The Grammys’ #wearedigital — where music meets social

Social media and digital campaigns are no longer limited to traditional brands. Although it could be considered a brand within itself, the 54th Grammy Awards has integrated an impressive through-the-digital-line campaign.

Dubbed “We Are Music” the campaign uses a vast array of social media and digital platforms to make the awards show as engaging as ever, but also includes traditional channels such as outdoor, digital, mobile and television.

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The decision to invest in social media and mobile platforms was made a few years ago, and proved to be highly successful. Growth and trends developing within the social TV space, allowing for second screen experiences, simply amplifies the direction the Grammys has been moving towards.

According to Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer of the Recording Academy, the strategy around the 2012 Grammys is to integrate mobile and digital seamlessly in the age-old awards show. This integration is not, however, an afterthought. The digital and social side of the show has been integrated into its production from the get go so as to make it pivotal to its success.

In the past the digital focus was on the live show itself — Grammy Live, a three-day webcast of special Grammy events, red carpet snippets and parties, all with the intention of giving fans an exclusive behind the scenes experience.

In an interview with Mashable, executive producer of Grammy Live Peter Anton stated that Grammy Live was the first major second screen experience designed around an awards show. Enter the iPad.

Considering the iPad as a media platform itself has grown significantly, it makes sense to integrate tablets, as well as iPod and iPhone platforms by adding iTunes applications into the mix.

Linked to, the Grammy Live app gives access to photos, videos and Grammy trivia to entice and leave users guessing who will win at the 54th Grammy Awards. The streaming radio station of Grammy nominees, however, won’t.

One of the most prominent features of the app is that it includes a database of past winners (for the die-hard fans) as well as the upcoming nominees for the 2012 awards where updates will be streamed through in real-time during the show.

What I think will be boost engagement the most is that the app will be broadcasting tweets directly from the red carpet — from various Grammy accounts and hashtags, and offering the full Grammy Awards experience before and during the show itself. Optimised for iPhone and iPads, this app is one of the most cutting edge of its kind.

The essence of the campaign is formulated around the unique way music has the ability to move us, and the emotional and social experiences that bring people together.

The creation of microsite allows for real-time 3D visualisations, which adapt and change based on what music is playing in the background. The great thing about the concept in general is that its appeal is fun and engaging despite the awards show context. It could easily stand alone, which is why I think it will generate mass appeal, not just to those interested in the glitz and glam of the red carpet.

With the ability to select their own mix of songs and photos, users are able to create personalised visualisations, which can be instantly shared via Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s not forget the power of mobile. The We Are Music iPhone app extends the desktop experience to mobile devices.

Individual music libraries are used to generate visualizations where users either select existing images, or take and upload new ones using the app. Once the pictures are loaded, the app creates personalized music based experiences integrating camera and flash technology on the iPhone 4 and 4S to create unique consumer generated experiences. “Sharing” is taken a step further where up to 15 users on the same Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network can share their experiences with one another, at the same time.

YouTube is another fundamental space where the TV spots created for the show have already been doing the rounds.

No digital campaign would be complete without a big focus on social media. With the primary emphasis being on engagement with the music community across all social media platforms, the Grammys have pulled out all the stops.

In addition to the Grammys Facebook Page @TheGrammys Twitter account, the Grammys are actively pursuing the following additional social media networks:

  • Instagram — Photo contests were held for the first month of the campaign
  • Tumblr — The Grammy team held a contest asking users to blog about what artists have influenced them.
  • Foursquare — This profile includes historical tips about venues that have hosted the Grammys as well as locations of studios where Grammy Winning albums were recorded.
  • GetGlue — GetGlue is offering exclusive stickers not just for checking into the awards, but for checking in to the artists nominated for the Big Four awards.
  • YouTube
  • Google+

    It will be pretty difficult not to know what’s going at the Grammys this year as they’ve successfully managed to integrate innovative, engaging applications, microsites and the crux of it all, music (and the love thereof) into the social sphere that has become second nature to the average 2.0 user’s daily life.

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