A NEW FORMAT FOR A NEW GENERATION.
In 2020, Simon Cowell asked us to re-imagine an idea he and Tim Van Rongen (Exec Producer of The Voice) had conceived together. The challenge? How do we release a ghost written song (by the best and top songwriters on the planet) on TikTok, and invite a whole new generation of talent to create their own versions — and in the process discover and give a platform to the next big artist?
Alongside the SYCO team, we developed these core elements into a robust gen-z focused format for new artist discovery — ultimately presenting it together to TikTok to get their buy in. Universal Music Group came on board shortly thereafter as the releasing label, along with Samsung as the title brand sponsor across the global activation, and we got to work collaborating with Max Martin as the songwriter for the first drop (25x Billboard No.1 records). With 3 huge global companies backing the project and the world's biggest living songwriter in tow — we embarked on a journey as the sole production partner to launch a groundbreaking new format on TikTok.
Fast forward to launch week – October 2022 – we had enlisted 40 creators in 10 countries, worked with TikTok on a bespoke 'stem player' to trigger the musical stems released on the platform, developed a social brand and editorial channel for the content, and launched it globally to the tune of 7 billion impressions in week 1. A big beginning for an idea that started on a pandemic Zoom call…
We began with a sizzle to sell-in the idea to global partners including TikTok, Samsung and Universal Music Group.
We enlisted embassadors and talent around the world to help us launch Max Martin's 'RED LIGHTS' as Drop001.
We created educational and onboarding content hand-in-hand with creators across 10 countries, unpacking the format, the opportunity and how to create music directly on the platform.
As reach expanded across TikTok, we received submissions from every corner of the world -- from solo performances, to full bands, to choirs, and every unique version in between.
As the format ran, we curated and highlighted artists who the community had rallied behind and who Jaden Smith had helped to curate, ultimately giving us 5 finalists who were all invited to fly to London and spend 3 days in a recording studio complex, working together to refine their version of Max Martin's RED LIGHTS.
Enlisting the help of musical director Joe Clegg (Ellie Goulding, Mumford & Sons) the 5 artists each performed their version LIVE on TikTok, from Samsung's flagship store in Central London on the final day of their week in London, hosted by Jaden Smith and Ari Elkins.
The stream reached 350k unique live viewers and launched viral trends on TikTok for each of the 5 songs — culminating in millions of plays and multiple trends.