • Stephen WhelanExecutive Producer
  • Thea O'HearCommunications Manager
  • Tim BaggottAssociate Creative Director
  • Vivien LewitDirector
  • Will HancockTechnical Delivery Manager
  • * Google
  • * AKQA
  • * Ian WhartonGroup Creative Director
  • * Francis MacGillivrayCreative
  • * David MogendorffArtist Content & Services, YouTube & Google Play
  • * Sam KellyManaging Director
  • * Ashley KnightAssociate Strategic Planner
  • * Francis MacGillivrayCreative
Annual 2018 BronzeElton John: The CutSocial Annual 2018 SilverElton John: The CutBranded Content Project featured: on 13th February 2018 Contributor:

AKQA has been a Contributor since 31st July 2020.

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