ROCKET ENTERTAINMENT Digital, Case study Elton John Legacy [Presentation Image] by Spinifex Group

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Elton John Legacy [Presentation Image]

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Industry Records & Cinema Production
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Case study
Market United States
Agency Spinifex Group
Creative Director Ben Casey
Released July 2018


Lions Communication 2018
Mobile Lions Technology > 360° Videos Bronze Lion

Credits & Description

SPINIFEX GROUP Los Angeles, USA Entrant Company
SPINIFEX GROUP Los Angeles, USA Idea Creation
ROCKET ENTERTAINMENT London, United Kingdom Idea Creation
SPINIFEX GROUP Los Angeles, USA Production
GOOGLE Mountain View, USA Production
AEG PRESENTS New York, USA Additional Company
Sir Elton John Rocket Entertainment Creative Force
Ben Casey Spinifex Group Creative Director
Sandy McEvoy Spinifex Group Executive Producer
David Furnish Rocket Entertainment Client Lead
Luke Lloyd Davies Rocket Entertainment Project Lead
Tony King Rocket Entertainment Creative Director
Ben Alpas Spinifex Group Art Director
Shea Clayton Spinifex Group Technical Lead
Clint Hannaford Spinifex Group Lead Developer
Damian Fulton Spinifex Group Live Action Director
Aaron Kaminar Spinifex Group Lead VR Artist
Kirk Cadrette Spinifex Group Lead Face Animator
Jason French Spinifex Group Lead projection artist
Elton John is reaching the end of that Yellow Brick Road he’s immortalized in song. The 71-year-old musical icon is preparing to leave the stage for the final time. Our job was to create global press moment that would send shockwaves around the world as he launched his Farewell Tour. But to motivate fans who have increasingly become skeptical of artists promoting farewell tours only to come back, the news was to be announced in the very manner that has defined Elton’s creative output over a dazzling career - innovative, daring and totally original. We needed to remind the world that fifty years after he burst onto the scene in a cyclone creativity he still has the capacity to shock and delight audiences. It required a solution that would not only appeal to his core audience but also ignite the interest of a whole new generation of fans.
There is an established formula for Rock legends making major tour announcements. Call a press conference with the global media, get on the evening news and watch your loyal army of fans buy tickets. But this approach limits the ability to connect with younger music fans with the potential to extend Elton’s relevance and ensure an enduring legacy. So, we designed an experience that would translate to mainstream news channels but also feel native to social and niche content channels relied on by younger audiences. Pulses of content during the week of the Grammy’s ensured Elton was on the agenda leading up to special announcement and received maximum exposure as pre-sale and general tickets were released. The less visible strategy was to capture Elton’s music catalogue and performances in volumetric formats that translate his creative force into formats that will be relevant 100 years from now.
A PR stunt that opened cracks in time to generate speculation leading up to the event was picked up by major UK papers and in social channels resulting in 5000 hits per second on as people tuned into the special announcement. There were 640K VR livestream views. 4100 articles were published resulting in 1.48billion impressions. The announcement was the top Twitter moment in the US and Europe. In 48hours Elton had set a pre-ticket sales record through AMEX. web traffic increased 2741% and Elton’s YouTube content received almost 14million views the week of the launch. All 60 US shows sold out in just two hours. Forbes reported gross revenues of $420million (expected to rise to almost 1/2billion as more shows are added to meet demand). Most importantly audiences aged 18-34 were consistently most engaged across every platform ensuring his music and legacy will endure the test of time.
On the week of the Grammy’s, the global media were invited to a marquee event in New York City for an experience that would be simultaneously transmitted to venues in Los Angeles and London. The experience kicked-off with a stunning VR retrospective simultaneously viewed by 520 press and VIPs in all three time-zones. But for this content experience to work seamlessly as part of the live event, the VR film and live stream needed to be triggered on thousands of wireless VR headsets around the world to within a millisecond of one another. Because no existing technology exists to reliably achieve this, we had to invent it. The solution involved weaving together scraps of code and ideas applied to everything from mobile gaming to oil pipeline management. The result was a magical experience where the full emotional impact of the human story remained center stage and the technology just did its job in a supporting role. YouTube’s new 180VR live-streaming technology also gave fans from around the world a rare opportunity to experience an intimate performance and live Q&A by Elton in NYC from the best seat in the house as he announced his final tour.
Campaign Description
To enable a new generation of fans to connect with Elton John’s music, we created a time machine. It would take audiences on his unstoppable path to global superstardom through some of his most iconic performances. The process involved recreating Elton's classic 1970's shows using cutting edge motion capture, live action and face replacement techniques, so fans could feel and experience these seminal moments as if they were actually there. The result was a live global VR experience that enabled fans to go on a journey through time and space. From being front row at his famed US debut, onstage at his epic Dodgers Stadium concert, rocketing through the vivid world inspired by his most outrageous moments and soaring through a myriad of his more recent achievements. Audiences would get to travel inside the world of Elton John in a spectacular experience designed to connect his past with his future.