This is our contribution to the advertising competition Cannes Future Lions 2012.
Street musicians are to cities what birds are to the countryside. Universal Music, who suffers from a reputation as greedy and selfish from the struggle with the pirates of the web, captures the street artists of New York and gives them a chance to evolve while using the money that is generated to help homeless people leave the streets and develop a sustainable way of living.
Art Director: Mattias Breitholtz
Copywriter: Kim Hartman
Sound technician: Moa Alneskog
School: Hyper Island (Karlskrona)
For those of who that have a hearing problem I´ve published the script so that you don´t miss any goodies!
Urban Birds (script)
By Mattias Breitholtz & Kim Hartman
Our streets are full of musicians and entertainers that fill our cities with background music and personality. Some play the guitar; other masters the art of the trombone.
Street musicians are to cities what birds are to the countryside. Without them, our streets would be as cold and sterile as an empty room in an abandoned house.
What if we could acknowledge and celebrate all talent that puts a smile on our face when we walk through the alley of skyscrapers and neon lights?
That is what the record label Universal Music has tried to do. After a long and hard struggle with the pirates of the net, Universal is suffering from a reputation as greedy and selfish. The record labels have been categorized in the same class as penguins in suite with dollar signs glowing in their eyes.
To change the view of themselves as greedy and at the same time earn publicity, Universal setup a campaign in New York called Urban Birds. Urban Birds captures the artists that make the biggest impact on our ears and eyes while creating a foundation for poor people that sleeps on the same streets as we walk on.
This is what Universal did:
All street musicians were given a unique QR-code. The QR-code worked as a tool for voting, giving passers the opportunity to express their appreciation for the show with their mobile phones.
The scan also included a donation of one dollar and an automatically generated tweet that spread the donator´s good deed on Twitter. The vote was registered in real-time at Universal website, showing every artists number of votes along with a profile. The profile showed a picture of the musician and a map that indicated where he was about to play next. It was also possible to vote online.
The three artists that collected the most votes every month was rewarded with an audition, giving the artists the chance to play in front of Universals talent scouts in an online broadcast on Universals website. The audition was setup as a competition where anyone could vote on their favorite through the website. The winner were awarded a record deal and got a one month contract to play at Universal Studios club CityWalk´s Rising Star in Orlando under the name “Urban Bird of the Month”.
The money from the campaign was invested in accommodation for the people that had a cardboard box they called home, homeless people whose breakfast consisted of McDonald’s leftovers and polluted rainwater. Focus was on creating a way for people to leave the gutter and to create a sustainable way of living rather than on temporary operations that only provides shelter for the day.
The campaign resulted in a win-win-win situation; Universal got a better reputation that led to positive brand awareness while homeless people were given the first bricks to build a new life. And the Urban Birds finally got the appreciation they deserved, being the new local celebrities in a city that always have a song to sing.