|Title||A CIPHERED RELEASE OF MUSIC VIDEO : STRAY SHEEP CODE|
|Brand||SONY MUSIC LABELS / REISSUE RECORDS|
|Product / Service||KENSHI YONEZU "STRAY SHEEP"|
|Category||E03. Innovative use of Community|
|Entrant||SIX Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Idea Creation||SIX Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Idea Creation 2||HAKUHODO INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Idea Creation 3||HAKUHODO KETTLE INC. Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production||SIX Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Yuta Okuyama||SIX||Creative Director|
|Kohei Numata||SIX||Creative Producer|
|Masako Suzuki||Hakuhodo||Creative Planner|
|Yusuke Amagai||Hakuhodo Kettle||Creative Planner|
|Gentaro Yajima||Hakuhodo||Creative Planner|
|UKYO Inaba||EPOCH||Motion Graphics Director|
|Fumiko Iino||VIXI||Motion Graphics Producer|
The objective of our campaign was to promote Kenshi Yonezu's new album "STRAY SHEEP" through the release of his music video for the new album’s lead song, enhancing relationships with his fanbase. In addition, It had to be an online initiative considering the social conditions of COVID-19.
Kenshi Yonezu is a YouTube-based singer-songwriter with over 5M subscribers and over 2800M views dominating Japan’s music scene. To our audience, he is considered to be so mysterious and enigmatic that his lyrics, artworks, or statements have always been the subject of much thought, speculation, and analysis on social media. Based on this insight, we decided to ignite fan discussions through the mysterious ciphered communication on his huge Youtube channel. So we set out to hack his YouTube channel and turn his fans into STRAY SHEEP to spread his playfulness and the passion of his fans to the world.
One day, we suddenly replaced 55 videos racking up billions of views with “404 Not Found : Sorry, you're stray sheep” thumbnails, and uploaded a new one with mysterious rows of 2 types of sheep emoji in the video and description. Faced with this anomaly, various theories, doubts, and speculations flew about on social media. Finally, forming a collective intelligence, they reached an answer. The rows of 2 types of sheep emoji were Morse code, or rather “Meh-rse” code (This is because the sound of a sheep is called "meh" in Japanese), that when deciphered announced the launch of a music video for the new album’s lead song.
The discovery instantaneously went viral and trended on Twitter. The launched music video shot up to a million views in 2 hours, and 10 million views in 4 days, setting a new record for Kenshi Yonezu. The campaign got 41.2 Twitter Impression in 1 week. What's more, the Meh-rse code went on to become a secret language within his fan community, with rows of sheep appearing on social media. While COVID-19 has hindered musicians from interacting with their fans, we succeeded in creating an engaging and whimsical experience through the unexpected use of social platforms.