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Interactive Annual 19:
Websites/Microsites

American Express UNSTAGED

Launch Live Site

“A wonderful use of digital to enhance the concert experience.”
—Scott Prindle

“Each collaboration was centered around the musician’s or band’s style and message yet left enough space for the fans to be creative and make their own mark on the show.”
—Sophie Henry


Overview: American Express UNSTAGED, the world’s largest live-streaming concert series, delivers distinctive unparalleled entertainment moments (a key brand promise) at a scale never-before realized. It connects acclaimed music acts, legendary directors and global fans through real-time storytelling and creative collaboration in digital and social realms. The site is a hub for the experience, a launch pad for music and fan interaction that transforms it from just another live concert to a 360-degree platform through which artists can engage fans around the launch of a new album. The experience redefines the notion of a live-stream concert with global events that create opportunities for fans to move from passive viewer to active participant.

  • • From kickoff to completion, each UNSTAGED event had a rapid, average six-week development timeline.
  • • Digital happenings unique to each show made fans part of the art: creating thousands of virtual CG butterflies for Coldplay in Madrid, a White Room photo-montage experience for Jack White and backup dancers via avatar for Usher’s show in London.
  • • The technology used to produce American Express UNSTAGED changed from case to case; for front-end web executions HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and Flash were all used.

Comments by Atit Shah and Nick Barrios

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “The most challenging aspect of the program is how little time we actually have to concept and execute each show. We work with some of the biggest names in music and film and, as you can imagine, their time is limited. We often have only a number of weeks to develop the experiences and get them ready for a live show. When you’re creating digital experiences that you only get to test out the night before the show, you’re leaving no room for error.”

Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “We’ve featured some of the best artists in the world so reaching audiences isn’t difficult, but getting them to participate in the experience beyond watching has been a great story for us. To take part in a photo project that makes the stage, to be a digital backup dancer, to play rock journalist via TwitterÉto be a collaborator versus just someone in the virtual nosebleed seats.”

How did this project compare with others you've worked on in the past? “A global experience shared by millions, renowned musicians and filmmakers, digital happenings between fan and artistÉthe project has been a dream. And it’s great to work on something fulfilling from so many angles. Fans get to connect with their favorite bands in a novel way, and artists who are sick of the promotion machine get a new way to release their art. It’s win-win.”

Credits

Ray Canapini/Tricia Desjardins/Adam Okrasinski, art directors
Bengt Asplund/Vanessa Carney/Chris Knight, writers
Nick Barrios/Atit Shah, creative directors
Itai Asseo, interactive creative director
Matthew D'Ercole, executive creative director
Lincoln Bjorkman, chief creative officer
Chris Farrell/Mark Grochowski/James Sol, interactive developers
Ina Burke/Thomas Chirico/Andrew Kelly, Momentum WW/Chris Manganelli, Momentum WW/Madison Wharton Marks, Momentum WW/Graham Micone, Momentum WW/Brandy Sanders/Amanda Schultz, Momentum WW/Christina Semanyshyn, Momentum WW/Amelia Sutton, Momentum WW, producers
Joe Killian, Momentum WW, executive producer
DDCD/Digitas/Momentum WW/PMK/Vevo/YouTube, project design and development
Digitas (New York, NY), ad agency
American Express, client


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