A CIPHERED RELEASE OF MUSIC VIDEO : STRAY SHEEP CODE

Short List
TitleA CIPHERED RELEASE OF MUSIC VIDEO : STRAY SHEEP CODE
BrandSONY MUSIC LABELS / REISSUE RECORDS
Product / ServiceKENSHI YONEZU "STRAY SHEEP"
CategoryB01. Social Engagement
EntrantSIX 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

Credits

Name Company Position
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

Why is this work relevant for PR?

This work for a musician is a novel communication story of social media to activate our audience, inspire them to discuss, and enhance relationships with them through the innovative use of social platforms, while COVID-19 has hindered musicians from interacting with their fans.

Background

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.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Kenshi Yonezu is a YouTube-based singer-songwriter with over 5M subscribers and over 2800M views dominating Japan’s music scene. In other words, his Youtube channel is a big social media platform with a huge fan base that they touch every day. So we set out to hack his YouTube channel and turn his fans into STRAY SHEEP to spread the playfulness of the artists and the passion of the fans to the world.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Kenshi Yonezu is considered to be so mysterious and enigmatic to our audience 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 and propagate the heat inside and outside the fan community through the mysterious ciphered communication.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

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.

List the results (30% of vote)

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.

Links
Social Media URL   |   Video URL