|Title||PLAY THE GIFT|
|Brand||SKY PERFECT JSAT CORPORATION × PIZZA OF DEATH RECORDS|
|Product / Service||HI-STANDARD "THE GIFT"|
|Category||A13. Excellence in Audience Engagement & Distribution Strategy|
|Entrant||DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Idea Creation||DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production||DENTSU CREATIVE X INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production 2||D2C Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Kenji Oda||DENTSU INC.||Creative Director|
|Tetsuya Tsukamoto||DENTSU INC.||Art Director|
|Seino Akiko||blessyou.inc||Agency Producer|
|Daisuke Takahashi||D2C dot||Web Producer|
|Rem Fukao||Dentsu Creative X||Production Producer|
|Daisuke Sugawara||Dentsu Creative X||Director|
|Toshichika Ono||Dentsu Creative X||Designer|
|Akira Ozawa||Dentsu Creative X||Designer|
|Toshiyuki Imura||Dentsu Creative X||Designer|
|Ryosuke Harashima||Dentsu Creative X||Creative Technologist|
|Takuya Ichimura||D2C dot||Technical Producer|
|Junichi Hashimoto||D2C dot||User Experience Designer|
|Yuichi Jindo||Dentsu Creative X||Production Manager|
Leveraging the fact that this band has been copied by more people than any other, we surprised fans by releasing the sheet music to their new song before it went on sale. Although no one had yet heard the song, many fans recorded their own version of it, which they uploaded to the internet in video format that created a buzz online leading to a social phenomenon that spread beyond music fans.
Before the new song went on sale, the sheet music (score for a three piece band) was used to create a giant OOH advertisement unexpectedly appearing in urban (Tokyo and Osaka) subway lines used by large numbers of young people. The sheet music was also distributed for free on the nationwide convenience store Network Print Service as a surprise present to ensure those living in other areas could get their own copy. Using the keyword #playthegift, we strongly encouraged fans on social media to copy the new song and upload videos of themselves playing it. We also launched a mysterious countdown teaser website, and when the countdown reached zero, the original promotional video in which the band themselves show how the song should be played was released for the first time online, further encouraging fans to post videos of their own version of the song.
As soon as the giant sheet music OOH appeared in the subway, fans were surprised and spread the news immediately. Fans came from across Japan, even at the convenience store Network Print, sharing the joy of a new activity when getting the sheet music before the song was released. Social media and other websites were swarming with fans and bands playing their version of the unreleased new single. The CD album sold 400,000 copies in just the first three days after it went on sale and 400,000 people applied for a chance to purchase tickets, a great success far surpassing seating capacity and numerical targets. Old fans got out their musical instruments for the first time in years, and new fans were created who rushed out to buy musical instruments. Engagement with this campaign led to a level of success unmatched in the history of the Japanese music scene.
Rather than just listening to music, fans getting enjoyment from playing the themselves reverses the stereotype in the relationship between artists and fans, Fans stimulate each other when they flood the internet with videos of themselves playing music, which ultimately becomes entertainment content going beyond music fans to appeal to society at large.
Hi-Standard are powerful communicators with an impact on a multitude of music fans and amateur musicians on social media as influencers mainly on Twitter. Fans came to adopt the same state of mind as the band, who have regularly stated that, rather than just listening to music, it is also fun to play it yourself with friends. Leveraging the relationship between artists and fans to the fullest extent possible became the strategy and focal point of measures used during this campaign.